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Community Teamwork Launches Needs Assessment Survey ~ Available online/in print through February 2020

By NICOLE DEFEUDIS | ndefeudis@lowellsun.com | Lowell Sun

PUBLISHED: January 5, 2020 at 3:09 pm | UPDATED: January 5, 2020 at 3:13 pm

LOWELL — Starting Tuesday, Community Teamwork will once again collect responses from those in Lowell and neighboring towns on issues surrounding poverty.

The community action agency conducts a Community Needs Assessment every three years to guide its programs and services. The last survey, conducted in 2018, spurred two summits and a city task force to address youth homelessness.

This year, CTI hopes to more than triple participation in the survey.

“We have the resources to respond to the needs (of the communities), but we need to know what they are,” CTI Director of Development and Marketing Kathleen Plath said.

Most questions are multiple choice, with the exception of one open-ended response. Community members can submit the survey anonymously, Plath said.

After collecting responses, CTI will compile and analyze the data to form a Community Assessment Report and Strategic Plan, which will be published and released to the public.

“We really use this as a way to really engage the whole community and share what we’re seeing as some of the needs,” Plath said.

CTI will collect responses from those in Lowell, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro and Westford.

The agency hopes to achieve as much diversity as possible in the responses, Plath explained. The survey can be accessed online in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Print versions are available in each of those languages, as well as Khmer.

Grants Coordinator Miranda Allan urges those from all participating communities to take the survey.

“What poverty looks like Lowell might be really different to what it look like in Westford, for example,” she said.

Those who complete the survey have the option to enter a raffle for a $100 Visa gift card.

“It’s important at this stage of the game that we get as much feedback … as possible,” Plath said.

The survey can be found at commteam.org. CTI will also disperse print versions to local libraries and municipal buildings.

Organizations that wish to receive print copies can contact Miranda Allan at MAllan@commteam.org.