Connecticut Residents Once Again Urged to “Pick Up the Phone!” to Support Largest-Ever Survey on Neighborhood-Level Quality of Life, Health, and Happiness

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: Mark Abraham, info [at] ctdatahaven.org, 203.500.7059, www.ctdatahaven.org

(Apr. 9, 2018) — NEW HAVEN, CT, March 20, 2018 – How happy are you? Have you seen a dentist lately? Are local government officials responsive to your needs?

Those are just a few of the questions being asked by friendly survey-takers helping DataHaven and dozens of leading community and charitable groups throughout Connecticut complete what is believed to be the largest neighborhood-level well-being survey in the United States. A record number of participants will pick up the phone and complete an interview – over 15,000 by the time the 2018 DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey is complete.

“Our initial feedback from residents and our previous experience with this survey shows that people like to answer these questions,” says Mark Abraham, Executive Director of DataHaven. “They are answering questions about their own happiness and health, their family’s financial security, and how their communities and neighborhoods are faring. These questions show that we care about how they feel.”

DataHaven, the nonprofit group leading the collection and study of neighborhood-level public data on key social and economic indicators, announced the first statewide Community Wellbeing Survey in 2015 (see https://www.ctphilanthropy.org/news/datahaven-announces-completion-largest-ever-survey-neighborhood-level-quality-life-health-and). The 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey will allow unprecedented tracking of regional and local trends over the past three years, as well as create an even more in-depth portrait of Connecticut’s neighborhoods, when updated results are shared this fall.

After seeing the impact of the 2015 survey results, over 75 of Connecticut’s leading hospitals, government agencies, and charitable organizations have decided, once again, to support the 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey with major donations. Supporters joining DataHaven include regional community foundations, United Ways, and health care providers located in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, Danbury, New Britain, Greenwich, Meriden, Middletown, New London, Derby, and other cities and towns.

Residents throughout Connecticut and several areas of New York State will receive phone calls from survey-takers at the Siena College Research Institute – generally appearing as a 203 or 518 area code – beginning this month. Calls continue this spring and summer.

DataHaven’s 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey implores residents to, “Make a difference: Pick up your cell phone or home phone, help your community learn more about your needs, and tell us what you want to see to promote greater happiness and well-being in your neighborhood,” says Abraham.

“UNITED BY DATA”: FUNDERS AND SUPPORTERS FOR THE 2018 COMMUNITY WELLBEING SURVEY 

Unlike most statewide and national surveys, the DataHaven program brings together grassroots efforts across the state – effectively unifying dozens of existing regional surveys into a single, exceptionally high-quality program that covers the entire state. The mission of the initiative is to produce reliable neighborhood-level information on issues that are most meaningful to local residents, and to foster collaboration between the hundreds of organizations, institutions, businesses, and agencies that are working to build stronger communities.  This nationally recognized program provides neighborhood- and regional-level information not available from any other source on community vitality, health, family economic security, and individual happiness. Other topics such as civic engagement, transportation, housing, and employment – even satisfaction with government and community life – are included.

“We believe the 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey, the most comprehensive local-level survey of its type in the United States, will continue to be of great value to neighborhoods and organizations striving to make our cities and towns even better places to live and work,” says Abraham.

Results from the survey will be published in a series of local and statewide reports throughout 2018 and 2019, helping to shed light on progress being made toward community priorities, including financial security for families, access to affordable health care, public health and safety, and opportunities for children to succeed, as well as on current challenges, such as the opioid epidemic, housing instability, and limited transportation options.  Dozens of reports and studies have used data from the Community Wellbeing Survey, including many that are posted on the DataHaven website.

“The ability to collect and track community-level data over time helps Connecticut’s philanthropic organizations more deeply understand the issues they aim to address, target solutions, and measure progress made over time,” said Karla Fortunato, president of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. “We’re delighted to see so many philanthropic and other organizations come together to support DataHaven’s work to understand how Connecticut’s residents experience quality of life, health, and happiness, neighborhood by neighborhood.”


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