The Lloydminster Family and Community Support Services along with the Lloydminster Regional Health Foundation is conducting a social needs assessment through a survey.
“The survey will give us an indication of how are residents doing, what is their social well being looking like, what kind of issues are affecting their day to day lives and what is important to them, what do they feel we should be addressing,” says Patrick Lancaster, Manager of Social Programs and Services.
The survey can be done online, on tablets found at various locations throughout the city and by paper. The survey is compromised of multiple choice, drop down and written response questions. It takes about seven minutes to complete and the City is encouraging everyone over the age of 17 to take the survey.
“At the end of the data gathering process, we hope to have some idea of what are the things that are affecting residents, what are their needs, what are the priorities. Then we can apply that to developing city policy, we can apply that to developing programs and we can develop different funding directions for our Family and Community Support grant programs,” says Lancaster
Mayor Gerald Aalbers says, “as council we have the responsibility to balance the needs and the wants of the community but [the result will] certainly help us with strategic planning and the planning for the folks in administration to move thing forward and bring forward ideas because we can give them some direction based on the needs that we’ve identified.”
Aalbers adds, “there’s all sorts of issues in our community, that we’re not immune to. Every community has these, it doesn’t matter if you’re Vancouver or if you’re Marshall, Saskatchewan. We know that these needs exist in every community, so we want to make sure we address those needs as best as we can.”
The survey is part of a three step plan, the next step is to engage stakeholders and conduct focus groups.
“It’s been a number of years since the last social needs assessment has been conducted. We feel like we need to take a fresh breath and find out what we need to know about the community in order to move forward,” says Lancaster.
The city hopes to receive at least 2000 responses. The survey will be open until October 16.