COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT – SIGNATURE ASSIGNMENT
You should choose a community for your assessment by the third week of class. This paper will be 10 to 15 page paper, not including reference page; double-spaced; 12-pt. font. Please follow APA Style. The Community Assessment will include the following:
1) History Report
2) Economic Report
3) Services Report
5) APA Citations and Reference – A minimum of four outside, ACADEMIC references in APA
1. History Report will consist of the following: (You may find this information at the Town Hall, Tribal Governance, Economic Development Office, local Chamber of Commerce, and/or the Census Bureau)
(2 to 2 ½ pages) What is the history of this community? When was this community established? Include historical events that have happened in this community. List and discuss any threats to this community (e.g., crime rate, floods, other natural disasters)
( ½ to 1 page) How are you defining the community boundaries? Explain in-depth.
(1 page) What are the population demographics (include percentage by age, gender, ethnicity, and race breakdowns? Describe these findings.
2. Economic Report will consist of the following:
(1 to 1 ½ pages) What businesses are located in the community? Describe the businesses. If there are no businesses, discuss why you think this is the case.
(2 to 2 ½ pages) What percent of this community’s population falls below the poverty level (may be located through the U.S. Census)? What groups appear to be the most disenfranchised or most vulnerable economically? What is the mean income for this community?
( ½ to 1 page) Describe if the community is growing, stagnant, or decreasing
East New York-Brooklyn Community
East New York is a residential community that exists in the United States of America. It is located in the Eastern section of the Brooklyn in the city of New York. It is an area with a rich history that dates back many years. In this paper, we discuss the assessment of the community of East New York with the consideration of its history, economic aspects, report of the services, and recommendations on what should be done. Under the history of the community, the aspects considered include the date of establishment of the community, historical events, threats, boundaries, and the demographics. The economic report consists of the businesses located in the area, poverty levels, and the mean income. The social services in the area are also considered especially mental issues, child welfare and the issues of the disabled people. Finally, the paper offers recommendations on the best steps for improvement of the community.
Dutch colonialist were the earliest people to set camp in the Eastern area of Brooklyn in the 1650s. The settlement led to the developments of small towns such as Bushwick, Flatbush, and New Lots which is the predecessor of East New York. The area was later captured by the British Empire in 1664 when they colonized the region. During the revolutionary war of America, soldiers from Germany and Britain ended a forced march that had lasted for a whole night in this area in the year 1776 and this was referred as the Battle of Brooklyn Heights (Smith, 2012). The name East New York was created by a merchant from Connecticut named John Pitkin. The trader had purchased the land in the area which was at the time referred to as New Lots and he opened a factory for the manufacture of shoes. In the year 1835, Pitkin changed the name of the area he had purchased to be East New York and this was to signify that it was located on the eastern side of New York City. During the 19th century, railroad junctions and railway lines were developed in the area which opened it up to trade and tourism by people from other regions especially Jamaica.
In 1886, the East New York was seized to form the twenty-sixth ward of City of Brooklyn that was by then rapidly growing. Several debates, campaigns, and controversies followed later on and the publicity of the matter bore fruit in 1898 when the community was included to be part of the New York City and the four boroughs that sat around Brooklyn being consolidated to form one entity that was named City of Greater New York. By the 1930s, the community was occupied by people from different regions of the world that included Jews, Italians, Russians, and Germans who had migrated from other localities that had been crowded such as Brownsville and Bushwick. After the World War II, many people from Puerto Rica and some African Americans from the South moved into the region to other places to look for better-paying jobs. East New York was no longer brimming with many economic developments and well-paying jobs that the new migrants had come to look for. As a result, there was the development of social problems that include mostly crime and unemployment.
The community has been having a host of social problems since 1950 that mainly include poverty, unemployment, crime and drug addiction (Thabit, 2005). The community has been for a long time been referred to as a murder capital because it has the highest rates of crime in the entire of Brooklyn. In the past, the community has been hit be drug epidemics especially the use of heroin that led to spiking of violent crime. The schools in the region have been found to have significantly higher rates of children dropping out of school and this is associated with the use of drugs and presence of illegal firearms. As a result, the school in the regions screen their members through metal detectors and they all have to produce identification cards before accessing the facilities. The construction of housing projects in the region also contributed to the decline of the community because many of the projects were done by corrupt contractors. Some of the natural disasters that have plagued the town primarily include adverse weather occurrences. As recent as 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the region leading to massive flooding and damage to property.
East New York is located in the eastern part of New York City. The boundaries of the city include Cypress Hill Cemetery that is located on the north, Queens Borough is on the extreme east, the south is marked by the Jamaica Bay, and the west is demarcated by the Bay Ridge Branch railway that is next to the Sinderen Avenue. There are various subsections that are contained in the community. They include the City Line, New Lots, Spring Creek, Cypress Hills, Starrett City, and The Hole. City Line is the most racially diverse region in the entire of Brooklyn. New Lots is in the east, and it is the region in which the Town Hall was located after the area was annexed from Flatbush in 1886. Spring Creek sits south of New Lots and it includes the Starrett City apartment complex, Spring Creek Gardens, and Gateway mall among many other features. Finally, Cypress Hills contains a branch of the Brooklyn Library and has a demographic feature of Asians, African-Americans, Caucasians, and people from the Caribbean Islands.
