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Community Needs Research

Community Needs Research 

At United Way of Treasure Valley, we roll up our sleeves and go looking for problems. We visit struggling neighborhoods and schools; we interview community members—everyone from business leaders to low-wage, struggling families; and we analyze and collect data to understand the community and the most daunting social challenges that local children and families face. We present our findings in the United Way Community Needs Assessment. This research guides our fundraising, volunteer and advocacy efforts at United Way. 

The 2014 United Way Community Assessment presented the following goals in the areas of Education, Health and Financial Stability. The 2017 United Way Community Assessment will debut in May 2017. 

2014 Community Assessment

United Way of Treasure Valley is committed to providing a Community Assessment every three years to help the Treasure Valley determine needs and trends, define barriers to the success of programs, recognize gaps in data, and identify opportunities for progress.

Utah Foundation was retained by United Way to conduct independent research to obtain accurate, reliable and unbiased data on the demographic, social and economic conditions in the Treasure Valley.

To inform this Community Assessment, United Way focused on ensuring input from diverse voices. Specifically, United Way worked with a Community Assessment advisory group; convened local leaders for Community Assessment discussions; and held focus groups with nonprofit organizations and service providers, as well as individuals using community-based services.

The Utah Foundation also held focus groups – both with residents utilizing social safety net and with service providers – and performed written surveys, a literature review and personal interviews. Research began in October 2013 and continued through March 2014. See below for a list of United Way of Treasure Valley's partners and goal areas identified through the 2014 Community Assessment. 

2014 Community Assessment /// Partners
  • United Way of Treasure Valley
  • The Gardner Company
  • Wells Fargo
  • Saint Alphonsus Health System
  • St. Luke’s Health System
  • Delta Dental of Idaho
  • Regence BlueShield of Idaho
  • West Valley Medical Center
  • the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children

Education Goals

92+% of Treasure Valley 3rd graders score ‘proficient’ or better in state reading evaluations

90+% of low-income students (receiving free/reduced price lunch) score ‘proficient’ or better in State 3rd grade reading evaluations

70+% of Treasure Valley children enter school (kindergarten) scoring ‘at benchmark’ in State competency evaluations

Increase accessibility of existing resources through co-location, coordination, and other opportunities that decrease or remove the barriers of transportation, time and information

Increase college attainment (degree or certificate) by 25-64 year olds to 60% (TVEP and State goal)

Health Goals

Decrease in obesity by 5% per County

Increase residents with a medical home to 90%

Increase access to Dental services for adults and children

Increase accessibility of existing resources through co-location, coordination and other opportunities that decrease or remove the barriers of transportation, time and information

No increase in the percentage of residents reporting poor mental health days by 2017. Decrease the percentage of residents reporting poor mental health days to 15% by 2020

Financial Stability Goals

Decrease in Overall Poverty by 3% per county with an emphasis on children in poverty

No increase in rental housing ‘burden’ by 2017, decrease in rental housing ‘burden’ to no more than 30% by 2020

Decrease in underbanked to no more than 15% per county

Identify and leverage existing opportunities for co-location, coordination and other opportunities that remove barriers to higher wage employment