Community Needs Assessment
The United Way of Chatham County conducted a Community Needs Assessment in early 2009. Over 900 Chatham County residents responded to the survey, giving their views on the problems facing the county as a whole and also reporting on the needs they actually experience in their own households. Surveys were distributed throughout the county in both English and Spanish.
More than 90 percent of Chatham County residents surveyed cited unemployment as a major issue. Housing, hunger and health care needs were cited by more than 80 percent. The survey results also demonstrated major concern about the problems facing children and teenagers. Nearly 80 percent of respondents cited a lack of activities for children after school and in the summer. More than two-thirds said dropouts, teen pregnancies and substance abuse were troubling issues.
The survey was widely distributed throughout Chatham County in February and March of 2009. Responses were received from a broad base of Chatham County residents-across communities, race and ethnicities, income and education. Surveys were distributed throughout the county by nonprofit agencies, volunteers, civic organizations, churches, United Way Board members and community leaders. Community members could also participate through the online survey which was linked to the United Way website.
The community needs assessment provided valuable new insights and will assist United Way in directing donor dollars to programs that address the most critical needs in our community.