The total area of the community is 1.867 square miles and the area has a total population of two hundred and four thousand people according to the last census that was conducted in the year 2010. The number of females in the region is way larger than that of the males in the region. Females account for 110,973 people while their male counterparts stand at 93,778 people. The total population accounts for a 2.1% change in the number of people from the last census conducted in 2010 and 6.6% since the year 2000. The area can also be expressed in terms of acres or hectares. The population density of the region in consideration of the area in acres accounts for 34.5 people per acre since the total size of the land can be expressed as 2665.73 acres.
The population of the regions consists of people from different races. The main races that are found in the community include African-Americans, Asians, White people, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other minorities such as Hispanics and Latinos. The African Americans form the bulk of the population as they account for 63.6 percent of the total population (Jackson, Keller & Flood, 2010). The Asians, Whites, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and the others make up for 3%, 1.3%, 0.3%, 0.1% and 1.9% respectively. The median age of the community is 34.3 meaning most of the inhabitants of the region are of youthful age. The people between the ages of 0 to 9, 201 to 29, and 30 to 39 form the bulk of the population as they each account for 15% of the people of that region. The people between the ages of 50 to 59 follow closely by making up 14% of the population while those between the ages of 10 to 19, and 40 to 49 make up for 12% each.
There are many businesses in the East New York community. The main businesses that have been recorded include insurance, clothing, education, entertainment, food, healthcare, household furnishings, the real estate business, hotel and hospitality, transportation, utilities, and industrial supplies. Others include architectural supplies, construction, landscaping, lighting, plumbing services, and wood milling. The local management incorporated the East Brooklyn Business Improvement District into the City of New York after several consultations with the business leaders, property owners, and the residents of the area. The incorporation has seen an improvement in the business capability of the community because of the expanding ability of their real estate sector, security, and the improvement of the existing structural services.
The community is also included in the New York City Industrial Business Zone Program and this has made the community to be more focused towards the provision of major business services and other supportive services. The move has made the area to be safer because of better management. A majority of the vacant pieces of land have been bought by potential investors and they are being developed for business use. The goals of the EBBID have been to enhance the environment of business in the area and to increase the economic potential of the local area.
The economic description of the community reveals that a majority of the people living in this area are poor. Under the income section, the per capita income is 19,242 dollars. This amount is about half of the amount of the entire of New York and nearly three-fifths of that of the United States of America. The median household income is estimated to be about thirty-seven thousand dollars which are way below that of New York that stands at sixty-two thousand dollars and that of the entire country that is estimated at fifty-seven thousand dollars. The number of households that depend on an income of fewer than 50,000 dollars annually stands at 58%. The households with an annual income of between 50,000-100,000 dollars are 28%, those depending on 100,000 to 200,000 dollars make up for 12% while only 2% of the households have an income that exceeds 200,000 dollars.
The number of people living below the poverty line accounts for nearly 305 of the total population of the community. This is significantly high when compared to the rate of the larger New York that is estimated to be around 14.7% and that of the entire country that stands at 14.1%. The number of children living in poor families is way greater than the number of adults. It is estimated that the number of children (below the age of 18 years) who are poor or live with poor families is around 41%. This is compared to a percentage of 29% for adults who are said to be in poverty-stricken environments.
East New York community is among one of the most disproportionate neighborhoods with regard to the number of seniors who live below the poverty line. There are more than 28% of people who are above the age of 60 years whose annual spending line is below the poverty line that has been marked at 18,000 dollars annually for a family of three members. This has been attributed to the fact that New York is one of the most expensive cities in the universe. Nearly 70% of the people who are above the age of 60 years and use the New York City Department for the Aging have been found to be living in poor conditions. From the department, they are provided with social services among which includes free conglomerate meals.
Another aspect is the contribution of the community to the homeless shelter system. The East New York contributes the highest number of people to the program that takes care of the homeless people in the entire region in which the New York City Department has jurisdiction. For this reason, it is one of the areas in which the Department of Housing Preservation and Development has earmarked for development of new housing projects. The main challenges existing in the community include the existence of aging building that can no longer satisfy the living conditions of the occupants. The education levels of the area are also very low. This is one of the regions with the highest number of dropouts and this has even led to the closure of some educational facilities. Less than 8% of the population are holders of a graduate degree, with only 15.8% having acquired bachelor’s degrees and a further 10.6% with associate degrees. The percentage of people with no high school education stands at 16.3% which is significantly high.
The community of East New York can be described as being stagnant. This is because there is very little change despite the numerous development projects that have been initiated in the region. The new housing development has not been able to solve the homelessness problem that has been on the rise in the area. The economic activities that have been initiated are yet to solve the problem of poverty and the levels of unemployment still remain significantly high. Moreover, the problem of drug abuse, addiction, and cases of overdose have not yet been fully settled as they continue to adversely affect the community. Also, the levels of education remain to be significantly low with the number of people with no high school education being very high.
