The original cutoff had been planned for Tuesday at about midnight. The deadline extension will now run through Wednesday, March 7.
Earlier earmarked for the month of February, the broad survey — which takes less than 15 minutes to complete online — allows area residents the opportunity to voice their opinions on the quality of social service programming available in Cleveland and Bradley County. It also gives participants the chance to suggest new initiatives that might help to service unmet needs, especially in the 10-month aftermath to the April 27 tornadoes that roared through Bradley County last spring.
The Community Needs Assessment is an outgrowth of the partnership between United Way and the Bradley Memorial Health Endowment Fund.
“We need to review or coordinate, and participate, in this biannual Community Needs Assessment,” Ryerson stressed. “We had designated the entire month of February to assess our community needs.”
United Way leaders hope the one-week extension will allow area residents time to participate before the survey is shut down for another two years.
“The more we learn about what the public feels is a need in our community, the more we can address that need,” Ryerson said in an earlier statement announcing the assessment kickoff. “The public’s opinions are very important to us and we urge any and all residents to join in our effort to improve the quality of life in our community by participating.”
To date, only about 200 responses or less have been recorded. Additional information about the assessment will be released by United Way within the next couple of days.
Although online responses are preferred due to efficiencies, United Way does have available a limited number of paper questionnaires. They can be picked up at the United Way office located at 85 Ocoee St. in downtown Cleveland across from Johnston Park.
Those wishing to participate online may visit the United Way website at www.unitedwaybc.com. Clicking on the Needs Assessment link will give participants access to the survey.
Participants taking the assessment are asked a few demographic questions such as occupation area, level of education, age and gender; however, responses to the questionnaire are strictly anonymous. Participants are asked to rate services in areas such as education, income, health, veterans’ services and support for the elderly.
Those taking the assessment rate these areas in one of five ways: “Very Important Unmet Need,” “Important Unmet Need,” “Need Is Adequately Met” or “No Opinion/Don’t Know.”
The survey is an expectation of the working agreement between United Way and the Bradley Memorial Health Endowment Fund which supports financially new, innovative people programming in Cleveland and Bradley County.
The Community Needs Assessment was last conducted in 2010. Results of the survey from two years ago are also available on the United Way website.
Questions may be directed to Ryerson or Patrick Long, United Way vice president of Community Impact at 423-479-2020 or by sending an email to Ryerson at email@example.com or Long at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2010 assessment received 889 completed survey instruments during a 45-day reporting period. Of these, 732 were done online.
This year’s response numbers are far below the 2010 total.