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Survey: Living expenses, gangs top worries among county residents

Loudoun residents believe they need the most help keeping a roof over their heads and gangs out of their neighborhoods, according to a new survey.

The findings were released Nov. 30 as part of the Loudoun Community Assessment 2010, a study conducted by the University of Virginia Center for Survey Research to assess human services in the county.

To get the results, the center surveyed nearly 2,500 random Loudoun County households and human services agencies and programs in spring 2009.

The survey cost $67,790 to conduct and was paid for through federal grants and local county departments.

The study’s findings will provide a foundation for planning, grant-seeking and discussion about human services in the county, according to the Department of Family Services.

Despite Loudoun County’s recent ranking as the wealthiest in the nation, the survey’s conductors estimated that more than 3,700 households tried to get help from any source in the last year to pay the rent or mortgage, and roughly 2,000 tried to get help for other financial worries, including food and utilities.

Nearly 15 percent of those surveyed said they or someone in their household had experienced a loss of employment in the last year.

The survey showed broad support for youth programs, food pantries and transportation programs. The findings revealed that 75 percent of residents believe the county should continue to fund such programs.

However, some surveyed said they worried that Loudoun’s social services were tainted by fraud and abuse, including concerns that resources were going to residents living in the country illegally.

Despite the concerns, Andy Johnston, executive director of Loudoun Cares, a nonprofit community-services networking group, said the survey is one county officials have tried for more than 10 years to complete.

“This is an incredible collection of information the likes of which we have never had in Loudoun County. Anyone who cares about local health and human service issues should review this assessment,”  Johnston said in a statement.

See the full Community Assessment report at http://www.loudoun.gov/communityassessment.

Loudoun’s biggest fears
Of nearly 2,500 random Loudoun County households and human services agencies and programs surveyed in spring 2009, a University of Virginia study found:
•  30 percent worry about having enough money to pay the rent or mortgage.
•  20 percent worry about gangs in their neighborhood.
•  19 percent worry about having enough money to pay for utilities.
•  17 percent worry about having enough money to buy food.


I’ve lived in ‘Sterling’ for 29 years, 26 of them in Countryside.  I lived in a very nice neighborhood in C’side growing up, and live in the so called “Ghetto” of C’side for the past 5 years and have NEVER seen any gang activity. 
And I have also always called it “Sterling”.

What you are trying to compare is Sterling Park and Sterling, which for some reason turned into Potomac Falls a few years back.  Sterling is not Sterling Park.  Sugarland, Countryside, Cascades and BR Farms are not ghetto and shouldn’t be in the same conversation as Sterling Park.  Well maybe the Shug should.

Just don’t move to Sterling Park and you should be OK.  Maybe expand that to Sterling in general, including “Countryside”, which likes to think it isn’t Sterling.

Ummm…where are all these gangs so I can remember not to move there?

WOW, on several points:  First, ‘just wondering’ says that Ken Reid’s wife divorced him.  Maybe ‘just wondering’ will share the grounds for the divorce.  Maybe cruelty?  Let us know.  Second, Joe Leesburg:  I am not sure what your point is, except to be that you have an opinion, on something.  Maybe you can opine on Ken Reid, as well.  It appears just wondering has the scoops, and wants to share.

I am really having a hard time believing that the BOS thought this was an appropriate use of $67k when they can never find the money to fund the Inspector General position they approved but never found money for.  A real IG would expose BS like this.  Here’s my take, with a new theme song for the BOS:


Ridiculous!!!!!  I thought the county government is nearly broke???  What a waste of money.

This standard practice, spend taxpayer dollars on reports to say they need to spend more money on government.  The document also states that far too much money is being spent on illegals too.  I doubt this survey was done for $67, that’s only the tax money going to UVA.  I count no less ten county employees.  Did they do it for free?

It’s funny.  People who respond to these stories say over and over, “Show me the data.”  Well, here is the data.  Whether you think it cost too much or not, here is some data.  I bet not a one of you accessed the source information before you commented.  Frankly, one of the more interesting things in this random survey is that 80% of the respondents to this feel that the County should help fund human services.  I guess some of you are just out of step with what the public really wants.

T, are you Ken Reid’s estranged ex-wife or something.  I dont know if Ken has one, but that’s what you sound like w/ your constant vendetta campaign against him.

Actually, one should be a concerned about politicians who will try to use articles like this, to promote their campaigns - such as Ken Reid, who traditionally claims to be for limited government and low taxes, while stuffing the Leesburg Town budget with big ticket spending project (while few are watching) and then proclaims loudly that he is for lower taxes.

Elect Dick Black for Virginia Senate.

What a waste of money
So $67,790 was spent to learn what anyone who lives here could have told them.

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