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In February 2013 the Neighborhood Center closed. The Neighborhood Center provided a range of programs and services to neighborhood associations in the Omaha area.The United Neighborhood Alliances of Omaha (UNAO) identified a needs assessment as a necessary next step in planning what will take its place. The needs assessment was envisioned to assist the alliances in moving forward by helping to identify strategies that make the best use of Neighborhood Scan and other existing resources and offer the best response to neighborhood conditions.

The UNAO partnered with the Consortium for Organizational Research and Evaluation (CORE) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to conduct the needs assessment. CORE involved faculty, staff, and students from the Center for Public Affairs Research, Urban Studies Program, and other departments within the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS). The proposal can be found in Appendix A.

The needs assessment focused on identifying local assets, resources, and activities as well as gaps, barriers, or emerging needs. A comprehensive picture of existing conditions combined with a good understanding of the causes is indispensable in helping the neighborhood alliances to move forward. The needs assessment gathered information from neighborhood alliance members, neighborhood association leaders, and community members to learn more about the circumstances facing residents of the city of Omaha. The needs assessment consisted of four steps:

1. Focus groups with neighborhood alliance leaders
2. A survey of neighborhood alliance and neighborhood association leaders
3. Community forums in each of the neighborhood alliance areas
4. Neighborhood programs in cities similar to Omaha.

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