The survey phase of the community assessment process will get under way soon.
"Surveys will be sent to local businesses, service providers, labor unions and other associations to determine what services are currently being provided in the community and what services are needed," said Chrissy Warren of the Community Caring Council.
It was announced this week that the Community Caring Council will oversee the assessment project and that Warren has been named process manager.
Formed in September
The Community Assessment Partnership was formed in September and includes financial support from a group of interested organizations. They include:
Area Wide United Way, Community Caring Council, Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Missouri Hospital, St. Francis Medical Center, Jackson School District, Area Agency on Aging, and Cross Trails Medical Center.
Other community partners include the Cape Girardeau County Health Department, city and county government representatives, ministerial alliances, social services, Vision 2020, police department and local news media.
The Area Wide United Way presented the idea to a group of local community leaders from Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Scott City in September.
"The data accumulated through this process will be critical to maintaining the quality of life we experience in this area," said Nancy Jernigan, Area Wide United Way executive director. "The United Way conducted a similar needs assessment in 1997, and it has worked well."
Data collected by the United Way identified special needs in four areas -- transportation, affordable housing, substance abuse prevention, especially among youths, and assistance for low-income families.
The community assessment covers more areas, including education, the economy, public safety, health, natural environment and civic engagement.