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Rowan County leaders consider needs cited in assessment

SALISBURY — The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health has identified Rowan County’s top needs as housing and homelessness; violent crime; child abuse and neglect; transportation to essential health and human services; employment and workforce readiness; access to health care; healthy lifestyle behaviors; substance use; and mental health.

Last month, community leaders and representatives of health and human services organizations met to discuss the data and their observations at the Rowan County Department of Social Services.

“After learning more about these problems, I realize the connection between them all,” said Ashley Creek of Capstone Recovery Center. “Growing up in a home where my parents suffered from substance abuse, the cycle continued with me. That root issue has caused me to have experiences in nearly every area. However, because I received help, I was able to beat it.”

The needs assessment is based on statistics, a community survey, and the selection of topic areas. Matthew Simon and Erin Magee of the Gillngs School gave the presentation.

People at the meeting were given a ballot after the presentation to select the top three most crucial needs. They were also asked to choose three areas that the county could realistically make progress in in the next three years.

The information will be used for the next phase of the Rowan County Health and Human Services Needs Assessment.

Rowan County United Way, Novant Health Rowan County Medical Center, Rowan County Health Department, Healthy Rowan and Salisbury Community Foundation took part in the meeting.

For more information about the needs assessment, call 704-633-1802.

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