Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. To determine the needs of the Kirkland community as part of its strategic planning, the Kiwanis Club of Kirkland (noon) conducted a community assessment from November 2010 through April 2011, interviewing representatives of nineteen organizations.
The top unmet needs in the community by frequency of citation are:
- Housing, affordable housing and emergency housing – 5 organizations identified these as unmet needs;
- Organized activities for children and teens –4 organizations;
- Family or psychological counseling – 3 organizations.
Other areas of need and concern were Islamophobia, medical and dental care for low income, decreased tax support, jobs, diversity, funding of schools, need to grow small businesses, higher education for women and parents, support children in the world, crossing flag program, street crew work site monitoring, park maintenance, economic recession.
Suggestions for addressing the problems were very specific for the need for programs for children and teens to include tutoring, teeth and jaw care, fees for athletes, adopt a birthday for child’s classroom, scholarships for teens to attend camps and leadership camps, serving dinner with the kids at KTUB, private funding, coaching at Boys and Girls Club, financially assist Lake Washington Schools Foundation and volunteer in the schools, parenting classes, childcare grants to enable parents to go to school, sponsorships to three Chilean children at $105 a month per child.
The other areas require greater funding and in the case of housing, affordable housing and emergency housing, a community wide agreement to make major changes in housing opportunities.
We thank the representatives of the organizations who shared their understanding of the needs of our community and their visions and invite them to attend our weekly meetings at the Crab Cracker on Wednesdays, noon, and our monthly board meetings on the first Tuesday of the month at the Kirkland Teen Union Building.
The organizations who participated were: KITH, KIN, Kirkland Youth Council, Kirkland Stake-LDS, Kirkland City Manager, Kirkland Mayor, Kirkland Police Department, Kirkland Teen Union Building, Boys and Girls Club, Lake Washington Schools Superintendent, IMAN Islamic Center, St. Vincent’s De Paul of Holy Family Church, Seattle Milk Fund, World Vision, Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, Eastside Legal Assistance Program, Eastside Domestic Violence Program and the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce.