SOME STATISTICS LEADING THE DISCUSSION:
MEDIAN AGE IN STOREY COUNTY IS 54.4 COMPARED TO 37.5 IN NEVADA
18.09 % OF THE POPULATION ARE FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN COMPARED TO 31% FOR NEVADA
49.04 % OF STOREY COUNTY RESIDENTS NEED FOOD ASSISTANCE BUT AREN’T ELIGIBLE COMPARED TO 25% IN NEVADA-THANKFULLY WE HAVE GREAT FOOD PANTRIES!
STOREY HAS NO LICENSED CHILDCARE FACILITIES, ONLY 5 HUD-ASSISTED HOUSING UNITS AND MOST ADULTS AND CHILDREN HAVE HEALTH COVERAGE
By Nicole Barde
Eric Shoen, Executive Director, of the Community Chest, conducted a needs assessment at the Lockwood Senior Center with a group of 4-6 people to determine what types of services they as a community would need in the future. This was part of the Strategic Planning process that Community Chest goes thru every 3 years or so. There had been another session held in V.C. earlier in the week and Eric said that they will be publishing the summary of all of the needs assessments later on this year.
The areas of inquiry are:
- Education and training
- Household Budgeting
- Food and Nutrition
- Health Care ( children & adults, Seniors)
Once again I am impressed at the quality of work that Eric and his team are doing. They presented a fantastic summary of some of the key demographics of our county which I have included HERE and suggest that everyone read. It’s short and concise.
In a nutshell, the stats show that Storey County has an older median age of 54.4 compared to the rest of Nevada ( 37.5) and the US ( 37.7). We have a higher percent of age 65+, lower percent of families with children under 18 and a higher percent of veterans than both Nevada and the US.
SIDENOTE- The Lockwood participants were all over age 55 and their responses to the questions were very broad in terms of thinking about the community at large not just the needs of seniors.
Storey County has no licensed childcare facilities and only one part-time preschool program with a waiting list.
SIDENOTE- The issue of child care and children’s programs was high on the list as far as needs for this community. The participants said that altho the majority of residents in Lockwood were seniors that there were more families moving in and there is a need for both childcare and pre and post-school programs.
The educational attainment stats show that Storey has 30.06 percent of the population possessing an Associates degree compared to 31.1 for Nevada and 38.49 for the US. The percent of the population with a Bachelors or higher is 23.13 percent as compared to 23.18 for Nevada and 30.32 percent for the US
SIDENOTE- There was a great deal of discussion about the type of education needed for our residents in order to prepare them for the local market. Education for young people but also for the adults in order to acquire new skills to increase their job prospects. It was mentioned that there are a lot of educational opportunities thru online universities but that Lockwood doesn’t have access to high-speed internet to be able to take advantage of them.
The unemployment rate for Storey County is 4.3 percent as compared to 4.2 for Nevada and 3.6 for the US. Most full-time job opportunities IN Storey County are at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.
SIDENOTE- There was a bit of discussion about employment. While TRIC is a source of full time employment….those who work in this community work predominantly in Sparks or Reno. Additionally, it was mentioned that it is difficult to find people to work when you need to hire someone to do projects around the neighborhood…. that there isn’t a good source of reliable workers willing to do the work offered.
There was also some discussion about underemployment and home-based businesses. Many, many people in the county are “makers” or offer services on a project or part-time basis. Many who do these crafts donate them or sometimes sell them during community craft fairs.
If there were enough people willing to come together in a sort of “makers co-operative” or “services bureau” they could create an online storefront to sell their goods and services.
The SOARES program ( story HERE) that Community Chest has developed helps kids to sell produce during a weekly “farmers market” at the Community Chest. It teaches them entrepreneurship and how to run a small business…..I think that helping to create a Storey County online “storefront” for home businesses might be right up their alley!
Housing availability, affordability, and assistance shows that 15.53 percent of Storey residents live in renter-occupied housing units compared to 45.2 percent for Nevada and 36.39 percent for the US.
7.25 percent of Housing units in Storey County lack full kitchen facilities compared to 1.93 percent in Nevada and 2.84 in the US.
There are only 5 total HUD-assisted housing units ( vouchers) in Storey County.
SIDENOTE- What this says is that most of the housing is owner-occupied and/or that there isn’t enough affordable rental housing and people are renting out rooms or combining to live together in a rental. What surprised me was that there were so few HUD housing units. Looking at the demographics it would seem that there would be more opportunity for HUD housing but given our geography and zoning, I can see why we don’t.
The only opportunity I see is in Painted Rock. It is the only “housing development” zoned area in Storey County. I’ve heard that it is zoned for between 2000-3000 homes. I would hope that some of that would be HUD eligible for some of our low-income residents!
The access to food, ability to afford food and food assistance statistic shows that Storey County has 49.04 percent of the population which needs help but is ineligible to receive assistance….this compares to 25 percent for Nevada and 29 percent for the US.
50% of Storey Children need assistance but don’t qualify for it…compared to 30 percent for Nevada and 31 percent for the US.
SIDENOTE- the term used in the statistic is “food insecure population”. This means that altho the family makes “too much” to qualify for food assistance, that after rent/utilities/transportation/and other hard expenses are paid that there is little left for other necessities.
Storey County has been working on this issue and thru the generosity of companies like Thrive and Walmart and organizations like the Nevada Food Bank and Mustang Cares there are food pantries established in V.C. and Lockwood where anyone can come in and get food if they need it….no questions asked. This is high quality, much of it organic, some of it fresh and it also includes pet food!
This in addition to the backpacks that Willi Knox and others put together for the kids helps to ease this issue in Lockwood.
The availability of and assistance with Health Insurance shows that the percent of children under 19 without health insurance is 7.77 as compared to 7.16 for Nevada and 4.67 percent for the US.
Storey County has a lower than state and national average enrollment for Medicaid and most adults and children have health insurance.
Storey County is designated as a “Health Professional Shortage Area” ….our access to health care IN the County is limited. Thankfully we have the Nevada Health Center at the Community Chest which has a weekly primary care clinic and home nurse visits in Lockwood.
SIDENOTE-Community Chest is looking to expand its services in this area by adding another half day clinic in VC and expanding services in Lockwood. Storey County regularly has vaccination clinics, healthcare events, and regular mammo-van visits.
Lastly, the issue of Transportation was discussed. It shows that 10.9 percent of our residents commute more than 60 minutes to work as compared to 5.2 percent for Nevada and 8.68 percent for the US. Storey County has no public transportation.
At the end of the discussion, Eric gave us all 5 stickers to vote with. We each put the 5 stickers on the issues which we believed were the highest priority for the community. When Eric and his team are finished with their Strategic Plan they will publish the results…probably in October.
Once again , so impressed and so thankful for OUR Community Chest resource.