ACAP to study community needs

CROWN POINT - Staff at Adirondack Community Action Programs are urging Essex County residents to share their voice on community needs.

The social services organization has released community assessment surveys in an attempt to find out how resources may be allocated to better serve people in this region.

"Unless we know the needs of the community, we don't know how to direct our services in a way that best serves the community," said Marge Garcia, development coordinator for ACAP. "If there are any gaps in services out there, these surveys will hopefully help us determine what those needs are."

In order to create the surveys, ACAP staff facilitated discussions between more than 20 partner agencies, including some of the area's largest nonprofits, schools and health care providers, as well as county and town government. Questions are categorized and include everything from early childhood programs to support for the elderly.

Miki Hopper, director of ACAP's Head Start program said the survey results are crucial in validating the need for all the services her program offers.

"They can have a direct impact on the services provided to the community," said ACAP executive director Alan Jones, who noted how many of the partner agencies often use the information when writing grant applications.

Residents will find a copy of the survey in this week's issue of the Times of Ti. Jones estimates it will take roughly five minutes to complete.

In order to cut the cost of return postage, the surveys must be returned to the nearest town hall. Only one survey should be completed per household, and must be submitted by March 28.

For those with internet access, the same survey is available to be completed on-line at www.acapincsurveys.org. It's a new feature for this year's survey that also saves on postage.

"We're trying to encourage as many of the on-line surveys as possible," added Jones, explaining the on-line survey results are more easily compiled than the print versions.

For more information or to request another copy of the community assessment survey, contact ACAP's main office at 873-3207.

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