Change 4 the Kenai community coalition is launching a 100% Alaska survey for the central Kenai Peninsula. (Promotional flyer)

Change 4 the Kenai community coalition is launching a 100% Alaska survey for the central Kenai Peninsula. (Promotional flyer)

Change 4 the Kenai gauging community access to vital services

Information collected in the survey will be used to address needs

The Change 4 the Kenai coalition is conducting a community assessment to collect information from residents of the central Kenai Peninsula about the accessibility of vital services in the community. Information collected in the survey will be used to address needs in the community.

Coalition Director Shari Conner said the project, called 100% Alaska, is inspired by similar work done in various communities in New Mexico — detailed in a book titled “100% Community: Ensuring 10 Vital Services for Surviving and Thriving” by Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney and Dominic Cappello.

The 10 vital services identified in that text and now targeted by the coalition are: medical and dental care; behavioral health care; housing security programs; food security programs; transportation to vital services; parent supports; early childhood education; community schools; youth mentor programs; and job training.

Alongside these services, the survey also seeks to determine the community’s experience with adverse childhood experiences.

According to a release from the coalition, the assessment is the first in a four-step process. After collecting this information, the coalition will then “plan, act and evaluate.”

A work group will be formed for each of the 10 vital services identified that will then address issues and barriers. Further assessments will be conducted to ensure “forward progress.”

Creating the 10 separate work groups is essential to the project, Conner explained. That way, one group isn’t trying to shoulder the load of addressing everything, and people with experience or passion for each issue can target that vital service.

“It’s not one person responsible for the whole thing, or even one small group responsible,” Conner said. “It’s a way to grow your community connectedness and have people value the services that are within the community. Look at opportunities for those services to be richer and better and grow and fill the gaps.”

Conner said people from the coalition and other local organizations are already coming forward with interest in different groups.

“With the ten vital services in place and accessible, we, as a community, are able to prevent costly challenges,” according to the release. The services are important for promoting public health and child welfare while combatting suicidal ideation, substance use, domestic violence, hunger and homelessness.

The coalition says the survey takes five minutes, and it can be found through their Facebook page at Change 4 the Kenai. The survey can also be found here. The survey will be available until the end of January, and the coalition urges as many residents as possible to participate.

“The more people that take the survey, the more information we have to really look and see. ‘Are these services accessible?’ ‘What do people really think in the community?’” Conner said.

Beyond the survey, the public is invited to get involved with Change 4 the Kenai efforts. Public meetings are generally held on the first Friday of each month at the Soldotna Public Library — the next meeting is Jan. 6 at 10 a.m. For more information about Change 4 the Kenai, visit their Facebook page or visit their website at

Reach reporter Jake Dye at

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