The community chosen for the survey is Cutler Bay community in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Physical environment, people, and service will be assessed in this paper.
The geographical boundaries of the community are SW 184th Street, SW 232 Street, and Biscayne National Park (Town of Cutler Bay, 2013). The community mostly consists of dwelling units (one and two-story family houses), shops, gas stations, supermarkets, several recreational zones, and parks. It is a residential zone that mostly contains dwelling units, as well as transient residential units, such as hotels and motels. Adult care facilities, hospitals, and dormitories are also present. At the same time, there are not many apartment houses in the community. Bungalows (one and two-story) are also present.
There were no signs of decay found in the community. On the contrary, it appears that the financial state of the community is more than satisfactory. According to Town of Cutler Bay (2016), “the Town’s infrastructure operating in an efficiency manner and with sufficient capacity to meet the existing and future demands of Town residents and businesses” (p. 2). In 2014, more than 150 permanent jobs emerged in the community due to the capital investments from financial projects (Town of Cutler Bay, 2016). Thus, the community enjoys a steady financial growth.
The medical services in Cutler Bay include medical centers (Streme Medical Center, Cutler Bay Medical Services Inc, CAC-Florida Medical Centers, etc.), clinics (Continucare At Cutler Ridge, Cora Health, etc.), mental health clinics (Miami Behavioral Health, The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs Inc, etc.), M.Ds (Vivian Hernandez-Popp, M.D., Howard W. Popp, M.D., etc.) (Yellow Pages, n.d.). Health promotion services were seen as well (Vemma Nutrition Corp.), as well as school services (Miami-Dade County Public Schools – Health Programs, At Home Personal Training By MS. LaTRICIA, etc.) (Yellow Pages, n.d.).
No voluntary services were found in the community. Various support groups were identified: Emotions Anonymous, Co-Dependents Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, and others. Faith-based programs and organizations were not found. A variety of retail (SKECHERS Retail, Southland Mall, etc.) and drug stores (Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, etc.), as well as dry cleaning (Gilco Enterprises, Kingdom Cleaners, etc.), were identified).
Transportation services were also available (Car Carrier Network, Big Boyz Towing & Recovery, INC., etc.). The overall perception of the community was positive: little to no signs of poverty and substance abuse, few homeless people, residents’ look well-nourished and healthy. A variety of shops dedicated to sports implies that the community’s residents are interested in healthy activities. The presence of various clinics, hospitals, and mental health services indicates that residents do not experience any lack of access to medical care.
According to City Data (2014), the population of the community is 44,321 (100% of them urban). Median resident age is 36 years, 49.6% of residents are male, and 50.4% are female (City Data, 2014). The most common industries include retail, construction, and wholesale trade (14%, 10%, and 8% respectively) (City Data, 2014).
The community does not appear to have high crime rates or suffer from repeated offenses and law violations. Nevertheless, the crime rate index in the community is only slightly below the mean U.S. crime rate index: 243.4 vs. 264.3 (U.S. average) (City Data, 2014). One police department was identified during the survey (Cutler Ridge Police Department). As to fire stations, there was also one fire station present (Miramar Fire Dept).
The only shelter (crisis intervention center) identified in the community was National Runaway Safeline for adolescents. Adult shelters were only found in the neighboring communities (such as Palmetto Bay, for example). Nevertheless, more than thirty addiction centers were identified, although these mostly targeted substance abusers and not their victims.
Although there was no indication of the neighborhood watch, several safety consultants’ offices were identified that provided services in the prevention of thefts, accidental fire, burglaries, assaults, etc. Thus, despite the lack of shelters for abuse victims, the community’s protective services can be marked as satisfactory.
Adult Care and Recreational Services
Multiple elder care centers were identified during the survey, as well as adult day care centers, assisted living centers, and nursing homes (East Ridge at Cutler Bay, Diamar Adult Daycare Center, Paradise Villa ALF Incorporated, etc.). Personal care homes, including long-term care, were also noticed, although there were much fewer long-term care centers than day care centers (East Ridge Retirement Village, Sunrise Community Inc, A Place For Mom, etc.). No meals on wheels programs were identified, but there were several resale shops (e.g. Goodwill Stores).
The recreational zones and parks were present in abundance in the community; all of them were located in different parts of it, thus allowing the citizens to enjoy their free time without spending too much time on the road to reach the recreational zone. The zones and parks included Ned Glenn Nature Preserve, Saga Lake Park, Lakes by the Bay Park, Cutler Ridge Park, and others (Town of Cutler Bay, 2013). As it can be seen, the adult care and recreational services in the community are more than satisfactory and accessible to all residents.
Community Welfare Services
The residents of the community are at risk of experiencing catastrophes and disasters related to hurricanes common for Florida. The community provides its citizens with information about bus pick-up sites for evacuation and the list of evacuation centers (MDCPS, 2017). The observations have shown that there were no shelters and food/clothes provisions in the community, but there were pick-up sites for evacuation, which implies that citizens are to receive all necessary help from other shelters located in other communities. Therefore, one can conclude that the community lacks any shelters for emergency purposes.
Key Community Issues
Despite the steady economic growth, citizens’ safety in the community raises concerns. First, the lack of official and voluntary services indicates that in the case of emergency, the residents of the community will have to rely on themselves only. A single police department and fire department might be insufficient when battling serious catastrophes such as hurricanes or flood. Additional police and fire departments are necessary to ensure citizens’ safety, both from catastrophes and local issues such as abuse, assaults, theft, possible fire, etc.
The only shelter for adolescents indicates that adults will not be able to seek help if abused by relatives, partners, children, and so on. The community needs to address the existing gap by building shelters for adults, including separate shelters for men and women. Shelters for homeless people would also be helpful in case of emergencies that can lead to homelessness. Furthermore, there are no shelters in the community for evacuation or hurricane/flood emergency.
In the case of a natural disaster, the safety of all residents will be difficult to guarantee, especially those who have mobility difficulties (Wates & Knevitt, 2013). Lack of shelters should be addressed by the community’s officials as soon as possible to ensure that citizens’ safety will not be undermined day by day or during emergencies and all their needs will be addressed as soon as possible.
City Data. (2014). Cutler Bay, Florida. Web.
MDCPS. (2017). 2017 evacuation centers. Web.
Town of Cutler Bay. (2013). Town of Cutler Bay boundary map.Web.
Town of Cutler Bay. (2016). Economic development profile.Web.
Wates, N., & Knevitt, C. (2013). Community architecture (Routledge revivals): How people are creating their own environment. London, England: Routledge.
Yellow Pages. (n.d.). Cutler Bay. Web.