Do you need help finding a job? Are there enough health clinics where you live? And how is the public transport?
Through February 25, Natrona County will be surveying residents about the most pressing needs facing them and their communities.
The survey, conducted every three years, determines how much federal money the county receives for a number of anti-poverty programs.
This money is called the Community Services Block Grant, and it’s been around since the Reagan administration. Most of the programs it funds focus on things like housing, food, education, and health care.
In Wyoming, the Department of Health oversees the distribution of Community Service Block Grant money. The department then distributes it among 15 local Wyoming organizations.
According to the department’s website, Natrona County got $607,811 from the grant for fiscal year 2022 — the most of any county in the state.
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The state has received a total of $37.4 million from the Community Services Block Grant since 2013, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.
The amount of money counties receive is based on the amount of need they report. This is where the investigation comes in.
The Natrona County survey asks residents about their income, living situation, whether they have decent health care, enough to eat, and more.
He also asks how they think the rest of the county is doing — whether more or less money should go to community services, in other words.
The survey distinguishes between responses from people who work in nonprofits, businesses and local government agencies and those from other residents. This is how the county can compare what these different groups are noticing to what people are reporting in the field.
“Sometimes we see differences between what residents think and what service providers think,” said Joe Coyne, senior consultant at Community Builders, Inc. The Douglas-based consulting firm is administering the survey on behalf of the Natrona County.
The survey will only be open for a few weeks. With such a quick turnaround, it can be difficult to get enough responses to paint a clear picture of what’s happening in a community, especially in rural states like Wyoming.
“Sometimes we have great answers, sometimes we don’t,” Coyne said.
The survey results will be supplemented with data from places like the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other surveys conducted over the past year, he added.
In about a month, Coyne’s group will present the results to the board that oversees Community Services Block Grant money in Natrona County. Those results will also be made public, Coyne said.
Visit surveymonkey.com/r/Natrona2022CSBGsurvey to take the survey.