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Community Needs Assessment

COMMUNITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT 9

CommunityNeeds Assessment

Overview

Communitiesdo vary and always have different ways of reaching their goals. Oncethe process of identifying and understanding a particular communityis achieved, it is important to determine how best to serve theirneeds (Our Community Pty Ltd, n.d). Gathering of data plays asignificant role in effective community development. Agencies tend touse these data to examine the successes they have achieved insupporting families and the community development. Assessment helpsto generate information to feed an understanding. Communitydevelopment occurs when stakeholders work towards a common goal forcommunity success. The assessment process needs to be driven by themutual goal. As such, data gathered must help to inform anunderstanding of issues that will lessen obstacles and fostermovement towards the goal (Our Community Pty Ltd, n.d). This paperwill aim to examine the social, economic, cultural, psychologicalparameters affecting the community of Immokalee, Florida.

Descriptionof the community

Immokaleeis Florida’s biggest inland community that is governed as part ofthe larger administrative division. The region covers an area of 23.3square miles. Before, it was associated with extensive livestockfarms and a flourishing agricultural economy (Mascia, 2011).Initially, Immokalee was home to a majority of the Calusa Indians andyears later it was occupied by the Seminoles who established camps onthe elevated steppe land when they came for periodic hunting tours(Mascia, 2011). For the next decades, Immokalee’s ranch and theagricultural economy have tremendously grown. The soil in the area ispurely made of white sand. The soil contains less of nutrients andcannot hold water. For this reasons, Immokalee`s farmland isconstantly applied with insecticides, manures, and fungicides(Mascia, 2011). Based on statistics provided by at least 4,000weather stations, it is reported that the region experiences city’saverage climates of temperatures, precipitations, humidity, windspeed, snow, and sunshine. Given that Immokalee is largelyagricultural and they mostly apply fertilizers and pesticides, it isquite interesting to note that the air pollution and, air qualitytrends are on the low levels. The air quality index level as at 2013was reported to be around 45 which is presumed to be above the city’saverage. The ozone level was also found to be at 26 which is beyondthe city’s average.

Thenumbers of disasters experienced in Collier County is relativelyhigher than the Country’s average of 12 (City-Data.com, 2016). Theserious disasters and emergencies declared both total to 14 and 5respectively. The primary causes of natural calamities include fires,storms, floods, torrential rains, hurricanes, and tornadoes. On theother hand, earthquake activities in the region are slightly lowerthan the city`s average accounting for 97% (City-Data.com, 2016).When these events strike, the community is obliged to reactimmediately and establish services like fire, sewerage, water,police, and electricity protection. As such, the Collier County LocalMitigation Strategy working group was introduced to identify thedisasters threatening the region and estimate the risks posed to thecommunity. These projects were aimed at reducing the impacts offuture hazards. It is estimated that the median house value as at2013 was $73,350 while gross rent was $600. The average housing unitsas at 2103 were found to be $431,550, detached housing was $505,700,townhouses and attached units were $258,050, 2-unit, 3 to 4-unit, and5 to more unit structures was $ 235,570 $243,670 and $451,920respectively(City-Data.com, 2016). Mobile homes, boats, and vans werefound to range between $46, 970 and $66,670.

Populationprofile

Asper the census conducted in 2010, it was estimated that Immokalee’spopulation was more than 24,000 which was expected to increase withtime. This was a population increase of about 22% from the previouscensus statistics carried out in 2000. Similarly, its populationdensity was estimated at 2,450 people per Sq. mile. This was based on4,990 housing units with an average density of 240 per kilometersquare (City-Data.com, 2016). Currently, the region is composed ofHispanics and Latinos who account for more than 78% of the populationtranslating to 18,750, the African American, Whites, Indian American,and Asian ethnicities account for 17%, 4%, 0.5% and 0.04%respectively (Mascia, 2013). The age composition for the locals waspresumed at 25 years as the median age for the resident and 42 yearsas the median age for the Florida population (City-Data.com, 2016).The males take the larger population count at 13, 785 while there areabout 10, 370 females in Immokalee. The type of families in Immokaleeis composed of single persons accounting for around 50%, marriedaccounting for 35%, separated at 4%, widowed at 3.8% and divorcedfamilies accounting for 7% (City-Data.com, 2016). In terms ofmortality rates, Immokalee is considered a popular destination forindividuals migrating into the US. It is presumed that at least 36%of the locals are born with large numbers having migrated from LatinAmerica, Northern America, Europe, and Asia.

Thelife expectancy at the region is said to be 65 years with men havinga higher expectancy level which increased by 2.5 years while females`expectancy increased by 1.7 years. The infant mortality rate forImmokalee has reduced to the low level of 5 infant deaths per 1,000deliveries (Florida Health Collier County, 2013). Likewise, thematernal health for women has tremendously improved because of changein health behaviors by reducing the intake of alcohol and tobaccouse. The leading cause of death at Immokalee consist of cancer,chronic respiratory diseases, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes,kidney disease, chronic liver disease, unintentional accidents,Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke (Florida HealthCollier County, 2013). The concrete reasons for death are a massiveexterior and adaptable dynamics that lead to increased mortalitylevels for the community. More than 48% of the deaths in CollierCounty are said to be inevitable (Florida Health Collier County,2013). Tobacco remains to be the leading cause of avoidable deaths.It is assumed that obesity may take over the leading actual cause ofdeath for the region in future. The mortality rate from cancer andheart diseases translate to about 48% of annual deaths.

