In 1981 a fledgling organization called Aberdeen Neighborhood Housing Services was formed to help restore and revitalize areas in Aberdeen.
Thirty-six years later and now with a bigger scope to serve all of this county, we do business as NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor.
Lately we are harkening back to the old days of this organization as we conduct a “Community Impact Measurement” survey to take a close look at both the objective realities of a South Aberdeen neighborhood as well as how residents feel about their neighborhood.
APPLES TO APPLES
NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor is a non-profit organization and a charter member of NeighborWorks America. We are one of 245 organizations in the country working to strengthen our community neighborhoods.
Our mission is to “develop partnerships in the community between business, government, and residents to create safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.”
In the last few years, our national organization has asked that each of the local organizations survey a neighborhood to see if the efforts of our work are being seen and felt.
We are fairly unique among the local organizations in that we have such a large area that we serve .Within the large area we selected a neighborhood in South Aberdeen which is west of Boone Street to the river and from the bridge to the Westport highway.
Three years ago we conducted a survey in that area and it’s time again to see what kinds of changes have occurred there.
We want to contact 780 households including families located in multi-unit buildings to ask them questions about themselves, their home and their neighborhood.
The 38-question-long survey takes about 15 minutes or less.
In addition to the written survey, we have gathered observations about what exists on every block in this neighborhood.
After gathering this information three years ago, we’re eager to see how the neighborhood has changed, but also how the residents feel about their neighborhood from three years ago.
LIVE ON THE SOUTH SIDE?
In the next few weeks those who happen to live in this neighborhood will likely see and talk to our community volunteer Curtis Steinhauer about taking the short neighborhood survey. He will begin gathering your input, at various public places – neighborhood stores, churches, etc. – working to contact as many people as possible who live within the neighborhood boundaries.
Curtis is a local. He grew up in Lake Quinault, has just graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia and has a passion for this community and the careful development in Grays Harbor.
He’s been volunteering in our community for one purpose or another since he was 12-years old. We can’t say enough about him or his passion to help people!
As Curtis would explain, “The survey can
be taken online or people can stop by the south side Dennis Company to pick up a copy.”
Of course people can also pick up a copy at the NeighborWorks office on 710 E Market Street, or can call the office at 533-7828 to have one sent to them.
Curtis is also taking around fliers and conducting a Facebook campaign to attract participation from residents within the neighborhood survey area in south Aberdeen.
“The questions cover things like if people feel safe, what improvements they want to see, etc., as well as basic demographic questions,” he said. “It is completely anonymous, but because of the nature of the information we’re gathering, a street address is connected to each set of data,” he explained.
“That is thrown into a spread sheet so we can look for averages or trends how safe people feel or what areas do people feel they have good access to a park, for instance, and sort it by areas and even by needs people have expressed in the survey.”
So Southsiders, be on the lookout for Curtis and take a moment to fill out the survey online. The information gleaned from your donation of time could be used later to help develop funding for things like parks, home rehabilitation services, or bring to light common issues and concerns in the neighborhood that you all feel need to be addressed.
If you have any questions at all, please give the office a call from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
FIRST TIME HOMEBUYER ADVICE
First-time homebuyer? To get the best loans, get educated. Check out HomeSage.org for your internet homebuyer education and housing counseling needs. We here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor will help you get it done. We may be able to help you finance your home purchase, too.
Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.
Do you have questions about home repair, renting, remodeling or becoming a homeowner or one of our contractors? We have rehab loan funds at tailored rates! Call us at 533-7828, write us or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen.