United Way study finds recession changes priorities

June 8th, 2009 by Ken

Being out of work, or worrying about losing your job, can sure change your priorities.  It can even change a community’s priorities.

The United Way of Thurston County recently completed an assessment of community needs.   It did a similar activity in 2003.  Comparing the results of six years ago to today, brings some perspective on what’s really important.

In the 2003 study, 70 percent of the respondents placed lack of affordable child care as the number two priority.  In the current 2009 study, it isn’t even mentioned.

In the 2003 study, 67 percent of the respondents said land use, urban sprawl and loss of habitat was one of the top ten issues.  In the 2009 study, it didn’t even rate a mention.

In the 2003 study, over crowded classrooms was in the top ten issues of concern.  In the current 2009 study, it isn’t anywhere to be seen.

Economic conditions have a major impact on what people feel are important.

The top five issues in the current 2009 community assessment concern the three H’s – health, hunger and homelessness.   The top five in order are:  lack of affordable medical care cited by 92 percent of the respondents, poverty cited by 89 percent, lack of local jobs 89 percent, lack of medical or health care 87 percent, and homelessness 86 percent.

Rounding out the top ten concerns this year are:  shortage of affordable housing, lack of career opportunities, lack of affordable mental health counseling services, hunger, and alcohol and drug abuse.

The full complete survey can be found on the United Way of Thurston County’s web page.

Posted in Business, Government, Informational, The Real News

(comments are closed).