COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT – LIGHT UP THE CITY SEPTEMBER 2015
These comments were based on conversations with elected officials in the City of Shoreline, the School District and from Christian leaders in our community.
1. TOP FIVE COMMUNITY NEEDS
• Every child needs a caring adult
• A sense of community through more effective communications between organizations and individuals
• Need to better address the growing problem of homeless students
• Need more stability among our families, as families build our community
• Grace to grow as a community
2. KEY COMMUNITY ASSETS
• Schools and valued children
• Long term residents, neighborhoods, family and community connections
• Safe, beautiful and friendly community, great for families
• Not too big for citizens to be involved in its government
• Great location in proximity to Seattle
• You do get responses to address problems
These organizations were recognized by our leaders as making a difference in the city:
o School Foundation
o Center for Human Services
o Neighborhood organizations
o Schools and civic clubs
o Ronald United Methodist Church (working to help provide affordable housing)
o International Center for Health Services (new building on Aurora)
3. SUMMARIZE YOUR COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT
Themes that emerged
• Building a sense of community
• Families and children
• Handling the growth of the community
What’s going well?
• Weekend backpacks (food)
• Back to School Consortium
• Drop in centers
• Community dinners
• The Power of One
• Spartan Gym and the Fremont Rec Center
• International Center for Health Services
• More open doors for the churches to enter (thru the Community Response Team)
What surprised you?
• People are doing things we are not even aware of.
CHALLENGES AND NEEDS TO BE PRAYED FOR:
• Land use issues and the conflict it arouses between interests
• Citizens need to give more grace in dealing with differences and mistakes
• Developing a collective consciousness is hard to do
• Need better health care (good health helps kids stay in schools)
• People are too busy to spend time in community
• Need time to get leaders together
• Need training to help non-profits grow income and work with businesses
• Lack of adequate resources
• Pray to help our businesses become successful
• Pray for more awareness of God’s involvement today
• The police department would like to have more neighborhood meetings
• PRAY that some of these challenges will be resolved and needs met.
TOP PRIORITIES OF OUR CITY LEADERS TO BE PRAYED FOR:
Serving the city to make this a great place to live
City of Shoreline goals:
Make people feel safe and reduce property crimes
Success in deescalating problems with the mentally ill
Help with quality of life issues
Children graduating from high school need a post secondary plan
Businesses focusing on the family and giving back to the community
Desire to get business leaders together
Support the kids in school to close the achievement gap (need intervention)
Help school kids get ready for a job or career planning after graduation
KEY INDICATORS THAT PROGRESS IS BEING MADE:
• Lower burglaries and property crimes
• Higher percentage of kids graduating from high school (presently at 88%)
• Higher percentage of high school grads going to college (presently 71-75%)
• Better credit scores
• Less unemployment and a stable workforce
• Lower poverty rates
• Less drug use
• Lower rates of teenage depression
• Improvement on the Citizen Satisfaction Survey results (taken every two years)
• More employees with good work ethics
• Increase in contribution levels
• More affordable housing
• People having real conversations about what’s going on
• PRAY that we can see some change in each of these areas.
GENERAL PETITIONS FROM OUR HEART (these are just from the prayer team):
• PRAY that there will be a marked improvement in community awareness and involvement through more effective COMMUNICATION, leading to problems solved more effectively, more ownership and a good spirit.
• PRAY that the CHURCH will become more visible and active in blessing our community, and that our members who don’t live in Shoreline will still support their congregation’s local outreach. You can’t read the list above and not notice that from the responses of these five leaders, only one church was recognized as making a difference. Certainly we are all making a difference, but it’s just not on the forefront of city leaders’ minds yet.
• PRAY that we will grow in LOVE and UNITY, and that we will be seen more and more as a single body.
• PRAY for REVIVAL and AWAKENING. Since many of the local problems are driven by CHARACTER ISSUES, we believe that only God can effectively change our character. Revival starts with us, believers. When the Church gets revived, then the Spirit’s influence in the community through us brings about an AWAKENING, with many, many more people becoming followers of Christ. This will take care of lots of our problems.
• PRAY that we will, in the process, get a much better understanding of GOD’S HEART FOR THE CITY!