Housing tops concerns in SVUW survey

Housing is the most critical issue on the minds of Minot residents, according to an online survey conducted by the Souris Valley United Way.

The organization recently sought public input in its “What This Place Needs” survey to help guide its future charitable efforts. It asked the public to weigh in on 30 different issues and choose the top five that they felt needed immediate attention. Affordable housing, affordable and available child care, public safety programs, transportation services and basic needs assistance were the overall top five.

“We want to thank everyone who participated in the survey,” Patricia Smith, SVUW executive director said in releasing the information. “There is a lot of great information that we will share with many local organizations.”

“Our next step is to review the information and determine how SVUW can work with local organizations and mobilize a lasting impact on the community,” board president Megan Grundstrom stated in the release.

Nearly 58.6 percent of 694 respondents selected the need for affordable housing or housing assistance as the issue that most needs attention in Minot. Another 46.5 percent selected affordable and available child-care services, while 35.6 percent indicated public safety programs such as neighborhood watches, crime reduction and fire prevention education.

Transportation services were listed by 25.9 percent. Another 24.5 percent said food, clothing, rent, mortgage and utility assistance should be in the top five. Senior services, such as in-home assistance and affordable housing, came in next with 23 percent. Close behind were affordable and available after-school and summer youth programs and homelessness and transitional housing programs.

People were most satisfied with services being provided for senior transportation and hospice care. They also were only minimally concerned about foster care, teen pregnancy and senior meal assistance as immediate needs.

Other issues considered were substance abuse services, medical/dental/mental health care, disaster relief, youth mentoring and leadership programs, anti-bullying, youth fitness, educational support such as tutoring and drop-out prevention, early childhood education, suicide prevention, support for victims of abuse and sexual assault, school readiness, obesity, youth nutrition, personal financial education and counseling, support for people with disabilities and literacy.

About 40 percent of respondents indicated they are current SVUW donors, and 32.8 percent identified as past donors. Community or business leaders made up 23 percent of respondents, and employees of agencies receiving United Way funds accounted for 11 percent.