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Monday October 22nd 2018

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16 residents will interview 750 households door-to-door by year’s end

By Janice Barbee
The Backyard Initiative’s Community Interviews are now happening in the Phillips Community and in Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran neighborhoods.

Over the past several months, community residents have been meeting weekly as part of the Backyard Initiative’s Assessment Team. The Assessment Team has been charged by the larger BYI community group that meets monthly to oversee the process of creating a picture of the current state of health and well-being of the residents and families in the Backyard area.

Early on in the process, the community had given feedback to Allina that they did not think that a proposed mail survey would be an effective and accurate method for assessing the health of people who live in the Backyard area. They decided that a better process would be to hold a number of Listening Circles where people would give their input in groups, and a Walk-around process where people would be asked questions about their health in a one-to-one interview. The Assessment Team has been designing the details of this assessment process, including choosing the questions for the Listening Circles and the Walk-around. The team members, including Africans, African Americans, Natives, Latinos, and European Americans, have worked hard to ensure that all the questions are based in the BYI’s definition of health that was first developed by the large group. The questions address physical, mental, and spiritual health as well as personal, family, and community health. The questions focus on what people need as resources for their health as well as what people can do for themselves and each other to improve health.

Members of the community have conducted 20 Listening Circles and the notes from these meetings will soon be read and analyzed by community members with support from staff from Allina, Wilder Research, and the Cultural Wellness Center. The Listening Circles included members from the different cultural communities, men and women, youth and elders, mothers and fathers, members of the GLBTQ community, and people from all the neighborhoods in the Backyard. The questions asked of the residents were:

  1. How do you keep yourself and your family healthy?
  2. How do you maintain harmony and balance in your life?
  3. Who do you turn to for help?

The second phase of the assessment, the Walk-around, will start in early November. Approximately 16 community residents, recruited by the Assessment Team and the Cultural Wellness Center and hired by Wilder and who represent the neighborhoods and the cultural communities, will go door-to-door and conduct interviews with members of 750 households. This number was chosen so that approximately one out of every twenty households in the Backyard area will be asked to participate. The goal is that the community interviews will be completed by the end of the year.

The Assessment Team will also be involved in interpreting the information collected and in creating the reports (both written and by presentation in community gatherings) to the community. Look for announcements in the beginning of 2010 to hear about the results of both the Listening Circles and the Walk-around.

All residents of the Backyard area are welcome to join the large gathering on the first Thursday of every month from 5 – 7 PM. Call the Cultural Wellness Center at 612-721-5745 for the location.

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