About the Problem
According to our survey data, 135 out of 408 survey respondents stated "homelessness" as their problem in our community. 101 out of 135 thought that homelessness was the primary problem. According to SAMHSA, "Homelessness is any persons lacking a fixed regular and adequate night time residence." Additionally, according to ighomeless.org, "homelessness is a global challenge." Therefore our community, is not the only place facing this kind of humanitarian problem.
We first created a survey of 6 questions using Survey Monkey. Each of these questions was designed to determine the respondent's connection to the community, determine a problem and solution from the perspective of the respondent's, and gauge the importance of the problem. Next, a link was sent out to community members through websites, social media, email, and text. We also showed up to various businesses and organizations to personally speak with folks about their concerns.
According to worldpopulationreview.com, our community has a population of 26,249 (52% Hispanic, 21% White, 13.3% Black- californiademographics.com). 135 survey respondents (open to mixed demographics) stated as being affected by homelessness.
Our survey data shows the homeless on the streets being consistent for "years". However, some respondents stated they "don't feel safe", and "always have a fear" in our community bringing the idea that homeless interaction issues occur often.
According to our survey data, 402 out of 408 responded to the time frame of this problem. 1/402 stated "days", 3/402 "weeks", 19/402 "months", and 357/402 "years". We allowed an "other" choice and interpreted more info to be "years" in 369/402.
Survey respondents stated, homeless are "sleeping on the streets", "coming into our yards", "leaving trash", "vandalizing", "begging", "harassing", committing "crimes", and residents "don't feel safe". Some residents feel "sad" about situation.
Our community pop. is 26,249. We received 135 respondents (0.51% of pop.) concerned with homelessness. 26,114 people did not respond or did not find homelessness as a problem. Therefore, the community at large did not show homelessness was a problem.
According to our survey data, old empty buildings, streets, parks, desert, riverbed, sidewalk, business areas, downtown, parking lots, gas stations, restaurants, church, public restrooms, were various locations pointed out by respondents.
Of the 134 respondents to Q3 (Connection to community?), the "residents" (75%), "employed in community" (8.2%), "residents to surrounding areas" (11.2%), "visitors" (1.5%), "travelers" (1.5%), and previous residents (3%), wanted the problem fixed.
For this study, we used a mixed method of collecting both quantitative and qualitative data for our research following the process of “triangulation” to increase the validity and reliability of results (Sagor, 2000). For the quantitative data, we analyzed previously collected homeless data, unofficial interviews, personal observations, and survey responses provided by the community. For the survey questions, we used multiple choice and open-ended questions. Due to time constraints, research on survey respondents data took place from 1/23/2023 to 2/6/23. Survey Questions including Raw data for multiple choice: Q1: What is your connection to the community of X? 70.94% (288) Resident (I live in the Community) 10.10% (41) Employed (I work in the Community of X or surrounding area) 8.87% (36) Resident to Surrounding Area 1.72% (7) Visitor (Stayed for a short period in the community of X) 1.23% (5) Traveler (Passing through the community of X) 7.14% (29) Other (Please specify) Total (406) Q2: What is an ongoing problem in the community of X that has made it difficult for you and others? Q3: How has this problem made it difficult for you and others in the community of X? Q4: How long has this problem been continuing for? 0.25% (1) Days 0.75% (3) Weeks 4.73% (19) Months 88.81% (357) Years 5.47% (22) Other Total (402) Q5: Do you recommend a solution, or answer, to solve the ongoing problem in the community of X? Q6: Have you brought the problem up to any community of X leaders? 30.73% (122) Yes 60.20% (239) No 9.07% (36) Other (Please Specify) Total (397) Q6: Interpreted Data for "Other-Please specify". Positive responses: (11) Pointed out specific leaders in the community or places they they informed. Negative responses: (12) Examples- "It would go in deaf ears", "discussed before but no results", "wouldn't change a thing", "go through one ear and come out of the other", "no one in a leadership position in our community listens", that's just the way it always has been", "people brought it to the city... and it got shot down", and "they are the problem". The use of surveys provided our team with incredible data from the community. There may have been more responses that pointed towards homelessness as a community problem, however we chose only those surveys that we clearly interpreted as specifically focused on homelessness. Additionally, we had the same issue with determining the solution and only chose those responses that we clearly interpreted as a solution specifically focused on homelessness. Although many of the respondents (28% or 34 out of 122) stated a shelter was needed to support the homeless, we felt that this was only a temporary solution. If we wanted to get these folks "back on their feet", we would need to get them into affordable housing under their own income. We felt that shelters could be potentially between Step 1 and Step 2 to allow these folks some comfort and cleanliness while improving their academics and skills for jobs, but we did not want this to be their final placement. Our goal was to get these folks "back on their feet" under their own income and in their own affordable house. Thirty-seven students on the team provided assistance in some part in the creation of this project. Each student either read, wrote, pitched ideas, raised questions, met before/after school for additional support, created questions for the survey, passed out survey, spoke with community members about the surveys, analyzed data, helped fill out questions on the SolveCC application, and/or assisted in the final presentation of the video. Disclaimer: To protect our community, we used "Community X" as a pseudonym for our community. We have also not included certain links or changed part of the the links that included research in our community. However, we can give SolveCC the links upon request. References Adobe. (2023). Unlock your creativity with stock images, stock videos, stock photos, and more. Adobe stock. https://stock.adobe.com/. CUBIT Planning. (2023). Is community X the best california city for your business?. California Demographics. https://www.california-demographics.com/. Google. (2023). Spreadsheet. 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Purdue Online Writing Lab. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_electronic_sources.html. Sagor, R. (2000). Guiding school improvement with action research. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. San Bernardino County. (2022). Continuum of care homeless count and survey final report. SB County. https://www.sbcounty.gov/uploads/sbchp/SBC-2022-Homeless-Count-Report.pdf. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2023, March). Definitions of homelessness. Soar Works. https://soarworks.samhsa.gov/article/definitions-of-homelessness. The Shower of Hope. (2019). We are bringing back #hope into the community. The Shower of Hope. https://theshowerofhope.org/. World Population Review. (2023). Community x, california population 2023. World Population Review. https://worldpopulationreview.com/.