Assessing Business Success and Stability in Distressed Neighborhoods – Summer 2015

Habitat for Humanity has begun a process of Neighborhood Revitalization in its service area.  Focusing on the South Central and Thomas Park/Avondale Neighborhoods, changing the look and feel of a critical mass of the residences in the target area can achieve significant impact. One element that has been ignored in many programs to date is the businesses that are located within these target neighborhoods.  The main goal of this project is to survey the businesses in the target revitalization area to determine the characteristics of the neighborhood that are impacting businesses both positively and negatively.

Students will work directly with community leaders to design a survey instrument, conduct in-person interviews and create a report highlighting the perceived needs of surveyed businesses.

  • Students, working in a team, will be responsible for project planning, including establishing timelines, and setting goals.
  • Interns will use communication strategies for interacting with target businesses and other community partners.
  • Students will develop and administer a survey instrument. Surveys will be administered using a personal interview process.
  • Students will enter data and use tools for analyzing data including creating a database and perform basic statistical analyses.
  • Students will prepare a professional report for presentation to Habitat board of directors, staff and community partners.

Riverside/Normal City Neighborhood Survey – Spring 2015

Melinda Messineo (Ball State University) in partnership with the Riverside/Normal City Neighborhood Association will work with a group of BSU Sociology capstone students during spring 2015 to create and administer a Neighborhood Survey. These capstone students will work with the association to survey the neighborhood in an effort to:

  1. Help residents describe the benefits of living in the neighborhood (to assist with branding and campaigns)
  2. Identify goals that the neighborhood has for the next 3 years
  3. Identify the perceived boundaries of the neighborhood areas to help with getting people together
  4. Identify untapped participants and resources.

The neighborhood association hopes to learn how to successfully leverage the strengths of the neighborhood and increase shared identity among diverse pockets of the neighborhood.  The students will kick-off their efforts at the January 28th meeting of the Riverside/Normal City neighborhood association to begin designing this project.

January 28, 2015 – To help design the survey, the students conducted a brainstorming conversation with active members on Wednesday night.  Resident’s were asked to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the neighborhood.  Also, discussed at the meeting were opportunities for the neighborhood in the next three years and whether there are any risks or “threats” that we need to be considered.

April 21, 2015 – The students presented the final results of the Riverside/Normal City survey at the monthly Neighborhood Presidents Council meeting. The final report includes the survey results as well as the student’s interpretation of the resident responses.

Southside Neighborhood Survey – Spring 2015

The Muncie Action Plan Task Force 2 is working to energize and mobilize the neighborhood associations of Muncie. There is a need to better understand how the various neighborhoods conceptualize their boundaries and define their unique identities in order to best meet resident’s needs and increase engagement.

Melinda Messineo (Ball State University) in partnership with Building Better Neighborhoods and the Muncie Action Plan Task Force 2 (TF2), will work with 12 Sociology capstone students during spring 2015 to create and administer a Southside Neighborhood Survey.

The project will begin in January with meetings between the students, Task Force 2 and other stakeholders, including representatives from the City’s Community Development Department, Mayor’s office and other elected officials. The survey will be created, reviewed and then administered in early March. A presentation of the final project is scheduled to take place at the Neighborhood President’s Council meeting at Maring-Hunt libary, April 21st from 6:00-7:00 pm. All are welcome to attend.

Southside-meeting-2     Southside-meeting-1

January 22, 2015  – Melinda Messineo and the BSU Sociology students met with representatives from City government, elected officials and long-time residents of the neighborhood to discuss the history and culture of Southside. The students will consider this information as they prepare their final survey document.

April 21, 2015 – The results of the survey were presented to the community partner at the April Neighborhood President’s Council meeting. Only 44 respondents participated in this initial round of surveying. The students will continue to collect survey results throughout the summer to gather more input from the residents.

Southside Neighborhood Report Spring 2015