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Maggie Holm hopes for ample data from survey to help better improve local resources

COURTESY PHOTO  - The Sandy Social Services Task Force was 'developed to address the complex issues of social services access for the wider Sandy community,' including issues such as food insecurity, financial instability, internet access and more. Though the Sandy City Council is tasked with serving those living within Sandy's city limits, the city itself regularly provides services that benefit people from the surrounding communities of Boring, Welches, Estacada and more.

To make sure these services are still applicable, and discover additional needs, the recently established Sandy Social Services Taskforce has published a survey for anyone who may regularly use Sandy services, such as the library, transit or assistance programs.

"The questions on the survey cover different challenges you or your household may be facing as well as your experience and impression of community issues overall," the survey introduction reads.

Maggie Holm, who leads the task force, said this survey is "a really important step in the process" of making sure people have access to needed resources.

The survey asks questions like, "Where do you find out information about services and issues happening within the community?" and "Do you have reliable internet service at home?"

It also asks the participants to rate certain experiences they've had in Sandy and asks questions to assess the city's existing strengths.

After the surveys are gathered, the task force plans to create focus groups to assess each need or strength highlighted by the results.

Residents of Sandy, Estacada, Eagle Creek, Boring, Rhododendron, Brightwood, and Welches areas, plus those who might work or spend time in Sandy but live elsewhere are welcome to complete the survey online at polco.us/snfsm8. 

For those without adequate internet access, paper copies of the survey are available at Sandy City Hall, 39250 Pioneer Blvd., and can be returned using the secure drop-off chute primarily used for utility payments. You can also visit the Sandy Public Library, 38980 Proctor Blvd., or Hoodland Library, 24525 E. Welches Road, to request assistance completing the survey.

"We definitely want people who don't have that access to be able to participate in the survey," Holm explained. "I feel very strongly that we need to meet people where they are."

The survey will be live until at least Friday, Oct. 15, but that date could be extended to allow more time for those with less-adequate access to participate.

"It's easier to dismiss things when we don't have data to back it up," Holm said. "That's why it's so important to get the most responses possible. (Without community feedback) maybe we see one piece of the puzzle, but not the whole thing. We have the energy behind us to do something with this data and people really do want to help each other. I've been really impressed with how compassionate people (on the task force) have been so far."

Holm said that though the surveys themselves are completely anonymous — no one on the task force or with the city will know who answered the survey — the website does give you an open of going to another page after completing the form and entering your name for a chance at a raffle prize.

"I know it's a lot to ask people to open up about their needs and lives, and I'm grateful for those who participate in the survey," Holm added. "We genuinely value their time and want to know what people are really experiencing."

The survey available in Spanish, Russian, Tagalog and Chinese (both Traditional and Simplified). There is also more information on the survey available at facebook.com/SocialServicesTaskForce. For more information about the task force, visit tinyurl.com/53nxb6xw.


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