Windshield assessment is frequently considered as a potential source for the purpose of systemic observations that are carried out with the help of a moving vehicle or conducted in a much smaller area just by walking around the same. This type of assessment is of great help in understanding a community as well as several aspects associated with it. In addition to this, windshield assessment is useful when there is a need to observe a larger area, alongside obtaining knowledge related to the poverty level, physical, social, and economic characteristics. In this regard, this windshield assessment reflects the City of Miami Beach, Florida, USA. Moreover, the assessment is underpinned with the geographical description of the city, along with the health resources, citizen safety, and protective services, services provided by senior citizens senior centers, meals on wheels, transportation, daycare, long-term care, and community welfare services beyond city/state aid as provisions for emergency food, shelter, and clothing.
The boundaries of the city touch the ocean and are situated outside Biscayne Blvd, which is considered as one of the most major and widest roadways. The extensions are associated with NW 17thavenue (west to east). On the other hand, the boundaries from the North to South areas are stretched from areas near NW 121ststreet to the places near NE 163rd Street. As I move towards the streets, I noticed clean and tidy sidewalks as there was no litter or debris that are the neighborhood parts entailed in the city of North Miami Beach. This part of the city begins from NE 151st to 183rd street, and it is further branched out a few miles towards the west inland. Some of the boundaries that I have explored are the independent segments of Miami. In accordance with the US Census Bureau, the total area of the city is underpinned with 18.7 sq. mi (48.5 km2). The land is distributed on 7.0 sq. mi (18.2 km2), whereas the area covered by water is 11.7 sq. mi (30.2 km2) that is 62.37%.In addition to this, the city government is systematized according to the City Charter, which is responsible for the provision of a mayor-commissioner type(Census, 2014). By focusing on the economic conditions of the city, the rate of unemployment is 7.80%, alongside the rate of employment is 0.18%, and the prediction of future employment growth is 32.60%(Census, 2014).
Moving forward to a residential area, I observed that the housing types are based on single-family homes as well as complexes and apartments. I also noticed few abandoned houses across the street. There were small backyards in many houses with very few houses that have the signs ‘for-sale’. The levels of income of the people residing in the area vary from low to moderate as I have noted a combination of well maintained and modern houses with the houses that still have wall air conditioners. There is an evident scarcity of buildings and residential places that depict signs of decay, with a single piece of evidence displaying graffiti.
The neighborhood is rather crowded and reveals a significant influence of mobsters of the 50s on the community lifestyle, which is mostly laid-back and sedentary. This is accounted for by high unemployment caused by a widespread problem with alcoholism that I will touch upon later in my windshield assessment.
In terms of health resources, I observed that there are profuse health care agencies covering all specialties, particularly health care organizations that would focus on family care services. However, there is a need for more hospitals within the community. I also witness the presence of a number of law offices, including Protective Services, Police Department, and Fire Rescue. Jackson Memorial Hospital is responsible for the facilitation of care services to the people(Beach, 2015). I have also noticed few dental offices. There were several options of pharmacy, including Navarro Discount Pharmacy, VH Pharmacy, and Coconut Grove Pharmacy. The public and private schools in the community were involved in healthy activities.
In addition to this, I observed many agencies for the provision of social services, including Family Resource Center of South Florida, Community Action Agency, and Jewish Community Services-South FL. The operation of public transportation is carried out by Miami-Dade Transit (MDT). Several lines for Metrobus are connected with Downtown Miami as well as with the Metrorail. The number of Metrobus riders is high in Miami Beach, along with the routes entailing ‘L’ and ‘S’as the busiest ones. In this regard, the density and urbanization of the community have resulted in the popularity of bicycling.
Vulnerable Social Groups
Closer observations revealed that healthcare opportunities are unequal in different population strata. The Hispanic and African American populations in the community do not have full access to proper health care and are often referred to as the working poor, as they have little choice but to accept low-paid jobs that do not provide them with insurance benefits. The survey showed that most healthcare staff could not speak Spanish, which implies that they are unable to deliver culturally competent treatment. This causes the Hispanics to resort to public facilities, a choice that is connected with a number of problems owing to various delays (Calvillo, Clark, Ballantyne, Pacquiao, Purnell, & Villarruel, 2008).
