As a part of Growing Home’s commitment to creating a more thriving and equitable north Metro Denver region, one family at a time, we often connect the families we work with to different groups conducting community needs assessments. Recently 31 participants from Growing Home provided feedback for a community needs assessment for Adams County. Thirty-one participants provided feedback via surveys and focus groups. A few items to note of what the community perceives as the greatest needs as well as how COVID has impacted Growing Home are outlined below.
Out of 6 categories of Education, Employment, Health, Housing, Money Management, and Civic Engagement, the top 3 community needs identified were Education, Health, and Housing. These findings help reinforce that Growing Home’s focus on food access (which plays a direct role in health), housing stability, and early childhood education/parenting supports are well aligned with the areas of greatest needs.
When the Growing Home families were asked how COVID has impacted them, participants cited the following impacts:
- 100% have been impacted by COVID in some way
- 90% have felt education impacts of COVID
- 90% have had their employment impacted by COVID
- 80% have had hours reduced
- 7% have had hours increased
- 52% have lost a job
- 20% have been furloughed or placed on leave without pay
- 23% are working from home with children present
- 55% have had unmet food & nutritional needs and/or limited food
- 84% have experienced physical effects of stress
- 61% have been unable to schedule medical or healthcare related appointments
- 42% have had negative changes in mental health
- 36% have had housing impacted; 36% were unable to pay rent or mortgage
- 77% have experienced a decrease in income
- 47% have increased their debt
These finding highlight the vital nature Growing Home services play in the lives of families during the pandemic. As one participant noted what asked what Growing Home does well, she stated that “Growing Home is an organization that does all it can and has made a difference in people’s lives”.