The Lycoming County United Way (LCUW) and Lycoming-Clinton Counties Commission for Community Action (STEP) Inc. are partnering to complete a comprehensive Community Needs Assessment with support through the Lycoming College’s Center for the Study of Community & the Economy. Each organization is mandated to perform a Community Needs Assessment on a three-year cycle and rather than duplicating efforts, they are collaborating. For the Lycoming County United Way, the responsibility of allocating resources to organizations and agencies is based on needs identified as critical in Lycoming County. Similarly, as the Community Action Agency for the county, STEP, is required to perform a community needs assessment to ensure services offered are aligned with them. This collaborative approach will allow for the Community Needs Assessment to be more comprehensive than ever before. The partners intend for the Community Needs Assessment to be used as a community-wide tool for planning, development, and sustainability of programs.
Four main outreach methods are being used to gather information from the community on the needs of Lycoming County. Partner Surveys have been distributed to local non-profit agencies and their staff. These organizations serve as the eyes and ears most closely involved in understanding the needs of our residents. Their knowledge and perceptions of the human service needs faced by residents of our county are vital to this process. Customer Surveys will be available through various organizations to better understand the needs of our residents receiving services. Telephone Surveys will occur through the partnership with Lycoming College’s Center for the Study of Community & the Economy. Registered voters will be called and asked a series of questions similar to the partner and customer surveys. The timeframe for the telephone surveys is the week of September 20th.
Focus Groups will be held to validate and provide more in-depth understanding of initial data from the three survey tools. The timeframe for the focus groups is late fall, early winter.
Upon analysis of the data, a final report of the Community Needs Assessment will be published and distributed throughout Lycoming County in early 2015. If you have any questions or concerns or would like to receive a copy of the results of this survey, please contact Carolyn Hawk at (570) 323-9448 at the United Way or Rachelle Abbott at (570) 601-9501 at STEP or check the agencies respective websites, www.development.lcuw.org or www.stepcorp.org