United Way of Berks County, as part of a community collaborative, recently released the results of a Community Needs Survey designed to identify barriers and opportunities for the success of families in the Oakbrook neighborhood.
The survey was conducted in June by teams of trained bilingual volunteers representing Oakbrook residents, community volunteers and staff members from Berks Community Health Center and United Way of Berks County. The anonymous survey included questions relating to demographics, child-focused issues, health, safety, food needs and others. Forty percent, or 201 households, participated in the survey.
“We knocked on every single door in the Oakbrook community because we wanted to understand the common challenges of the families who live there,” said Tammy White, United Way President. “This is not only an opportunity to help service providers understand the needs of the community, it is also an opportunity for the residents of Oakbrook to connect with one another and make their voices heard.”
The survey findings were shared at a “Data Walk”, where attendees had the opportunity to visit a series of “data stations” featuring data and information presented through graphs, charts and other materials. Group discussions were also part of the event.
Next steps include United Way convening Oakbrook residents, service providers and community partners to further discuss and analyze data and identify desired outcomes. The collaborative, which includes Berks Community Health Center, Berks County Workforce Development, Berks Teens Matter, Literacy Council of Reading-Berks, Olivet Boys and Girls Club of Reading and Berks County, Penn State Berks, Reading Health System, Reading Housing Authority, Reading Public Library and United Way of Berks County, will also explore ways to address key issues and coordinate action items to strengthen the neighborhood.
The report is available at uwberks.org/Oakbrook.