Survey input

Mary Kirkendoll (right) from United Way and Tina Jinkens (center) from the Lions Club speak Sunday with resident Jaime Peterson (left) about a survey to gather data on what resources the community needs.

Local input is needed on a survey aimed at determining what the greatest service needs are in Eudora.

United Way and the Lions Club partnered this year to help make and distribute the newest needs assessment survey to residents. The survey began earlier this month and is open until Friday.

The survey is anonymous and asks residents to choose the top five resources that will best support them and the community. The options include:

  • Grocery support

  • Rental support

  • Utility support

  • Transportation

  • Internet access

  • Mental/emotional support

  • Education/job training/budget management

  • Healthy living (nutritional education)

  • Medical and assistive devices (glasses, hearing aids, etc.)

  • Animal support

  • Technology support/education

  • Child care 

United Way Community Navigator Mary Kirkendoll wanted to create an easy way for community members to express their needs and get their message across clearly. 

“I spent the last 10months assessing what the needs were through my AmeriCorps position, but really it needs to come from community members and what they need and what they think is viable in their community,” Kirkendoll said.

The Lions Club conducts a needs assessment every three to five years for the community. Kirkendoll joined as a member and began to work on a new assessment for the city.

Along with choosing five resource priorities, the survey also asks demographic questions, such as age group and location within the city. 

“We hoped that just having the one question would make it easy and accessible for people to want to do the survey, and so far, that has been the case,” Kirkendoll said.

Eudora Lions Club secretary Eric Strimple has pushed awareness of the survey on social media and said partnering with United Way has helped.

“We can get a broader range of responses from the community and the needs list is broader as well. Some needs may not be something that the Lions Club can assist with but partnering with the United Way is going to allow us to look for outside agencies to help citizens in Eudora with needs that they feel are needed,” Strimple said.

The survey has been getting more traffic than Kirkendoll expected, with more than 50 responses in the first few days. Volunteers have also been going door-to-door raising awareness of the survey and its importance.

“We are doing a walking campaign, so we get to each of the four quadrants that we split Eudora into because we want to have a variety of input for all ages, income and race,” Kirkendoll said

Paper copies of the survey are available at multiple locations, including the library and the Parks & Recreation Department.

Volunteer Laura Smith spoke with residents in her neighborhood alongside Kirkendoll. Smith said some people were hesitant to talk with them but quickly warmed up.

“Once we told them what we were doing, it was so awesome to see them kind of relax a little bit and want to talk to us. The stories that we heard and the connections that were made were just really wonderful,” Smith said.

When the survey finishes at the end of the month. Kirkendoll will present the findings to the Eudora city commissioners and the Douglas County commissioners to discuss the necessary actions to fulfill the community’s needs.

The survey can be found online here.

Reach reporter William Crow at eudoratimes@gmail.com

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