The Community Characteristics of Quincy, Massachusetts.

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Community and Population Health

Quincy Massachusetts is a city with a lot of history. It is known to be the birthplace of many celebrities like John Quincy Adams, John Adams, and John Hancock just to name a few.

A brief information on Quincy: As of July 2016, the total number of people who resided in the city had risen to 95,243. The average amount of money earned per family is about $63000.00. Although Quincy has a huge history, I would firstly talk about the City’s historic facts before its vulnerable population. “First settled by a party that included Captain Wollaston in 1625, Quincy was part of the neighboring town of Braintree. Some of the early native residents are presidents John Quincy Adams and John Adams together with the legendary patriot, John Hancock, who is recognized for the role he played in the signing of his name to the Declaration of Independence. He signed it in an extra-large script to enable fat King George to see and read it without using his glasses. Later on, in 1792, the northern precinct of the Braintree had renamed the town of Quincy when the residents decided to name it after Col. John Quincy, who was the grandfather of Abigail Adams (discoverquincy.com, 2016). Quincy has some other neat facts, including the Granite Industry, which was used by the first commercial railroad in America to transport granite to Charlestown to help build the Bunker Hill Monument in 1826. Quincy’s granite industry also contributed to making the population by taking immigrants from Finland, Italy as well as many other countries and employed them, until the last quarry closed in 1960. Quincy is home to the first Howard Johnson restaurant as well as the first ever Dunkin’ Donuts. It's kind of cool to know just how old Quincy, Massachusetts is.

When doing some research on the city of Quincy and the socioeconomic statuses I came across some interesting information. “The total population of the town, Quincy, went up to 92,271 by 2010 making an increase of 9% from the figure that was recorded in 1990. After the moment of decline in the number of residents that began in 1970, the town still gained a rise in numbers of her citizens by a total of 8,000 people between 1990 and 2010.” (quincyma.gov). Racial diversity in Quincy has changed dramatically in those particular decades. The white population in the city, in those decades, has gone from 91% down to 67%. I never knew actual numbers of any of this data, I just knew in my head and from keeping my eyes open that the white population has decreased in such a way, that today they are now building up Quincy to make it more attractive and inviting to the public. “There was a continuation in the rising in numbers by the Asians as a total of 22,174 Asian residents were in the town by 2010, and they represented a total of 24% of the town’s total population.

While Asians’ grew in numbers between 1990 and 2010 as they increased by 16, 742, there was still a decrease in the rate of change as there was only an increase of 64% between 2000 and 2010 as compared to the initial increase of a 308% between 1990 and 2000 and this was an indication of a stabilization in the number of residents (quincyma.gov, 2016). The census that was conducted in the town indicated that there was younger population’s increase in the city of Quincy in 2010. The group aged 5 and under grew by 11 % from 2000 to 2010. It also shows the group aged 65-74 has declined since 1990. The population who now gets their bachelor's degree has grown too. We’re a well-educated group, and now account for 36% of the people who hold a Bachelor's Degree, that’s up from 22% in 1990. “For instance, by 2010, the population of the town was estimated by being around 4, 224 families that languished in poverty and this represented a fraction of at least 1 in 10 households (Marston, 2000).

The regions around Germantown and the Adams Shore census tract the most increased proportion of the families that were in poverty at around 30% of their total population.” (quincyma.gov, 2016). That is one of the many vulnerable populations. Within this group, the people of Adams Shore and Germantown not only are stricken by poverty but are also amongst the biggest group to lack even a high school diploma (Marston, 2000). It’s a shame when I look these numbers and see how many people are affected and just how uneducated certain parts of our city is. Just down the street in Germantown is the Quincy Housing Authority, who manages and runs the low-income housing not only in Germantown but also all over the city. They have numerous buildings and houses that house these people. Just down the street from them is Father Bill’s Place. Father Bills place is a homeless shelter in Quincy who provides a place to stay on a nightly basis. I think it's great that we have a homeless shelter in Quincy, but it attracts people of all races and ethnic groups to this city. Therefore, when 8 am comes, and it’s time for these people to go out for the day, they are legit wandering around the town until it’s time to go back to Father Bills place at 5 pm. It is not fair to our public to have to put up with this particular group, but it’s not fair to the homeless either, making it a catch 22.

