Greenville County iMap
Furman University, Greenville Health System, the United Way of Greenville County, and Greenville County partnered to create a web-based mapping application that allows community members to search a vetted database of community resources. Approximately 80 asset categories were identified, including government offices, senior care, health centers, food systems, childcare centers, and more. From within the mobile-friendly web application, users can initiate driving directions and phone calls to service providers. Access the map here.
Focused Needs and Assets Assessment
An interdisciplinary team of faculty, students, and staff, Furman undertook an integrated needs and assets assessment for 10 neighborhoods identified by the United Way of Greenville County. The study provides quality data to assist communities in designing their own strategies for improving educational outcomes and to help ensure a “Cycle of Success” for students during their schooling and beyond. The mixed-methodology project team conducted a community needs assessment based on a range of indicators, such as demographics, employment, and housing quality, and conducted interviews with community members, to expand the current understanding of the resources that may assist with addressing identified needs.
Benjamin Franklin Experience
Faculty and students from Furman's Earth and Environmental Sciences department, Biology department, and CEL, provided Greenville area students with day-long experiences in environmental science. The groups learned about biodiversity, mass wasting, water quality, and Geographic Information Systems. Participants were able to work through a scenario in which they were environmental consultants tasked with deciding which property in the Upstate region was most worth protecting. Throughout the day, the teens were exposed to new career options and the natural world.
Greenville Homeless Alliance Data Snapshot
The Greenville Homeless Alliance (GHA), a diverse group of homelessness stakeholders working to make homelessness brief and rare in Greenville, partnered with CEL to create a data snapshot of homelessness in Greenville County. A research team consisting of faculty, staff, post-baccalaureate fellows, and students conducted interviews, gathered existing data from service providers, and analyzed data throughout 2016-2017. The final report described existing data, data gaps, system needs and improvements for local data gathering on the prioritized indicators.
Participatory Planning in New Washington Heights
In collaboration with Greenville County and residents of the New Washington Heights neighborhood, Dr. Matt Cohen, Mike Winiski, and a team of eight undergraduate research students facilitated a public process to construct a vision for a 27-acre open space adjacent to the community. Over a three-week period, the project team engaged with 112 community members across diverse events, including hosting a public cookout, tabling at a community center, canvassing, and hosting a public workshop. The final vision report articulates community preferences for the space. Additional projects continue through student thesis research and ongoing conversations and collaboration.