NeighborWorks survey looking at South Aberdeen


NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor is primed to begin a resident survey of 200 homes in a South Aberdeen neighborhood. We wanted to let you know about it for three reasons.

First, we wanted to alert residents in that area that flyers with the survey attached will be arriving in the mail soon.

Second, we wanted to tell you all about this nationwide survey that will include Aberdeen.

Third, those residents who complete and return the survey will receive a $5 off coupon from the Dennis Company and have a chance to win a prize – we’ll tell you more about that in a minute!

SOME BACKGROUND

When this organization – then called Aberdeen Neighborhood Housing Services – began in 1981, our goal was to create safe, affordable housing in a target neighborhood in Aberdeen.

Over the last 32 years, and many community partnerships, we have been able to expand on that concept. A few years back, we extended our reach and changed our name to include all of Grays Harbor County.

Along the way we also became a member organization of NeighborWorks of America. So our organization located at 710 East Market St., Aberdeen, is now one of 250 NeighborWorks organizations touching 4,500 communities nationwide.

NeighborWorks of America receives its funding directly from Congress. (And some of the funds the individual NeighborWorks organizations receive come through this parent organization.) The folks at NeighborWorks of America want to demonstrate to Congress the impact these 250 organizations have as a whole. So it’s having its member organizations gather information now and again in 2016.

WHAT WE’VE DONE SO FAR

To comply with the directive, we first had to select a neighborhood in Grays Harbor County to conduct the survey. We did a bit of research and determined that the most likely neighborhood for our needs was somewhere in South Aberdeen.

Then we had to do more research — this time through city water meter addresses and PUD records to put together a data base of all the addresses in the area.

NeighborWorks of America instructed its organizations to focus on neighborhoods having between 500 and 1,200 households. So we took our new data base and determined that from the south side of the Chehalis River, along the north side of Boone Street/Westport Highway to the city limits would fit the parameters.

After determining our area, the first step was to complete a block-by-block survey of the neighborhood and record the general condition of the housing and other aspects of each block. Whew, that’s done!

Then we needed to select 100 individual properties within that area and conduct an individual property condition survey (from the outside of the property). We completed that this summer too!

Now, it’s time to conduct 200 “resident experience surveys” within the area. The first thing we want to let you know is that all survey respondent information will be kept confidential. In fact, those being surveyed don’t even have to give us a name.

Once we’ve turned in the data, NeighborWorks of America will compile all the information nationwide, not locally.

THE SURVEY COMING SOON

As we said, our goal is to have 200 completed surveys from the random households selected within this South Aberdeen neighborhood. To encourage residents to take the survey and get it back to us, we will have a drawing of six $100 Visa gift cards! We have just collected these prizes from our banking and financial partners and are so thrilled – and grateful – that we can offer them as incentives to filling out the survey.

Special thanks to the donors of the gift cards, including Timberland Bank, Bank of the Pacific, Twin Star Credit Union, Anchor Bank, Wells Fargo, and Great NorthWest Federal Credit Union.

Beginning this month, flyers containing the survey will be mailed to the selected addresses. The questions include everything from asking residents how they are involved in their community to how much they like (or don’t like) living here, to questions about public services and perceptions of safety.

People can fill out the questions and return the survey themselves. Surveys and drawing entries can be dropped off either at our office or at the Dennis Company during the selected hours included with the survey flyer. Or, they can call us and have us pick them up. Or, they can even have surveyors ask the questions at their homes and fill in the responses for them.

All people who complete the survey will receive a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase from the Dennis Company. (Thank you Dennis Company!) We are only mailing out 376 flyers.

Once we reach 200 surveys the drawing entry will close, so if you are one of the selected addressees who receive the flyer, make sure to get your completed survey and entry form in before it’s too late.

VOLUNTEERS

If you are someone who would like to volunteer to help us, give us a call. Or, perhaps you’re a business that would like to donate to our prize pool — we’d love to be able to offer even more than the six $100 gift cards and the $5 off coupons to folks who take the time to help our community. Or perhaps you just have questions. Give us a call at 533-7828 and ask for Pat Beaty. He’s the one heading up this big project.

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, remodeling or becoming a homeowner? Call us at 533-7828, or 1-866-533-7828, or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen.