Community Needs Assessment (2020)

2020 community needs assessment cover

The 2020 Assessment of Needs and Priorities in Clark and Floyd Counties – known as the Priorities for Progress: Assets and Aspirations in Southern Indiana 2021 – explores the community’s aspirations for building on its assets to address the area’s highest priorities and greatest challenges.

Funded by the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, and conducted by the Indiana University Southeast Applied Research and Education Center, this report combines a detailed look at publicly available data with the perceptions of area residents and leaders to identify strategies to improve quality of life and quality of place in Clark and Floyd counties.

Top Priority Areas

The report finds that while area residents are enthusiastic about new amenities, they remain focused on the need for quality well-paid jobs and widespread access to affordable physical and behavioral health care. Priorities tend to be things that people value and think are important, including:

  1. Getting and keeping good teachers.
  2. Treatment for adult drug or alcohol abuse.
  3. Providing maintenance and improvements to existing roads and bridges.
  4. Access to mental health services.
  5. Increasing Opportunities for vocational trade certificates.

Top Needs

Needs are those areas where the largest number of respondents indicate that the community does not perform well, and more needs to be done to address these areas, including:

  1. Increase access to affordable high-quality early care and education.
  2. Increase access to mental health services.
  3. Ensure that people across income levels have access to art and cultural experiences.
  4. Build and attract living wage jobs.
  5. Educate and train a high-quality labor force that can build and attract good jobs.

Social Issues of Greatest Concern

The survey asked respondents to identify the social issues of greatest concern to them (i.e. the top priorities for addressing the region’s most challenging issues). These issues are barriers to quality of life and quality of place. The majority of respondents identified the following:

  1. Adult drug or alcohol abuse.
  2. Homelessness.
  3. Mental illness.
  4. Poverty.
  5. Youth drug or alcohol use.

Three Overall Goals

The three overall goals (below) bring together the top priorities that need more attention. These goals reflect the highest overall priorities identified in the region combined with those areas where the largest number of respondents indicated the community does not perform well, including:

  1. Create a dual focus on improving quality of place and quality of life through investment in public and social infrastructure.
  2. Work to build and attract living wage jobs.
  3. Provide affordable access to housing, health care, child care, education, and job training to build thriving communities in Clark and Floyd Counties.

To access the Community Needs Assessment from 2015, please click here.

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