Psychologicalconsideration

Theeconomic prospects for Immokalee look promising. In terms ofcommunication networks, the area has a WCIW-LP radio ConCiencia,which is owned and run by coalition workers and affiliated withPacifica Network (Mascia, 2011). The infrastructures have beenextended across the region which fostered trade and communication,and migrants would now travel to Immokalee to work on the farms.Collier County has reported increased in rates of persons with poormental health translated at close to 20%. Poor mental health washighly related to the economic recession of the 2001-2008, lowincomes and low education levels (Florida Health Collier County,2013). The mental health condition of the population was evident fromthe 18 to 65 years old age group. As such, the area has established 4facilities to provide psychiatric services and substance abuseservices to the residents (Florida Health Collier County, 2013).

Socio-culturalconsiderations

Accordingto City-Data statistics, the estimated median household income was$25,720 and the CDP per capita income was $9,560. The median earningfor men was $17,900 and for women was $16,700. Almost 35% of thefamilies and 40% of the population lives below the poverty line whichcomprises 46% of persons under the age of 18 years and 27% for thoseabove 65 years old (City-Data.com, 2016). The majority of thepopulation is involved in agriculture, fishing, hunting, and forestrywhich translate to 35%, building, and maintenance at 17%,construction at 12%, transportation at 10%, office and administrationat 5%, material moving, and management at 5% and 4% (City-Data.com,2016). The education index for Immokalee was 29% in 2013, implyinginequality in education where 57% have attained less than high schooleducation and only 2% have attained degrees. Religion composition forthe area is that 66% do not belong to any religion however,Catholics are highly represented in the region with 15% followed byProtestant at 11.3% (City-Data.com, 2016).

Governmentand leadership

Immokaleeis said to be an incorporated region, and for this reason, thedistrict has no municipal government and instead has formed part ofand is governed by the Collier County, Florida. The County governmentis composed of 5 county commissioners in which case, CommissionerJames Coletta is the person that oversees the Immokalee region(Century 21, 2016). Accordingly, the Collier County sheriff`sdepartment is concerned with patrolling the area. The region alsoboasts of having its own fire district with 3 fire stations (Century21, 2016).

Education

Aspart of the Collier County school district, the area has a total ofmore than 56 public schools from elementary to college. From the46,000 students, 67% are from non-English speaking homes whereas, 51%are financially needy. There also exist adult &amp communityeducation programs where there are 50 adults post-secondary, 400community education classes and more than 5,600 students in adult andcommunity education programs.

Transportation

Thestate road 29 is the major road through Immokalee. Its primary modeof transportation for Immokalee is by personal car. There are also aprovision of bus services by Collier Area Transit which connectspeople within the region, to Naples, and Marco Island (City-Data.com,2016). Immokalee Airport is a public airport that is situated in thenortheast of the CBD. Years back, the seaboard coastline railroadused to serve the population as well as transport agriculturalproduce. However, it was abandoned later which has left the localswith no railway services.

Healthsystem considerations

Ithas been noted that the rate of health care resources hastremendously increased where numbers of hospital beds per 100,000residents have improved by 24% while the numbers of physicians havealso increased to around 90% for the period 2000 to 2011(FloridaHealth Collier County, 2013). Currently, there exist inadequateprimary care resources at Collier. Similarly, persons with privateinsurance can more easily access primary care compared to thosewithout insurance. To date, Immokalee still lacks the process forrecognizing and engaging major stakeholder for improving health careaccess. The region also lacks a wide-based community healthimprovement team to plan for adults` access to health carefacilities. A majority of the residents finance their health careservices using private health insurance. It is estimated that 24% ofthe population are uninsured which may pose a great health riskproblems as they cannot access better medical attention and morelikely to die prematurely from all conditions(Florida Health CollierCounty, 2013).

Planof action

Uponidentifying the areas of concern, the plan for the community is topromote the economic status and improve the quality of life for theresidents with low incomes. The economic estimates for the low-incomeconstituents in Immokalee remain to be depressing, and this widensthe gap between the wealthy and the have-nots. To initiate the bestplan, it would require establishing and implementing zoning rules andguidelines, improving the look of the region, and instigatingindustrial growth.

References

Century21. (n.d). Immokalee. Retrieved on November 17, 2016, fromhttp://century21sunbelt.com/immokalee

City-Data.com.(2016). Immokalee, Florida. Retrieved November 17, 2016, fromhttp://www.city-data.com/city/Immokalee-Florida.html

FloridaHealth Collier County. (2013). Collier County: Community HealthAssessment. Retrieved November 17, 2016, fromhttp://www.floridahealth.gov/provider-and-partner-resources/community-partnerships/floridamapp/state-and-community-reports/collier-county/_documents/collier-cha.pdf

Mascia,J. (2011). Everything You Ever wanted to know about Immokalee, Fla.The New York Times. Retrieved November 17, 2016, fromhttp://www.americanindiancoc.org/native-american-tribes-the-indian-history-in-immokalee-florida/

OurCommunity Pty Ltd. (n.d). Ourcommunity.com.au. where not-for-profitsgo for help. Conducting a community needs assessment.