Periodically, United Way of Greater Nashua facilitates a community assessment that provides a snapshot of our area’s health. Health is defined broadly as a state of complete well-being — physical, social and mental — and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The extensive use of data from original and secondary sources makes this assessment the only compendium of health and human care issues for Greater Nashua.
United Way’s volunteers use the results as the basis for funding decisions through its Community Impact Fund, with programs that specifically address issues highlighted in the community assessment being favored. Non-profit agencies use the assessment in developing grant proposals and strategic plans, and community service clubs use it to help set priorities for annual projects.
Download the executive summary or full report below:
Summary of Findings
As also reported in the three assessments immediately preceding this one, providers ranked affordable housing as the number one community issue. Household survey respondents ranked affordable housing as the second-greatest community concern. Health related issues– affordable medical and dental insurance, and affordable medications, medical care, and dental care — are also among the top concerns. Unemployment and basic needs issues are rising due to the faltering economy.
Here are some highlights:
- Affordable housing. Despite lower housing prices ($256,000 median price in 2008, down from $279,900 in mid-2005), rents remain high. The median rental cost for a two-bedroom unit in Nashua during 2008 was $1,085 per month.
- Economy/basic needs. Data from 2-1-1 NH reveals that during the period of July through December 2008, 39% of Greater Nashua callers sought information about financial supports, including temporary financial assistance, help with utility payments, government programs, and emergency food.
- Health. Affordable medical insurance ranked as the top community and family concern in the household survey. Affordable dental insurance and dental care also ranked high in the household and provider surveys. Cancer and heart disease are leading causes of death..
- Population trends. In Hillsborough County, the 65+ age group is expected to grow at five times the rate of the general population over the next 20 years..
How was the assessment compiled?
The 2009 Community Assessment, “Greater Nashua Measures Up,” was compiled using several techniques.
- Regional Household Survey: An extensive set of questions was posed to 500 area residents over the telephone in December 2007. Survey respondents came from a randomly selected sample representative of households from the 11 towns in the region.
- Human Services Provider Survey: Area health and human service agencies were asked to complete the community issues portion of the household survey. Sixty-one questionnaires were returned and analyzed separately from the household responders.
- Focus Groups: Five focus groups including two groups of service recipients, two groups of new immigrants, and area clergy contributed their thoughts and ideas to the assessment.
- Analysis of Data Developed by Others: Statistics collected from many sources were studied to help document local health and social trends. These include the 2000 Census of Population and Housing, the Bureau of the Census’ 2006 American Community Survey, New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority’s Annual Residential Rental Cost Survey,and Greater Nashua Continuum of Care’s point-in-time count of the area’s homeless, as well as state and local government data on education, employment, crime, and health status.
- A 21-member Community Assessment Committee guided the assessment process from its inception. The committee would like to extend its appreciation to St. Joseph Hospital, Southern NH Medical Center, and United Way of Greater Nashua for supporting the assessment process. In addition, the committee would like to thank BAE Systems for printing assistance. The assessment could not have been completed without the support of all these organizations.
What is a healthy community?
A healthy community:
- Values growth and diversity of its population.
- Ensures that the basic human/physiologic needs are met.
- Fosters respect for oneself, each other and the community as a whole.
- Provides a safe, secure and stable environment for its residents.
- Cares for one another and the community as a whole.
- Supports education and personal growth along the entire spectrum of life.
(Note: percentages listed in all surveys reflect respondents’ rating of an issue as a “major problem.”)
Top 10 Issues Identified by Household Survey:
- 51% Affordable medical insurance
- 46% Affordable housing
- 45% Affordable medical care
- 42% Affordable medications
- 40% Affordable dental care
- 39% Affordable dental insurance
- 28% Affordable child care
- 28% Having enough money to meet everyday expenses
- 25% Illegal drug use by youth
- 23% Public transportation
Top 10 Issues Identified by Providers’ Survey:
- 92% Affordable housing
- 89% Affordable medical insurance
- 84% Affordable dental insurance
- 82% Affordable dental care
- 79% Affordable medications
- 74% Affordable medical care
- 74% Affordable child care
- 61% Finding a job with medical benefits
- 56% Poverty
- 51% High levels of stress at home
- 51% Affordable legal services
Top 10 Issues Identified by Household Survey:
- 20% Affordable medical insurance
- 18% Affordable medical care
- 18% Affordable dental insurance
- 16% Affordable medications
- 16% Affordable dental care
- 13% Household budgeting
- 11% Affordable housing
- 11% Having enough money to meet everyday expenses
- 11% Finding a job with medical benefits
- 11% Job security
For more info, contact Paul Hebert with any questions at: 882-4011 or send email to: email@example.com