2015: North End Action Team

“Resident Perspectives on the North End”

for the North End Action Team

by Talia DeRogatis, Jamie Jung, Crystal Rogers, and Angela Slevin

In conjunction with the North End Action Team (NEAT), a community organizing group based in the North End of Middletown, Connecticut, a research team from Wesleyan University worked to survey the residents of the neighborhood to understand their perspectives on the greatest issues presently facing the community. Through convenience and random sampling methods, we surveyed 113 residents. The top five greatest issues were found to be Crime and Drugs, Infrastructure and Access, Street Dynamics, Youth Activities, and Public Space. We hope that these results can help direct the future community organizing efforts of NEAT.

2015: Middlesex Coalition for Children

“2015 Assessment of Food Security in Middletown Households with Children”

for Middlesex Coalition for Children

by Nina Gerona, Eva Jaskoviak, Geneva Jonathan, and Morgan Scribner

The Middlesex Coalition for Children recruited the services of four Wesleyan students to research issues related to food security and access of Middletown households with children. The research goals were to: (1) measure the food security of households with children under the age of 18; (2) evaluate the use of federal and local food programs; (3) assess factors that limit access to food such as income and transportation. In 2005, a similar report, Food Security and Hunger Among Middletown Households with Children, was completed using telephone interviews and self-administered surveys. This 2015 study serves as a comparison to the 2005 study, reporting on how food trends have changed over the past decade. This study found that food insecurity among Middletown households with children has doubled in the past ten years, and the recent addition of the marginally food secure category by the USDA highlights that many households could be on the cusp of food insecurity. Income is the strongest indicator of a household’s food security status. Moreover, food insecure parents attempt to shield their children from the effects of food insecurity by reducing the quality and size of their meals first, but this becomes increasingly difficult as household income approaches the poverty line. We also found federal and local food aid programs are helping to reduce food insecurity, yet many programs have also seen a decline in use by food insecure families in the past ten years.

1998: River Valley Services

“Living in the Community: Clients’ Perceptions of Quality of Life after Discharge under the Community Based Initiative”

for River Valley Services

by Abbie Goldberg, Abigail Kinnebrew, and David Schleifer


Three researchers from Wesleyan University worked with River Valley Services (RVS), a mental health service provider operated by the Connecticut State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), to assess how community placement has affected the lives of people discharged from Connecticut Valley Hospital (CVH) in 1992 and 1993 under the Community Based Initiative (CBI) program. The study aims to draw a qualitative picture of the lives of these clients in order to gauge the success of deinstitutionalization and community-based care.



1998: MARC

“Breakdown in the System: An Evaluation of Services to People of Color with Mental Retardation”

for MARC Community Resources

by Jodie Langs, Rashida Mendes, Stacey Parris, and Laura Smith


MARC Community Resources approached the Wesleyan Community Research Program with a proposal for a research project addressing the low percentage of people of color utilizing their services. The purpose of our project, as outlined by MARC, was to evaluate MARC’s services to people of color, and to determine the source of under-representation,

1998: Community Action

“The Precarious Balance of ‘Success’: The Barriers that Middlesex County’s JOBS Program Clients Face in their Move Towards Self-Sufficiency”

for Middlesex County Community Action Group

by Liz Botein, Beth Fine, Emily Lieberman, and Ginna Smith


Our research was designed to study welfare recipients who are working or who have obtained work at some point, and explore what factors help or hinder their transition from public assistance to self-sufficiency. Many barriers affect individuals’ attempts to move toward self-sufficiency. These factors can be structural (quality of and access to affordable childcare, transportation, and education and training) or individual (young motherhood, depression, spousal abuse, etc.) and often are a combination of both…. This report illustrates some of the areas that need to be addressed in order to better help those who are working to move off welfare.



1999: United Way

“Community Needs Assessment: Middlesex County Connecticut”

for Middlesex United Way, Inc.

by Tara Cohen, Ila Jain, Monisha Nariani, and Glenda Oskar


Four students from Wesleyan University worked in collaboration with Middlesex United Way updating the 1995 Comprehensive Needs Assessment. The goal of this partnership was to determine Middlesex County residents’ “perception of need” regarding social problems and services within the community. Our hope is that the 1999 assessment will have a significant impact on the future of Middlesex County by assisting the United Way in allocating funds to social service agencies. The data collected

1999: YWCA

“Making Connections: A Study of the Volunteer Program at the YWCA/Central Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Service”

for YWCA / Central Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Service (Central CT SACS)

by Monique Doussard, Nora Grip, Meg Loomis, and Chris Miller


Four researchers from Wesleyan University worked with Central CT SACS to examine the factors that affect the number of active volunteers serving their agency’s branch. This task was completed by interviewing/surveying active and non-active volunteers, those that have trained but not volunteered, and current trainees. To provide comparative models, representatives from nine other member agencies of ConnSACS and one domestic violence shelter were interviewed and surveys were faxed/mailed to sexual assault service agencies from other states.