Last year, Solid Ground reflected upon and celebrated our 40 years of service in King County and Washington state. We took time to understand the work and impressive legacy of our forebears. We recognized that the culture of Solid Ground is one of Innovation, Partnership and Action, and those intrinsic characteristics have enabled us to be highly impactful in our direct services, social justice and advocacy work.
As a Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) recipient and Community Action Agency, we are required to prepare a Community Needs Assessment (CNA) of the communities we serve. In addition to understanding the current needs of the communities we choose to serve, the CNA is also an analysis of our assets, capabilities and organizational challenges to successfully address the unmet needs of our communities.
In the 2014 Community Needs Assessment, we noted six areas of significant community need:
- racial and economic inequities
- lack of affordable housing
- lack of educational attainment and opportunities
- lack of living wage jobs
- food insecurity and lack of nutritional education
- inadequate access to health care and health services
Appropriately, Solid Ground has service and advocacy responses in each of these areas. The CNA also identifies some trends which we will need to better understand as we evaluate how we serve an evolving community, including:
- growth in elderly residents
- immigrants and refugees
- an increasing gap in income and wealth
- significant transportation challenges which exacerbate existing inequities
We look forward to using the 2014 Community Needs Assessment as a foundational analysis as we begin the 2015 process of creating our next agency strategic plan over the next three-to-five years.