The Oskaloosa Herald, IA 07-04-07 United Way starts needs assessment

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The Oskaloosa Herald, IA
07-04-07
United Way starts needs assessment
By DUANE NOLLEN
Local United Way officials are getting a needs assessment started for Mahaska
County in order to better deliver services so no needy residents fall through the
cracks.
“It’s a two-county-wide needs assessment,” United Way of Mahaska County
Executive Director Jill Dursky said. The assessment will encompass Mahaska
and Wapello counties.
“We’re trying to find all the human services providers in Mahaska County to make
sure everybody is involved with this,” Dursky said. “This survey is going out to a
lot of people.”
Local United Way officials want to find gaps in coverage so they can be closed,
she said.
Iowa State University researchers are conducting the research on the two
counties. United Way officials will link researchers with non-profit agencies and
community members, Dursky said.
“If you get a survey, fill it out and send it back in,” she said.
The surveys will go out to the public in October.
“We hope to have it done by the end of the year,” she said of the needs
assessment.
The assessment will cost $17,000, Dursky said. However, a group of seven local
social service organizations is covering the cost of the assessment, she said.
Dursky said the information from the needs assessment will be used for a
resource directory for use with the United Way’s 2-1-1 information hotline.
The 2-1-1 hotline is a 24-hour a day, seven-days per week information referral
hotline for people seeking help from human services agencies.
“I would like to encourage all groups who have something to offer, be it end of
month meals, back to school supplies, furniture and clothing assistance,
volunteer time, special medical assistance, anything that would help others to
dial 2-1-1 on their telephone and give the information to the people managing this
program,” Dursky said. “The best way to truly help those in need is for 2-1-1 to
have accurate information to give to those who call in for help.”
The United Way of Mahaska County provides funding for the 2-1-1 hotline. The
2-1-1 hotline also is expanding across the nation, she added.
Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at
[email protected]
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