Woodside is an obnoxiously peaceful, quiet neighborhood in Queens. It is filled with predominately White, Asian, and Hispanic groups. There are plenty of elementary schools and several places of worship near where I live. There is also a fire station within two blocks of my apartment which, although a nuisance, is obviously essential and helpful during emergencies for those in need in the community. Except for the occasional rambunctious youth or post-partying, alcohol-induced adult, little trouble arises in my neighborhood. Rarely have I seen a police car pass through my neighborhood.
Since I usually spend my free time either in Washington Heights or Sunset Park, any major events or changes that occur in my neighborhood are indistinguishable to me. However, because of this survey, I have definitely observed many new things about Woodside that I never noticed before: new apartment complexes, schools undergoing major reconstruction, and new restaurants and stores are popping up everywhere I turn. I have also noticed a major decrease in the number of homeless compared to what I remember five years ago.
Although there have been many improvements in my community, there is still a major problem that I notice when I look around. Coming from an underprivileged, minority family, sometimes I feel like not enough is being done by community centers to help those in need. Many non-English speaking families aren’t aware of the services available to them or are just too ashamed or embarrassed to look for the help they need. Over 17% of my community is below the poverty line, and with rising prices all over the neighborhood, I feel like not enough is being done to help relief efforts.
As a nurse, I believe the best thing to do – in any and ALL situations – is to assess the problem. Recognize when something needs fixing and intervene when appropriate and possible. Educating the community on public assistance and community centers, and providing the information they need, even when they don’t ask for it, is the best solution. