Lacey L. Herring & Claire Nichols
Louisiana State University, School of Social Work
Community – Based Needs Assessment Report
The purpose of this report is to evaluate the available resources and existing needs of victims of intimate partner violence in the New Orleans area. This needs assessment will examine the different populations living in the New Orleans area and whether these populations are accessing shelter and advocacy services. It will also evaluate the barriers to accessing services and develop a plan of action for reaching underserved populations. The first step in evaluating the existing needs of these underserved populations is to develop a clear understanding of the boundaries and demographics of New Orleans and its different populations. Different Populations Living In New Orleans
New Orleans is located approximately 105 miles upriver from the Gulf of Mexico on the banks of the Mississippi River (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Orleans Parish is bounded by the parishes of St. Tammany to the north, St. Bernard to the east, Plaquemines to the south and Jefferson to the south and west (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Lake Pontchartrain, part of which is included in the city limits of Orleans Parish, lies to the north and Lake Borgne lies to the east (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The population of the city was 343,829 as of the 2010 U.S. Census (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). The New Orleans metropolitan area (New Orleans, Metairie, and Kenner) had a population of 1,167,764 in 2010 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Sixty-one percent of the population falls between 18 and 64 years of age and 11% of the population is 65 years of age or older (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Fifty-one and six tenths percent of the people living in New Orleans in 2010 were female, 33% were white, 60.2% were black, 30.5% were white - not Hispanic, and 5.2% were persons of Hispanic or Latino origin (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Approximately 4,900 homeless individuals are living within the New Orleans area (Cockerham, 2012). There are an estimated 116,638 households within Orleans Parish with roughly 2.44 persons per household; moreover, 74% of the individuals within those households have lived in the same household for a time period exceeding one year (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Eighty-three and four tenths percent of persons living in Orleans Parish who are 25 years or older are high school graduates and 31.6% of persons 25 years and older obtained a Bachelor’s degree or higher (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Between 2006 and 2010, the median household income for individuals living in New Orleans was $37,468 and 24.4% of the population fell below poverty level (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Based on the above geographic and demographic data, the individuals and their families living within Orleans Parish in need of domestic violence shelter and advocacy services are likely to be African-American females between the ages of 18 and 64 and, more probable than not, these individuals are high school graduates. Additionally, low-income individuals are more likely to seek these services.
Who are Accessing Shelter and Advocacy Services and What Barriers Exist?
An examination of services currently offered is essential in assessing the needs of a community. For purposes of this paper, shelter and advocacy services assisting victims of domestic violence will be discussed. In attempting to gather relevant information in the New Orleans area concerning the types of individuals and families who use shelter and advocacy services, as well as the availability of brochures and domestic violence expertise available, twenty organizations were contacted. All of these organizations were listed on the Internet as service providers for domestic violence...