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Community Needs Assessment

Community Needs Assessment

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The history of Miami dates back to over 10, 000 years ago when the Paleo-Indians inhabited the edge of South Biscayne. As an urban community, Miami is situated along the Coast of Atlantic in South-eastern Florida. Miami is located on a plain between Biscayne Bay and the Florida Everglades at 25º 78' N, 80º 22' W (“The City of Miami”, 2014).  As an urban center bordering the Atlantic, Miami has sandy beaches and several islands towards the east.  Miami is twelve feet above the sea level and an average temperature there is 68.2 °F and 83.7° in January and July consecutively. Miami receives and annual precipitation of 58.53 inches, and it is the second most humid city in the US (”The City of Miami”, 2014). It has an extensive area of 1, 946 square miles.

Most of the water used in Miami comes from underground wells and is supplied by the Miami-Dade County. The main supply comes from Biscayne Aquifer. Public and Private sewer system helps in the movement of the entire community sewage. Waste and trash is collected and disposed of by the Miami waste Department. Some of the major sources of toxic pollutants include vehicle emissions and chemical effluents from industries. Miami has no major animal reservoirs and vectors. However, there is abundant fauna and flora. There are seven main floral zones or points in Miami, and the present fauna includes birds, alligators and crocodiles, black bears, bottlenose dolphins, manatees and panthers.

The air quality in Miami is “good” most of the year. The air is mostly clear, odorless and it has a particle pollution of between 2.5-10 (”The City of Miami”, 2014). Since the population of Miami is highly mixed, most of the food supplies come from restaurant and groceries. However, much of the food served in the restaurants are fast foods and food prepared through deep frying. As a community bordering the Atlantic coast, Miami is prone to a potential disaster of hurricane. The devastating effect of this disaster is being magnified by the fact that more and more people continue to settle in Miami every year. However, the Miami Heath Department in partnership with another emegency department is aware of this potential threat. In preparation, the departments have provided guiding policies, training and development and evacuation procedures to all citizens and visitors.

Private and public housing is the most common type of housing in Miami. According to the 2010 census report there were 826, 179 households from 2008-2012, and 999, 993 housing units (”The City of Miami”, 2014). The County Government of Miami is very stringent on the housing conditions. Therefore, most of the houses in Miami are maintained for maximum safety of inhabitants. They are equipped with modern sanitary equipment. According to 2010 census, 56.8% of the houses in Miami were privately owned, while only 43.2% were publicly owned.

Housing for special population includes near homeless people, but the government is not helping these people. For the homeless, there are special programs such as Homeless Assistance Program that offers housing solution to the homeless. There are also private organizations involved in the provision of housing to the homeless. Frail and elderly are provided with housing solution by organizations such as The Miami Beach Day Care for Frail and Elderly.

Tourism is the leading industry in Miami. Other major occupations include banking, customer service representatives, and administrative assistants, secretarial, legal, executive and medical professions.

The 2010 census indicated that there were 2, 496, 435 people in Miami with a population density of 1, 026 per square mile. Population per square mile was 1, 315.5. Mobility rate reached 12.5% up from 11.9% in 2008 (Mather et al. 2011). Most of the families consist of a father, a mother and children.

14.1% of the population living in Miami is retired. In 2010, 49.2% of the population was males, and 50.8% were females. In 2010, 65% of the population was Hispanic. Miami registered a birth rate of 17.6 and the death rate of 5.24 (”The City of Miami”, 2014). Infant mortality was 18.9% per every 1000 births. Maternal mortality rate was 9. In Miami heart diseases and cancer are the leading causes of death. Conseequently, these two diseases are also the leading causes of morbidity. The elderly are more prone to heart diseases and cancer than young people.

Although Miami has not achieved its full economic potential, it aims at becoming a world class city and act as a leader in innovation, connectivity and interchange center. The government has launched several projects to ensure this is realized. The residents of Miami use both formal and informal communication. However, formal communication network is utilized more than an informal network. Suicide and homicide cases are the 9th in the list of causes of death in Miami. It is highest among people aged 25-34, followed by those aged 15-15, 35-44 and the least among people aged 45-54. Provision of protective services is done by both the government and authorized private agencies. Main sources of stress to many people living in Miami include unemployment, job insecurity, family or domestic conflicts, work related stress and the environment in general. Approximately 39.76% of the residents are religious. In 2013, there were 18, 815 registered marriages (Mather et al. 2011).

Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Italian and German are the main languages used in Miami. Miami is governed by board of county commissioners in conjunction with the Mayor. They are located at 776 Northeast 125 streets- 2nd floor.  Miami has both the private and public schooling system (Mather et al. 2011). There are also public and private libraries. In most institutions services for special population such as pregnant teens, adults with special problems, children and adults who are developmentally disabled, children and adults who are blind and/or deaf, are given special considerations.

In conclusion, Miami is an endowed urban center which has the potential to meet the economic and social needs of all the community groups. However, a lot of commitment will be needed from the government. The government or the relevant authorities should involve the community so as to address the most pressing issues. It will not be in the best interest of the community if the government will develop or come up with ambitious projects without involving the people.

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