At Solid Ground, we believe that real and lasting solutions to poverty must come from people who’ve experienced it – and therefore understand it the best.
One way we assure that our work continues to be guided by the experiences of the people we serve is through our Community Needs Assessment (CNA), which we conduct every three years as a Community Services Block Grant recipient and Community Action Agency.
Through the CNA, we ask our participants, partners, and other community members to tell us about the barriers they experience and support they need to thrive. In these responses, we hope to identify the unmet needs of people living on low incomes in King County, illuminate barriers that limit our effectiveness as an agency, and develop recommendations to help us better address these challenges.
You can help guide our work in the coming years by taking 10 to 15 minutes to fill out our 2022 Community Needs Assessment Survey, which is available in a variety of languages. As thanks for your help, the first 250 people to submit completed surveys will receive a $5 Fred Meyer gift card. All completed surveys will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $25, $50, or $100 Fred Meyer gift card.
The CNA plays a significant role in shaping Solid Ground’s work and future. When we conducted Solid Ground’s last CNA in 2018, we came away with three key findings:
Whole Lives: People want to be seen as whole beings, not isolated problems. Issues such as “housing” and “health” are interconnected in a person’s life and by how systems “treat” them; they often can’t be addressed in isolation. People also want earlier and deeper support before they reach a state of crisis.
Building Commitment to End Poverty in the Community: Growing inequities in our region feel overpowering to many people. Community members want to help but don’t know where to start, and they often struggle with being identified as a problem to their neighbors.
Internal Support: Navigating the system itself is a huge challenge. There’s a shared desire both for deeper, consistent support between nonprofits and people accessing services, as well as for agencies to mitigate the impact of various program restrictions on participants.
One result of these findings is Solid Ground’s Every Door program, which seeks to make sure that anyone who comes to Solid Ground has all their needs met no matter which program they start with. Just because someone originally comes to Solid Ground for help with their state benefits, for example, doesn’t mean we can’t also help them with housing stability and nutrition. This is one way we’re working to tear down the barriers that keep people from accessing the resources they need to thrive.
Thanks for sharing your experiences and informing our work to end poverty!