Human Needs Assessment Update Underway

The Community Foundation will be holding forums to get public input.


Frederick, Md (KM) The process of drafting a new Human Needs Assessment study is underway. The Community Foundation of Frederick County had a similar report drafted in 2011, but President and CEO Betsy Day said a lot has changed over the past seven years. “Back in those days, the Affordable Care Act was just getting implemented. How we looked at school readiness and the Head Start program has changed, as well as our homeless population. The causes of homelessness  have changed in the past eight years as well. So our Community Foundation Board of Trustees decided it was time to update the Human Needs Assessment,” she says.

The study will be assessing the needs of the community by combining research and data with input from service providers, stakeholders, community leaders and the public to determine the area’s most pressing needs, according to a news release from the Community Foundation.

“We’re looking all areas of human needs, but particularly focusing basic human needs and financial sustainability, including food and nutrition, clothing and shelter, and physical, economic and health security,” says Day. “We’re looking at health care, of course, and the provision of health care and access to health care. And issues related to children and youth from birth to 24. That also includes family issues as well.”

The Community Foundation, along with the Ausherman Family Foundation, Delaplaine Foundation, Frederick County Government, the Robert C. and Jane C. Ladner Charitable Fund, Helen J. Serini Foundation and the United Way of Frederick County will be holding two public forums next month. Day says it will an opportunity for citizens to listen to presentations, ask questions and offer their input. She says this feedback from the public could help in drafting the study. “So much of what we do here in Frederick County is based on numbers, but also based on perception,” she says. “And we want to hear from people in our community about how they’re feeling about human needs, where they perceive needs to be. There may be something hidden  that we haven’t found.”

One of the forums will take place on Wednesday, September 12th at the Urbana Regional Library at 9020 Amelung Street, in the Anthony M. Natelli Community Room. Parking is available in the front and back of the library. The second forum is scheduled for Thursday, September 13th in the first floor meeting room at Winchester Hall, 12 East Church Street. Parking is available across the street at the parking garage. Both meetings will take place from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.

After the meeting, the consultant doing the Human Needs Assessment update, Devereux Consulting in partnership with Social Science Consultants, will write the report. It’s expected to be released by the beginning of November, according to Day.

She says the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees will use the data in the report to determine upcoming needs in the community, and plan accordingly. But that’s not all of those  who will use it. “I know that county and city and municipal  planning departments use the data included in there. I know the non-profits use the information as a third party reference when applying for grants from private and government sources,” says Day.


By Kevin McManus