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Yamhill County Action Partnership (YCAP) seeking input for county needs assessment

BY SETH GORDON

Newberg Graphic reporter

The Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP) is taking a new approach to its periodic needs assessment and is asking for feedback from the community.

YCAP undertakes the assessment every three years and in the past has often done it in conjunction with its annual homeless count, but as part of an effort to broaden input is offering an online survey both for the general public and stakeholders, such as elected officials, service providers and faith leaders.

"We wanted to change it up to get a different representation," said YCAP Client Services Coordinator Mandy Gawf. "We want to hear from people who are middle class as well as people who are homeless or low income."

The online survey represents the second of three phases in the assessment, which is also a new approach, Gawf said.

The first stage examined existing resources in each community in the county and integrated them into a digital map.

YCAP is now asking people to visit its website (www.yamhillcap.org) to take the survey. They have increased public outreach efforts, as well, including a social media campaign that sends a survey link directly to people who post using the hashtag "#yamhillcountylife" while sharing what they like about living in the county.

Paper copies of the survey were also distributed to service agencies and each participant is entered into a raffle for a $100 Visa gift card.

"The more we get, the more confident we can be in our results," Gawf said. "We have had a good response, but we'd like to keep getting the margin of error lower and feel even more confident in the results."

The third phase of the program will come in the spring and involve hosting forums in each community in the county, at which YCAP will not only present the overall and local results but seek further input from community members. George Fox University has already agreed to host one in Newberg.

"We hope to present it in a format that is easy to understand, available to anyone who wants it, but we also plan to present it around the county," Gawf said.

The effort will conclude with the production of a final report, hopefully by June.

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