There are numerous social services that were considered in the area and they include education, healthcare, police, training institutions, housing projects, community management, and insurance. The security of East New York is provided by many branches of the police. The region is patrolled by the 75th Precinct of the New York Police Department, the special team from the Brooklyn North Task Force, and finally the Police Service Area 2. The management of fires and other related issues is also provided for in the community. The New York City Fire Department is responsible for the provision of fire and rescue services and the community has been assigned over five fire engines and an ambulance that will respond to any fire or emergency.
Education is one of the most important social services that has been catered for in the community of East New York. There are several schools in the area and higher education learning centers. The schools in the region fall under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Education. There are two centers of higher education that include Touro College and Be’er Hagolah Institute. However, the education sector of the community has for a long time faced a lot of challenges such as gun violence, high rate of dropouts, and the use of drugs by school going, children. One of the schools that were most affected by these vices is the Thomas Jefferson High School that was closed down in the year 2007. The reasons for the shutdown included a low graduation rate of less than 30% with less than 2% of children starting the institution at the grade level in math, and high level of absenteeism and dropping out.
The health care services in the community are mostly run by private organizations and there is none that is run by the local government or any public institution. Luckily, the people in the area mostly have Medicaid insurance which can enable them to visit any medical facility and a majority of their bills will be paid by the insurance program. The area lacks proper housing facilities to suit the need of the occupants (Plunz, 2016). However, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development has set up various strategies that have been formulated to suit the needs of the people living in this specific community. The department has set aside money that is aimed at rehabilitation of the existing houses and to protect the affordability of the buildings that are not yet regulated. The housing department also aims to increase the participation of the Green Housing Preservation Program that aims to make the small building to be more energy efficient. The housing department is already providing free legal representation to many tenants around the community. The department has set up plans for setting up a help desk for homeowners, funding low-income families with housing grants, and the expansion of affordable housing on public grounds. Finally, there has been a project that aims to increase the number of houses by 1200 within two years and they will be rented at an affordable price.
The Institute of Community Living
The social services provider that I visited is The Institute of Community which is located in East New York. The institute was founded in the year 1986 with the main vision of providing case management services for people with different type of mental illnesses. The mental conditions that are handled by this organization include depression, mania, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and social withdrawal conditions among many others. The ICL organization is in a suitable location on 484 Rockaway Avenue which can easily be accessed by drivers, cyclists, and even pedestrians. The location of the facility is very convenient as it is located in a near central area that can easily be accessed by people from the entire community.
Mental conditions are very prevalent in East New York. The high incidence has been linked to the rampant drug use that is in the area. According to the documents at the Institute of Community Living, most of the mental conditions that they handle on a day to day basis is linked to a person under the use of drugs of abuse or one of their family members. The most prevalent cases include depression, hallucinations, anxiety, and mania. The people at the facility are very friendly and their provision of services is excellent which would encourage many of the affected people to come back for subsequent visits.
Accordingly, ICL offers a broad list of services for the people suffering from different mental conditions. It has one of the largest network coverage for the provision of services in East New York and the entire of Brooklyn. The organization offers six different type of housing which is an essential need for the recovery of people that are suffering from mental conditions. Treatment options are also given for the people with the conditions and also for addiction to drugs of abuse such as cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and alcohol among many others. Under the provision of treatment, the people are enrolled in individual, family or group therapy sessions, they are assessed for the specific condition, and offered with medication and education on how to avoid relapsing. Moreover, rehabilitation services are provided which ensure that the individual is given a tailored program that ensures they are on a recovery path as they gain the necessary skills for living an independent life and developing support from the community.
Mobile programs are also provided for by the institute. These type of services entail approaches that are specifically tailored to meet the clinical and supportive needs of the community. The agents of the organization visit the clients in their home or the locations in which they socialize and help them on their path to recovery. Another service is the assistance of the affected people in their transition from being hospitalized to moving back to their homes. The organization offers house referrals for patients who have been discharged from the hospitals and this helps to reduce the chances of the people needing future hospitalizations. Finally, the organization provides adult respite services which aim at people who are unable to participate fully in the treatment recommendations or those unable to complete their daily tasks without having some kind of support.
The community needs several upgrades to change its status from being stagnant to a situation in which it is growing, and to solve the numerous social problems that still exist in the region. The New York Police Department should form a special task force with the main aim of tackling the drug menace in the region. This will help to eliminate all forms of drug use which have contributed to high poverty levels, psychiatric conditions, and school dropout cases. Another recommendation would be to set up local projects with the aim of reducing the unemployment rates that have plagued the area. The employment opportunities should mainly be blue collar jobs for the people without high school education. In return, this will help to increase the per capita income of the different households hence reduced poverty levels. The area lacks proper public medical facilities. The local authority should make it a priority to construct a medical care center for public use and it should offer cheaper inpatient and outpatient services to the community with a population exceeding 100,000 people. Finally, the authorities should prioritize the construction of a public gym to assist in keeping the levels of fitness high for the community. This will aid in the prevention of the development of epidemics involving lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Additionally, there should be community forums that seek to educate the people about the importance of eating balanced diets and living healthy lives.