United Way of Greater Cleveland recently unveiled its community assessment. With the help of The Center for Community Solutions, United Way staff examined a host of data on education, income, health, and basic needs. The resulting report represents an excellent collection of indicators of community conditions in Greater Cleveland. United Way found new ways to put the raw numbers into perspective. Of all the information shared during the report release event, there are four facts which stand out.
- While unemployment has fallen in the past several years, the unemployment rate for Cleveland residents remains higher than that in the rest of the county. United Way pointed out that the number of Cleveland residents who are unemployed is greater than the entire population of the City of Solon.
- The gap between median income in Cleveland and median income in Cuyahoga County is more than $16,000. That is enough to afford mortgage payments on a $90,000 house.
- Based on data from AAA, an older adult living at the poverty line would have to spend more than 75 percent of their income in order to own and maintain a car.
- People with mental illness are no more likely to commit a violent crime than those without mental illness. But, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, they are ten times more likely to be the victim of violent crime.
The full report provides many more insights into the challenges facing our community. It also explains how United Way will respond, while showing opportunities to improve health, social, and economic conditions.