Some of the numerous health issues we have are not only in the homeless population, but the low income/housing community is diabetes and cancer. These people have low incomes, which in turn means a small probability of keeping up with medications needed to maintain the healthy lifestyle and healthy living. The low income/homeless population needs to focus on these issues, and I think the city of Quincy needs to take into account the severity of this problem and come up with a way to make it better. The Mayor is currently thinking of ways to increase the population and providing more housing, building units every day, having all these new businesses come in change what once used to be a filthy Quincy Center. We need to emphasize the growing need for not only jobs for these people, but maybe they can incorporate a few more low-income medical places for these people to be seen and looked at and cared. They recently got rid of Quincy Medical Center, one of the city’s major medical facilities and that leaves us now with Manet Health and Primary Care offices, and have also been encouraging the parents to take their children to school to give them a chance to change their future status, and we need more than that. There is a need for a plan help in solving one of the city’s biggest issues at hand and contribute to employ them and give them some hope for their future.

Community-Based Problems

The most common community-based problems in the city are homelessness, low income, and poor health status mostly the issue of lack of mental health programs to address the persistent mental health problems within the community. Homelessness in America is an excellent source on a national level that could help a lot of people, over 500,000 people to be close to exact (DePastino, 2010). That was the total as of January 2015, and as much as people were reporting decreases in homelessness, that was in the South and the Midwest, but what about everywhere else? Therefore, the number one reason we have homelessness existing not only on a national level but in our very own community is the affordable housing. “Families in the town reacts to the issue of homelessness through various accommodation and services programs that include; emergency shelters, rapid re-housing, transitional accommodations and some permanent supportive housing.” Problems that Quincy needs work on are the homelessness, the mental health issues and what can be done to improve beneficial care for these individuals. There are not nearly enough mental health facilities to give them the interventions they need to live. There isn’t even a mental health homeless facility, which is scary to think about but we can’t just leave these people by the side of the road. The prices alone for housing is getting out of control, that’s another weakness this city has inherited and don’t see it going down, it’s only going up. The city of Quincy has done a lot but to sit back and look at the low-income/homeless in one part, like Germantown, their needs to be a lot more done.

Identifying strengths and weaknesses in the community is quite a task when thinking of a health strategy. Quincy’s first strength would be Manet Community Health Center, a center built around trust, families, and friendships. They not only take low-income households, but they treat the regular income families too. They opened in 1979 and had been opening all over Quincy since then promoting good health and prevention.

“Manet Community Health Center, Inc. assist in solving many health issues of the South Shore residents by the use of a community practice model of care. The use of a health center that is more of a multi-site regarding the community model that it employs, Manet Center ensured that many of its clients get all kinds of healthcare facilities and programs. The center is mostly committed to offering assistance to the medically underserved residents” (quincyma.gov, n.d). A weakness that Quincy needs work on is the mental health issues and what can be done to improve beneficial care for these that they can look to individuals. There are not nearly enough mental health facilities to give them the interventions they need to live. There isn’t even a mental health homeless facility, which is scary to think about but we can’t just leave these people by the side of the road. The prices alone for housing is getting out of control, that’s another weakness this city has inherited and don’t see it going down, it’s only going up. The city of Quincy has done a lot but to sit back and look at the low-income/homeless in one part, like Germantown, their needs to be a lot more done.

Analyzing opportunities that exist to improve the health of the community would be incorporating more free medical clinics that already exist through Manet Health. Manet’s mission statement is, “We are a not-for-profit health and service provider, and we exist to be your partner for a healthier life” (manetchc.org, 2017). Currently, they have smoking cessation classes, nutritional services, prenatal care opportunities and a few others. However, what about one for the low-income/homeless people that promote employment or say the WIC program (Women Infant and Children), to improve the pregnant human being, encourage pre-natal and have them turn it into something rewarding, like a job perhaps in the long run. Have them help run a blood drive and find some meaning in life or even be a part of a bake sale. Such initiatives can aid in opening their minds to one of these as a potential for their future, perhaps one of them wanted to be a cook in their dreams, they could get an opportunity of a lifetime. These seem like little and petty steps, but a lot of what people don’t know about the homeless are a majority of them are special. Most of them are just looking for a break, and there might be one in their future.

Some barriers that may interfere with a health strategy for Quincy when taking on the low-income/homeless people would be their mental illness for sure, never mind the fact we don’t have much in that department anyways. However, I do not know that they would necessarily want a “homeless mental patient” being involved in a blood drive, etc.

The same goes for a bake sale etc. they would have to be checked out, depending on the severity of their mental illness maybe instead they volunteer at a car wash or something. There are plenty of barriers that would interfere but there are also plenty of opportunities for these people, and we need to start to ask questions and promote good health care and get the low-income/homeless to speak up, stand up and speak their mind. City council meetings are being held every month, and maybe they could all go as a group to help make their point and be heard.

