The HWC releases it South Omaha Community Assessment, “Our Stories, Our Voices.”

Since its inception in 2009, one of the principle goals of the Heartland Workers Center (HWC) was to increase the participation of Latinos into public life. We’ve worked toward this goal by organizing leader to conduct Get-Out-The-Vote campaigns during Election years and engage in legislative action at both the local, state, and federal levels.

In 2015, the HWC took the opportunity to learn more about the South Omaha community by conducting a community assessment. Our goals were to better understand the issues facing the community, collect data, and identify potential leaders.

For four months, we went door-to-door to ask South Omaha residents about their experiences and opinions on housing and neighborhoods, education, health, public services and assistance, employment, and political participation. In the end, we collected 630 surveys.

Today, the HWC is releasing its findings in our assessment report

Some of the main findings from this report are:

» Nearly half (47.2%) of respondents say that their household must sacrifice expenses, including utilities and food, in order to cover housing expenses.

» Over 65% of respondents said they have lived in their homes for over five years, and 71% said they own their home.

» Over one quarter (28.7%) of respondents say that there are individuals in their household who could be working, but are not working.

» Over one third (35%) of respondents stated that they don’t have health insurance.

» Many residents have serious concerns about street conditions and crime in their community.

» Over one quarter (28.7%) of respondents say that there are individuals in their household who could be working, but are not working.

» Over one third (35%) of respondents stated that they don’t have health insurance.

The release of this report prior to the local elections is also important. More often than not, voter turnout is higher during Presidential Elections than all others. However, the data shows us that many of the concerns of the community can be resolved or addressed at the local or state levels.

While our first goal was achieved through the release of this report, we also hope that assessment participants and community residents will use this data information to engage with each other to make their community better. We found that 77.8% of respondents are interested in working with others to create positive change, which is an asset we hope to build upon, and from there, engage with public officials and policy makers to make lasting change that will benefit South Omaha residents and all of Nebraska.

“Today, more than ever, the findings from our community assessment mark an important moment in South Omaha history,” said Sergio Sosa, HWC Executive Director. “For many families in the U.S., and especially South Omaha, they are experience moments of increasing poverty, instability, and uncertainty because of their immigration status. During this time, where voting can create change, the assessment’s findings become more than just an academic study, but rather a tool that communities have to organize themselves, build collective power, and become protagonists of their own lives to transform their own communities.”

HWC South Omaha Community Assessment in ENGLISH

HWC South Omaha Community Assessment in SPANISH

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