Two years ago, the Omaha Community Foundation engaged in a listening campaign in targeted areas of the community to better understand the lives of more than 1,600 residents.
We worked both in-person through nonprofit partners and online through www.TheLandscapeOmaha.org. From that process, six priorities emerged: importance of social and support networks; access to arts, culture, and recreation; vibrant neighborhoods; financial stability; confronting segregation; access to public transportation.
Our listening work continues, and while we continue to partner with local nonprofits, this fall we’re moving the conversation back online to a site called Voices of The Landscape.
Voices is a community story sharing site for residents to voice their experiences living in Omaha and Council Bluffs. It’s an opportunity for members of the community to share their experiences and invite people from all over the city to weigh in. The questions are meant to be universal—anyone can answer them.
This project is an extension of www.TheLandscapeOmaha.org, which is an approach for knowing the community and understanding how to invest in its future. On The Landscape, you’ll find eight areas of community vitality broken down into graphs, charts, and statistics, which is helpful when understanding needs. But we know that data only tells part of the story. The rest must come straight from the community, from people like you.
Through this online exchange, we hope to better understand one another’s lives and experiences, and gauge how you view our community, your challenges and frustrations, and your hopes and dreams.
Do you feel safe in your neighborhood?
Do you feel welcome in your community?
Are you proud of your neighborhood?
Have you experienced discrimination?
Do you have someone you can depend on?
These are a few of the questions we’re asking to help us better understand what’s working for our friends and neighbors, and what might not be. Maybe it’s a simple yes or no answer, but maybe you have a larger story to tell and share with the community.
After submitting your response, you can share it on social media and your story becomes a piece of a larger collection hosted on www.YourVoice.TheLandscapeOmaha.org, a network offering unique points of view of life. The more stories and responses that are shared, the more we can understand how we each experience life in the Omaha and Southwest Iowa region.
We will report back on what we learned to those that participated, to local nonprofits and funders, and all those that care about making the community a better place for all our residents to thrive.
We’re all looking to get more involved in our community; to better understand and know our neighbors, and to contribute to the vibrancy and opportunity that make the Omaha-Council Bluffs area so full of potential.
We hope you’ll join us online this fall to discuss your experiences, exchange stories, and get to know your fellow residents a little better.
To add your voice today, visit www.YourVoice.TheLandscapeOmaha.org, or to learn more about The Landscape, call the Omaha Community Foundation at (402) 342-3458.