Patrick Lancaster, manager of social programs and services for Lloyminster Family and Community Support Services launched a new Social Needs Survey in partnership with the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation at the city’s Operations Centre on Sept. 19. The event included a chalk board for people to write in their social need for a photo op. The survey is online at the lloydneeds.ca website until Oct. 16. GEOFF LEE LSS PHOTO
The City of Lloydminster is hoping at least 2,000 residents from all social stripes will answer a call to complete an online Social Needs Survey.
The project was launched Monday at the city’s Operations Centre by the Lloydminster Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), in partnership with the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, with an Oct. 16 completion deadline.
Patrick Lancaster, manager of social programs and services, said the survey will provide FCSS with an updated snapshot of local social needs.
“The survey will give us an indication of how our residents are doing, what is their social well being looking like, what kind of issues are affecting their day-to-day lives, and what is important to them, what do they feel we should be addressing,” said Lancaster.
He said it has been a number of years since the last social needs assessment has been conducted, and it was time to “take a fresh breath and find out what we need to know about the community” in order to move forward.
He said the survey is one tool in the social needs assessment the project partners will be utilizing.
“It does allow us to reach a wide audience and collect some data that we will be able to analyze,” he said.
“It will give us a piece of the puzzle.”
He said once the survey is done, staff will be going back to community stakeholders and having conversations and interviews with them.
They will also be conducting some focus groups within the community to get the whole picture of what the social needs are.
A promotional video highlighted some suggested social needs, from having accessible outdoor spaces and an outreach centre for the homeless, to better career and job counselling.
“We do get a broad range of inquiries from the public about different services within our FCSS, ranging from transportation to access to financial support to just feeling lonely and needing some connection in the community,” said Lancaster.
“Everyone’s situation in the community is complex and unique, and our intent with the survey is to get a better understanding of that.”
Mayor Gerald Aalbers said there is always a need for more information “to ensure that we’ve got a good grasp of things from the city’s perspective, giving council direction, and what the community wants to see.”
Information from the survey will go into a report that will make its way to council to provide city leadership with some direction, and social needs priorities and strategic planning.
The needs surveys can be completed online at the lloydneeds.ca website on smart phones and on-paper form.
The needs survey takes approximately 7-10 minutes and is made up of multiple choice, drop down, text and comment sections.
The city urges residents over the age of 17 to complete the confidential survey.