Defining the Community
The given paper is devoted to the detailed community assessment with the primary goal to determine its current state and problems that might affect its further development. The selected community is El Portal, Florida. It is a comparatively small diverse enclave placed between Miami Shores and Miami. By the census, its population is 2,325 people (“QuickFacts,” n.d.). There are representatives of various races and cultures living there. White individuals comprise 39,8% of the whole population; African-American persons comprise 50,1%; finally, two other significant groups are Hispanics (28,6%) and Asian (1,2%) (“QuickFacts,” n.d.). Birth rates are high (69,6 per 1000 women) and contribute to the growth of the population (“QuickFacts,” n.d). The diversity of composition preconditions the unique culture and peculiarities of the discussed community. There are various beliefs, customs, and traditions that can be observed there. There are no distinct boundaries between the described ethnic groups as they live on the whole territory; however, there is some tendency in the distribution of demographics as representatives of the same race prefer to live close to each other forming neighborhoods consisting of these individuals.
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Catholicism is the dominant religion in the area as about 24% of people describe them as Christians belonging to this very confession. Another peculiarity is the gradual growth of the village population, which counts 25,4% (“Profile of general population,” n.d.). The average household income is $39,681, which can be taken as the median, especially if compared with other areas (“Profile of general population,” n.d.). Education level is similar to the average one in the USA: there are 81.5% of high school graduates (“QuickFacts,” n.d.). Statistics states that the average age of deaths is 71 (“QuickFacts,” n.d.). In general, the community seems safe and not dangerous both for residents and for newcomers. The primary goal for the investigation of this society is the attempt to determine the existence of hidden problems that might become a serious barrier to development in the future. The assessment is conducted via observations, interviews with locals, and surveys distributed among the representatives of the population living in the area.
Despite the first impression stating that there are no topical problems in the area, the in-depth assessment contributes to the improved understanding of the current state of problematic issues. By the relevant statistics, Miami-Dade County (El Portal belongs to it) has the highest rates of the uninsured population of the USA, as up to 40% of citizens have problems with access to health services (“Miami-Dade County forces of change,” 2018). Additionally, there is a high percentage of underserved populations that might suffer from other problematic issues such as poor access to education, healthcare, and other services demanded a high quality of life. By the national data, there are also problems with unemployment, low income, poverty, and the development of diseases that might deteriorate the heal of the nation.
In this regard, assessment of the selected community is a key for the improved understanding of what are the relevant problems and areas of improvement that should be changed with the primary goal to achieve significant success and ensure that people will benefit from the creation of a new environment. For instance, about 16.3% of families in El Portal live below the poverty line, which means that there is a need for intervention with the primary goal to eliminate the problem and create a new development paradigm. The situation is also complicated by the fact that adolescents and individuals under age 18 also experience multiple hardships caused by high poverty rates (about 9.3% of this group) (“QuickFacts,” n.d.). It indicates the existence of some system problems impacting the life and evolution of the community.
The data needed for the assessment will be gathered from various sources providing relevant and credible statistics about the current state of the population in the USA. Thus, by the provided fact sheet, the appearance, and development of chronic diseases is a significant problem of Miami Dade County, including El Portal (“Miami-Dade County forces of change,” 2018). The information collected from health facilities located in the area evidence that the number of people with long-term complications and states increases every year (“Neighborhood HELP,” n.d). For this reason, there is a need for the improvement of the situation with the primary goal to ensure a better quality of life for people (“Miami-Dade County forces of change,” 2018). Moreover, the development of undesired states is preconditioned by the complicated access to health services peculiar to the area. In many cases, because of the limited access to health facilities and the existence of a high number of uninsured individuals, no appropriate intervention is provided (“Neighborhood HELP,” n.d.). It becomes a serious factor that should be considered while assessing the state of the community.
Traditionally, the area is associated with a high level of HIV/AIDs incidence. Facts show that these two aspects, along with the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), affect a significant part of the population (“HIV surveillance,” n.d.). For El Portal, the problem also remains topical as poor sexual literacy and the lack of knowledge related to this sphere preconditions the appearance of new cases every year (“Miami-Dade County forces of change,” 2018). For this reason, there are multiple attempts to improve the situation by launching various governmental programs aimed at the improvement of the state of health in the area and the provision of needed interventions to all community members. There is also a lack of desire to participate in various social projects because of the inappropriate understanding of their nature.
The official data can be compared to real facts relevant to the selected community at the moment. For this reason, an informant interview is conducted with the primary goal to determine the existing problems and areas that should be given attention. The following questions were asked:
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- What are the strengths of the community?
- What are its weaknesses?
- What areas should be improved first of all?
- Is there is limitless access to healthcare facilities?
- What are the opportunities for future development?
Answers to these questions proved the official statements about the existence of problematic access to healthcare. Additionally, the respondent listed high unemployment rates and price for housing as serious reasons deteriorating the quality of people’s lives here. The situation with SDTs and HIV also remains complex, especially for younger populations as they face poverty and the lack of finances to continue education or engage in some other kinds of activity.
Altogether, El Portal is a community located in Miami County Dade and consisting of representatives of various nationalities. The situation is not critical here as there are some positive aspects such as the absence of race tensions, medium level of income, and opportunities for evolution. However, such serious problems as HIV, STDs, poverty, and high unemployment rates can limit people in their development and precondition the deterioration of the situation. In such a way, the proposed community assessment reveals critical problems that exist in the area and prove the need for various programs or interventions to improve the situation and help people.
HIV surveillance. (n.d.).
Profile of general population and housing characteristics: 2010 demographic profile data. (n.d.). Web.
QuickFacts. (n.d.). Web.