Potential Interventions

Some of the numerous health issues we have are not only in the homeless population, but the low income/housing community is diabetes and cancer. These people have low incomes, which in turn means a small probability of keeping up with medications needed to maintain the healthy lifestyle and healthy living. Many possible interventions can be put in place to solve the problems within the city. The responses may include increasing the population and creating better housing for the residents, creating job opportunities for the inhabitants and making it affordable for the community members to access strong health care programs.

The low income/homeless population needs to focus on these issues, and I think the city of Quincy needs to take into account the severity of this problem and come up with a way to make it better (Henry et al., 2015). The Mayor is currently thinking of ways to increase the population and providing more housing, building units every day, having all these new businesses come to change what once used to be a filthy Quincy Center. The community needs to emphasize the growing need for not only jobs for these people, but maybe they can incorporate a few more low-income medical places for these people to be seen and looked at and cared. They recently got rid of Quincy Medical Center, one of the city’s major medical facilities and that leaves us now with Manet Health and Primary Care offices, and we need more than that. The authorities or leaders in the community need to come up with a plan to solve one of the city’s biggest issues at hand and help to employ them and give them some hope for their future. Therefore, this form of prevention is a primary prevention since it seeks to address the problem right by tackling its cause within the community members.

However, some barriers may interfere with a health strategy for Quincy. Therefore, when taking on the low-income/homeless people would be their mental illness for sure, never mind the fact we don’t have much in that department anyways, but I don’t know that they would necessarily want a “homeless mental patient” being involved in a blood drive, etc. The same goes for a bake sale etc. they would have to be checked out, depending on the severity of their mental illness maybe instead they volunteer at a car wash or something. There are plenty of barriers that would interfere but there are also plenty of opportunities for these people, and we need to start to ask questions and promote good health care and get the low-income/homeless to speak up, stand up and speak their mind. City council meetings are being held every month, and maybe they could all go as a group to help make their point and be heard.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Addressing a community health issues need an active involvement of the community members, and most of the community members could not be conversant with some of the programs that community health officers might bring into the society. Therefore, taking them through an education program will be the best way to start the onboarding program of these people. One of the strategies that are appropriate is by conducting a sanitization programs through media channels that are easily accessed by the community members to inform them of the intended community health programs that are to take place within their society. The sensitization programs will train the community members on the importance of having such programs and the need to share the information with their close family members and friends and encourage them also to embrace the proposed program. Using all the available media channels is the best way to reach the community members (Mozammel & Schechter, 2005). After conducting a previous survey, almost all the community members get access to at least one media channel, either TV, Radio, Facebook, Twitter or others depending on their level of education and the ability to access them.

Logical Process for developing a Health Strategy

Developing a health strategy entails coming up with a strategy that will limit the vulnerability of the community members and improve both their health and social status. Therefore, the most importance logic behind such a program is by first making the community understand the need for such programs. They need to figure out that the program is for their good and own it for it to succeed. Imposing a program that does not match the desires or expectations of the community members can automatically make a health strategy fail. Hence, the most important logic is to make the community members own the program and work with it as theirs as they feel the ownership of the whole program. When the city owns the program, both the supervision and implementation of the entire process will be much easier than when it’s forced on them. Therefore, the community leadership needs to be widely consulted before the initialization of the whole process so that they can rally their members behind the entire program.

Conclusion

Community nursing can be a useful strategy in addressing some of the problems that commonly face some of the vulnerable communities. It can assist to identify and solve many health issues with such communities like for the case of Quincy City where it has addressed the problems of homelessness and low-income residents. The only logic is that whenever any project is implemented in a community, they have to be incorporated in the project for them to feel to be in ownership of the project to guarantee it a success.

References

DePastino, T. (2010). Citizen hobo: How a century of homelessness shaped America. University of Chicago Press.

Henry, M., Shivji, A., de Sousa, T., Cohen, R., Khadduri, J., & Culhane, D. P. (2015). The 2015 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, Part 1: Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness.

Marston, E. (2000). The Quincy Library Group: A divisive attempt at peace. Across the great divide: Explorations in collaborative conservation and the American West, 79-90.

Mozammel, M., & Schechter, G. (2005). Strategic Communication for Community-Driven Development. The World Bank, Washington DC, 19.

Quincy, MA Profile: Facts, Map & Data. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2017, from http://massachusetts.hometownlocator.com/ma/norfolk/quincy.cfm.

August 26, 2022
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