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2016FallSymposiumURCreativityEngagement has ended
Tuesday, December 6 • 9:00am - 9:20am
Barriers To Community Engagement In Government Programming

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The purpose of this research is to assess the barriers various communities face when attempting to participate in services purposed to address individual and community need. The communities represented in this research are minority groups, homeless populations, victims of substance abuse, individuals with mental illness, and citizens infected with HIV. Many of the studies reviewed in this research are unique in that the communities being studied are also the respondents to survey questions. This allows the research to accurately reflect perceived needs and barriers faced by communities; therefore lending itself to possible solutions. Barriers to access vary widely depending on population type and unmet need. Several barriers were present in every article related to social determinants of health and societal disparities present in today’s society. Issues such as stigma, racism, exclusion, and societal pressures are consistent barriers that threaten the psychological, emotional, physical and financial wellness of communities in need. The literature states that respondents feel that community programs are not meeting the needs of their “at risk” populations and may even play a role in the continued suppression of already underserved communities. Understanding what barriers exist allow community members, community programmers, and policy makers to alter the structure of programs in order to make access to services easier for those in need. This research is the first step to giving voice to underserved communities in hopes that community programs will be customized to the needs of specific communities, giving all citizens the chance to attain upward mobility.

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Tuesday December 6, 2016 9:00am - 9:20am
406 Wilma Sherrill Center