This week a lot of CSC CO employees are on vacations or training, so the office has been pretty quiet. The first part of my week I spent contacting community partners, setting up meetings, and preparing to attend a community meeting on the west side. I attended the Shalom Zone west side community meeting which brings together several west side agencies to discuss any areas of growth for the west side, or how well programs are working to improve the lives of west side residence. I went to the meeting to gain a better understanding of life on the west side, and to try to pass out our community needs assessment survey. Last spring an intern tried to distribute this survey but only received 16 completed ones, so we really need more surveys to gauge what residents need and want. We are moving forward with having pilot programs based on the response from the 16 surveys, but it would be better to have more completed surveys. One agency was very interested in taking the surveys to see if their clients are interested in filling them out. I will pick them up in three weeks. Another organization took a packet of surveys, but I could tell they didn’t really want to; I’m not allowed to administer the survey myself at their organization, so I’m not expecting to see any come back from them. I did learn there is a huge produce market once a month on the west side that brings about 1,000 residents out, and I am allowed to pass out surveys there. Unfortunately, the next one takes place on August 21st, the first day of classes for OSU. There is another one on September 25th, so I am going to strongly encourage my supervisor to have the next intern go to this event, because I believe this event is going to really give us the response we have been looking for. I just wish I had known about the produce market before so I could have taken the surveys myself.
To try to prevent issues like the ones I have faced I have begun making up some detail notes for the next intern to guide them through this process. I do have concerns that it is going to be a challenge to have programs on this side of town. West side residents struggle with meeting basic needs on a daily basis, so I wonder do they even have time to worry about their future health. They may be so busy worrying about paying their electric or water bill this month just to get by another day that they can’t think about 10, 20, 30 years from now. On top of that, the culture of this population is very unique and has to be respected, so I want to insure the next intern is prepared.
Yesterday I went to Gladden Community House to observe the summer youth program, and to take a tour of their facility since we are partnering up with them for some of our programming. My visit to Gladden was very beneficial, because I was able to directly observe several community issues just in a short two hour window. Plus, I had the opportunity to help the youths make bird feeders. They were so stinking cute I wanted to take a few of them home.