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Community Assessment

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Autor:   •  December 8, 2010  •  5,303 Words (22 Pages)  •  454 Views

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Place

Fayette, the county seat of Jefferson County, in Southwest Mississippi, is a civic town with a population of approximately 2,242, according to the 2000 census. The latitude of Fayette is 31.711 North; the longitude is 91.06 West with elevation of 290 feet (www.epodunk.com, 2006). The land area is calculated at 3.1 kilometer2 (Census, 2000).

Since Fayette is a relatively small town, there is no public transportation available to the residents. Many of the citizens have their own transportation. However, for those who do not possess a vehicle, make use of other alternatives, such as asking family members or walking, which can prove to be very dangerous considering that Fayette is not well illuminated at night. Fayette has four stoplights in the entire community. Three major highways bisect the county and run through Fayette, they include:

* U.S.Highway 61

* State Highway 33

* State Highway 28

There is a wide range of business establishments in Fayette; however, many of the establishments are in deplorable conditions. The newest building, which is located along highway 61, is a private physician's office. The office is located approximately 4 miles away from downtown, which is the primary residential location. The businesses located in the residential areas are underdeveloped; many are older buildings with poorly established parking lots. The library, which is the main source of information for educational purposes, lacks updated material. Furthermore, there is little information concerning the city of Fayette itself. There was no census data available in the library.

The residential areas of Fayette are struggling to thrive. The condition of many homes in the residential area pitiable, the landscaping is not well keep; grass stands at least 3 inches. At the door of one home was a horse. Many of the homes have old chipping paint or broken screen doors. Roads are also in poor conditions; there are a plethora of potholes.

Fayette, as referenced by the locals, has one hospital, which is also in downtrodden conditions. Jefferson County Hospital has limited parking and poor service to the community. Phone calls are not returned and EMT service is not prompt (D. Johnson, personal communication, November 29, 2006). Conclusive, Fayette is a city that has much to offer; however, the conditions as it is can prove to be very harmful to the citizens. Furthermore, safety and building conditions are in dire need of improvement.

People

According to the U.S. Census 2000, Fayette City, Mississippi has a total population of 2,242 of which 1,277 are female and the remaining 965 are male. The median age is 27.8 years with the greatest number between the ages of 35 to 44 years. There are approximately 856 school-age children, ages 0-19 years. The elderly population is composed of approximately 234 people with 102 being male and 132 being female (U.S. Census, 2000).

In Fayette, the majority of the population is composed of people of one race and a small percentage claims two or more races. African-Americans make up the dominant culture with 2,183 people, followed by Caucasian-Americans, Asian-Americans, American-Indian, and Native Hawaiian with 43, 5, 4, and 1, respectively (U.S. Census, 2000).

English is the primary language spoken and written, but a small percentage of the people speak languages other than English. Of this small percentage, only a handful speaks English less than "very well."

Fayette has three public schools, all being under the direction of the Jefferson County School District. Jefferson County Elementary School serves grades pre-kindergarten through 4th grade, with 614 children currently enrolled. Jefferson County Middle School currently has an enrollment of 511 children with grades 5th through 8th. Jefferson County High School enrolls 9th through 12th grade and currently has 468 students (Great Schools, 2006).

There are approximately 775 total households with 543 being family households, 189 being married-couple families, 312 being female householder with no husband present, and 232 are non-family households. The average household size is 2.82 people and the average family size is 3.46 people. Households with individuals under age 18 years total 378 and households with individuals age 65 years and older total 156. These families occupy a total housing units of 775 with 441 being owner occupied and 334 are renter occupied dwellings (U.S. Census, 2000).

There are many informal groups in Fayette with varied interests. Sometimes a group may last a few weeks and other groups have been around for years. There is a summer softball league for children of all ages and a newly initiated fall flag football league. The Tigers and Parents support group (TAPS) act as an informal booster club for the athletic department. They are not officially affiliated with the school system, but the parents decided to work together with the students to help with school related events. The Garden Club provides beautification projects for homeowners and hold biweekly meetings. There is also a group called The Southwest Cruisers is a group of older gentlemen who love to work on cars. They fix up antique cars and attend car shows throughout the state and neighboring states (J.Lee, personal communication, October 23, 2006).

The formal groups are linked more to churches than anything else. There is a horse riding club call the Union Church Riders and a Women's Youth Organization from the Locus Grove Baptist Church. The Heroh of Jericho is a church organization that does community service and provides activities for the children in the community. The Women on the Move are also a church based organization. They go from church to church providing bible study for the members. Some non-church related groups in Fayette and in the Jefferson County area include the Order of Eastern Star and Masonic Lodges. Some sorority and fraternity members reside in the area, but the chapters are located in nearby counties (J.Lee, personal communication, October 23, 2006).

Function

The city of Fayette has no major industries, although Jefferson County is one of 25 areas in the state certified to operate as "enterprise zones." These are areas in which new industry is entitled to a variety of tax incentives and special consideration from state and local agencies (http://members.aol.com, 2006) The closest industry is Guedon Produce, which is about 20 miles away in Church Hill, Mississippi. Guedon Produce, produces fruits and vegetables to distribute to retailers. ITT and Jeffco also operate plants in the county, which produce

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