This population group suffers from poor health mainly because of numerous liquor stores in the area and easily accessible drugs. Malignant conditions of life and sanitation, together with low income, lead the Hispanic population to depression and alcohol abuse. This puts the risk for various diseases, such as liver failure, ascites, and more. Moreover, there is no market in the area, which means that people living in this community cannot buy fresh-from-the-farm products. Instead, plenty of fast-food restaurants (among which Kentucky Fried Chicken is the most popular) are scattered around the city. Since working mothers have no time for cooking, children (especially those from minority populations) become addicted to fast food and are often obese. In addition, there is no adequate access to healthy food in schools and no programs that could raise awareness and interest in a healthy lifestyle. I could hardly find any gyms or recreational centers, which certainly aggravates the malnutrition and sedentary lifestyle of the community.
Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicator
The Healthy People 2020 leading health indicator that I have identified for this community is HIV. Lots of youngsters become infected because of the night party life that they lead, coupled with easy access to alcohol and drugs. Inquiries showed that there are Awareness Days and Take Control Events that regularly take place at public schools, the effectiveness of which is rather doubtful. Students do not usually have enough motivation to get tested, no matter how many presentations about HIV they watch at school. Besides, there is not enough funding to provide timely screening and treatment for young people. The lack of education and finance puts the community at great risk for HIV.
Citizen Safety and Protective Services
During my windshield assessment in the community, I saw a vehicle of the Department of Social Services in addition to the vehicles on police and fire. The MDHA-Asociacion de Residentes Haley Sofge is a well-organized faith-based facility that facilitates programs for children, classes for exercise, and other family-focused activities. The police station is located near to the neighborhood proximity, and the fire rescue stations were under construction and non-functional for the time being. On the other hand, the Department of Public Services is involved in solid waste maintenance along with other services. The South Florida Water Management District is shouldered with the duties of disseminating improvement of water quality and its supply to the community. During my tour, I also noticed several shelters in the community that is providing help to the victims of abuse, which are Abuse Counseling and Treatment and Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse.
Services provided for citizen and welfare services
As I make my pace further in the community, I observed that there is a significant number of bus stops on the main roads. Several pedestrians were located near the roadside so that the residents can easily cross the roads. However, at some of the pedestrians, I saw people crowding, which portrays that there is a need for another pedestrian in order to overcome the hassle. I noted that the people who were walking alongside the streets were well dressed in a casual manner and seemed to be reserved. Furthermore, African American is the predominant race in the city. There are several recreational areas and nature parks, along with a significant quantity of vegetation and sidewalks. The community is presented with an abundant amount of stores along with fast-food restaurants. I have also seen shopping plazas and clothing stores that offer different products and services to the residing people.
In order to serve the needs of homeless people in Miami, the government administration facilitates the needy by providing them funds for housing opportunities. The objective of this program is to ensure a range of facilitation based on the housing options and other associated services to the intensely needy people of the society who are regarded as the low-to-moderate income people of the society.
Since a large part of the population suffers from various chronic diseases due to poor living conditions, one of the primary goals for the community in the field of welfare is to eliminate disparities between middle-income and low-income social groups, including homeless people. The gap is especially evident in healthcare services. That is why priority tasks in providing welfare are:
- to address health prevention needs of children in low-income groups;
- to support farmers’ markets, especially in areas where racial minorities dwell;
- to raise awareness in the population, teaching self-management of chronic conditions (Calvillo et al., 2008).
The windshield survey of this Miami Beach community enriched my idea of health issues in the context of community culture. It demonstrated what a significant number of factors and behaviors combine to form a holistic picture of the general population’s well-being. It also helped me understand the strategies needed to overcome existing problems, as well as the obstacles to their implementation.
Beach, M. (2015). Miami Beach. Web.
Census, U. S. (2014). State & County QuickFacts. Web.
Calvillo, E., Clark, L., Ballantyne, J., Pacquiao, D., Purnell, L., & Villarruel, A. (2008). Cultural Competency in Baccalaureate Nursing Education. Journal Of Transcultural Nursing, 20(2), 137-145. Web.