It is essential to start with demographic information analysis to provide a basis for a successful community needs assessment. The population of Sentinel City is 663,862 people whose ages vary from individuals under 5 years constituting 7.4%, under 18 years – 21.7%, and 65 years and older – 10.5%. This implies that the majority of the city’s population is young people capable of working. As for the racial diversity in the community population, it is mainly constituted of White individuals (80.6%). There are also Hispanic (31.5%) and Black (10.4%) people, Native Americans (2.0%), and Asian community members (3.7%).
The average income per household in the city equals $246,300. Out of all the Sentinel City population, the income of approximately 18.9% does not reach the minimum level. The following is the representation of median household income per neighborhood: Nightingale Square $269,550, Acer Tech Center $166,300, Casper Park District $80,134, and Industrial Heights $24,672. The population in these districts varies and constitutes 103,974 people in Nightingale Square, 168,390 individuals in Acer Tech Center, 352,643 in Casper Park District, and 38,855 in Industrial Heights, which is the smallest district in Sentinel City. Within this population, the percentage of individuals without health insurance per neighborhood is 0.7% in Nightingale Square, 1.5% in Acer Tech Center, 22.7% in Casper Park District, and 37.5% in Industrial Heights.
Neighborhood/Community Safety Assessment
In terms of safety, there certain issues Sentinel City encounters on a daily basis. For example, since there is a factory situated in the Casper Heights neighborhood, the environment is polluted. Another issue is alcohol abuse, which is observed in diverse age groups of the population. Alcohol using individuals under the age of 21 (3%) and over 70 years old (5%) constitute the lowest rate of alcoholism, while the alcohol-related issue for people between 21 and 70 might be represented by the following figures: 21-30 embrace 11%, between 31 and 40 years old – 17%, 41-50 – 26%, 51-60 – 25%, 61-70 – 13%. The prevalent gender in alcohol abuse recovery is males (67%). EMS response time in Sentinel City is reported to be approximately 7 minutes. Among the most hazardous crimes in the area are murder, rape, and aggravated assault. In addition, there occur robberies, homicide crimes, and assaults committed by the members of the gangs which exist in Sentinel City.
The visual overview of the city allows for noting several features. The inequity in income among the four districts of Sentinel city resembles the conditions the residents live. The streets and houses of the more financially successful neighborhoods Nightingale Square and Acer Tech Center are new and clean. A lot of parks, sports places, and playgrounds are available for people. Many business offices, governmental institutions, and such recreational sites as restaurants, cafes, and others are located in these districts. As for Casper Park, where middle-class citizens reside, the streets are less clean with evident signs of garbage disposal difficulties. The area is polluted with factory products, which impose a significant health hazard. The presence of stray dogs and rodents was also noted. Similar environmental issues were identified in the most disadvantaged district of the city, Industrial Heights. This area encounters economic troubles which are reflected in the streets and houses. Organizations for the low-income population are available here, including housing and food distribution for the homeless and the poor.
Population Health Scavenger Hunt
The city has many recreational sites, such as parks, libraries, playgrounds, and a community center where both adults and children can find some programs of interest to attend. Among such, there are gardening classes, nutritional courses, sports sections, and others. The elderly are also provided with appropriate services, including centers for seniors, long-term care, medical assistance, transportation, and residential facilities. In terms of social well-being, City Hall provides protective services for particular groups of residents, Medicaid/Medicare, WIC, and SNAP programs. Medical services are available from the Better Health Clinic, which arranges cancer screening, fertility and pregnancy testing, and STDs diagnosis. The nutrition program is represented by the operations of Soup Kitchen, which serves the homeless and the poor all year round. As for accommodation, the Affordable Housing Project initiates shelter provision for those in need.
The information retrieved as a result of the needs assessment tool application allows for noting several health risks and needs found in Sentinel City. There are evident problems with the environmental pollution in Casper Park district, which is the most populated one in the city. Factory-caused pollution, stray dogs, garbage disposal problems all form a health threat for the residents and should be addressed to eliminate the epidemic hazard of infectious diseases (“Topics and objectives,” 2019). Income inequality as a significant health determinant imposes health care access disparity, which is demonstrated in the high rates of uninsured residents of Casper Park and Industrial Heights (Singh et al., 2017). Substance abuse and criminal activity in impoverished neighborhoods are also health and safety risks, which need to be eliminated.
Three Main Problems
As it follows from the needs assessment procedure results, there are some significant health-related issues identified in the analyzed community, the most urgent ones of which include low-income residents’ access to health services, environmental pollution, and high rates of substance abuse. These concerns are discussed within the framework of Healthy People goals in such areas as access to health services, environmental health, and substance abuse (“Topics and objectives,” 2019).
The first Sentinel City’s problem is a high rate of financially disadvantaged people who live under the poverty level and cannot afford insurance or health care services. These people constitute a part of Casper Park’s population and the biggest part of Industrial Heights’ residents. Although the community programs provide partial coverage of the health needs of the low-income population, there are still such barriers as the high cost of services and lack of insurance present (“Topics and objectives,” 2019). The goal of Healthy people in this regard is to improve insurance coverage level, simplify access to health care facilities, and ensure timeliness of care for all residents (“Topics and objectives,” 2019).
The second problem concerns environmental health, which is in danger because of factory production in the Casper Park District and garbage disposal issue in the Industrial Heights neighborhood. Healthy People’s goal within this sphere of health risks is to promote clean environments through research and a series of interventions (“Topics and objectives,” 2019). It is important to initiate a program to eliminate the sources of hazards and promote a healthy environment.
Finally, the third problem related to health in Sentinel City is substance abuse. The rates of alcohol use by the residents are high and might be one of the causes of criminal activity in the impoverished districts. Therefore, this issue is regarded as a hazard to the health and safety of the residents. Healthy People’s goal in this direction is to decrease substance abuse within all groups of the population, thus eliminating such adverse effects as homicide, early pregnancy, HIV, and STDs epidemics (“Topics and objectives,” 2019). In such a manner, the well-being and life satisfaction of the Sentinel City residents will be improved.
Available Community Resources
Among the available community resources, Better Health Clinic and City Hall could provide relevant assistance in resolving the problem of substance abuse. By means of information, collective meetings, and recovery program implementation, these organizations might be able to promote a healthy lifestyle, especially among teenagers. The experience and scope of influence of these community resources could allow the city authorities to reduce the substance abuse rates and improve safety in the area.
Primary Prevention Topic
The primary prevention of alcohol and drug abuse should be implemented through a system of programs aimed at the reduction of demand. As evident from the assessment results, the vast majority of vulnerable individuals come from impoverished neighborhoods. It is essential to apply relevant research to identify specific groups of a vulnerable population to aim preventive programs at them. The interventions should include the promotion of responsible alcohol consumption and articulation of adverse outcomes of drug use. Social workers, local hospitals, homeless agencies, and school authorities should work together to reduce demand for substances and ultimately prevent abuse.
Assessment Strategies Application
The variety of assessment tools used for this assignment allowed me to view the community in a structured way by identifying specific risks and needs within different aspects of a community’s life. Upon the completion of this task, I will be able to apply these strategies to assess my community. A complex overview of the area’s most hazardous issues will allow for timely resolution and provision of adequate help for people.
Singh, G. K., Daus, G. P., Allender, M., Ramey, C. T., Martin, E. K., Perry, C., … Vedamuthu, I. P. (2017). Social determinants of health in the United States: Addressing major health inequality trends for the nation, 1935-2016. International Journal of MCH and AIDS, 6(2), 139-164.
Topics and objectives. (2019). Web.