Community Assessment And Windshield Survey
Community Assessment & Analysis
Austin Community, Chicago
Working in a small team, you will conduct a formal assessment of a community to which you have been assigned. The assessment will involve a walking or windshield survey which is validated and expanded upon through a deeper dive into demographic and health-related databases/websites available here:
The essential components of the Community Assessment are listed below:
Safety: Is the community safe? Environmental aspects or physical aspects that may compromise safety (e.g. community decay, traffic safety issues, road and sidewalk accessibility and quality, crime rates, lighting, safe drinking water, air quality). How do the community safety issues impact your identified community problem or issue?
Signs of community decay: Identify any areas of the community in which there is evidence of decline of resources, or community decay?
· Abandoned cars,
· Visible trash in the street,
· Levels of noticeable pollution,
· Abandoned houses, businesses, and unfinished structures (boarded up buildings),
· Increased numbers of homeless or panhandlers
Media: Identify the types of local media available for the community residents. Does the town have its own paper? Does the area have its own cable television station? What types of magazines and print materials are circulated? (These types of things you will usually find in the front of cafes and stores). Are they bilingual to needs of community? Do you notice outdoor antennas or dishes?
Stores, Services and Service Centers: Evaluate the service industry in the area including various stores and businesses within the community, social service agencies, community outreach programs, recreation centers, e.g. a local YMCA, and other service industries. The community health nurse should analyze access to food, fitness, and health services availability.
· What is your evaluation of the availability of resources/stores?
· Are there many fast food restaurants in comparison to healthier restaurants?
· Is this considered a food desert?
· Are there significantly more entertainment options (movie theaters, bowling alleys, etc.) than green space?
· Are there a high number of fitness and exercise service centers?
· What is your evaluation of the services available?
Schools: Describe the educational system for the community including public, private, and alternative schools. Supportive evidence is helpful for the community nurse to make assessments about the community. Remember schools range from pre-schools to colleges and universities. Supportive data may include:
· How many schools are in the area and which level of student to they serve?
· How many private school options are there in this community? What types of private institutions are represented (religious affiliation, Montessori, academic driven)?
· What are the public schools rating/ranking?
· What is the high school graduation rate? How does it compare to the state or national averages?