Clay County residents and community leaders discussed data obtained from Compass II, a community building process conducted in the Wabash Valley Monday at the Brazil YMCA.
The Compass II Project, sponsored by the United Way of the Wabash Valley, Wabash Valley Community Foundation and Indiana State University, is a project designed to address problems and opportunities across ethnic, racial, religious and social strata by determining the health and human services needs and assets within an eight-county area in Indiana and Illinois. Counties in Indiana are Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo, along with Clark, Crawford and Edgar in Illinois.
During the data collection phase, which was completed at the end of 2002, three surveys were conducted to help determine what services may be lacking in our communities and to recognize what programs and services already exist.
A phone survey of randomly selected residents in Vigo and Sullivan Counties was designed to gather opinions from area residents on their perceptions of needs in their neighborhood and in their own households. Vigo County served as the retail/commercial center of the region while Sullivan County was selected as a representative sample of rural areas.
A separate key informant survey was mailed to community leaders in both counties to assess community strengths and challenges.
Individuals and organizations in all eight counties were also surveyed by mail to inventory community assets available for health and human services, economic development and arts and cultural activities.
Compass II Community Partnership will use this information to develop a community vision regarding health and human services, select priority issues with desired outcomes and build a community impact plan. It will also be made available to individuals and organizations throughout the Wabash Valley for use in grant writing.
The visioning process will select priorities, establish targeted community outcomes and develop action plans by connecting strengths and assets with strategic opportunities to begin sometime this spring. Implementation of those plans and tracking their progress is the final phase of Compass II.
Editor's note: Tomorrow's Times will examine survey results.