Residents in southeast Georgetown are in need of transportation options, quality housing, better nutrition and childcare, according to a study completed by the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis from the University of Texas at Austin.
The Southeast Georgetown Needs Assessment, commissioned by the Georgetown Health Foundation, explored the challenges, wants and needs facing low-income residents in southeast Georgetown. Members of the IUPRA research team presented the results to community leaders Nov. 12.
From April to September, the team conducted 19 interviews, 13 focus groups and a survey in order to reach the voices of the most marginalized community members, said Principal Investigator Shetal Vohra-Gupta. The team spoke with low-income residents to gauge their needs, and Vohra-Gupta said those members are often the least active speaking out because of a lack of connection to community leaders.
“When it comes to political participation, they are often the most marginalized, and therefore they don’t participate,” she said. “So it is imperative for those that are in positions of leadership to reach out and to connect to make that connection happen.”
The team’s findings suggested the area needs better public transportation options, quality housing, access to college readiness programs, access to daycare and after school programs, equitable access to healthy foods and nutrition education, access to affordable dental care and quality mental health services, and opportunities to connect with community leaders.
The research team offered short-term and long-term recommendations in order to combat these needs, including installing an affordable public bus system, expanding after-school and summer activities, providing social services in Spanish, increasing access to healthy food options and culturally competent nutritional programs.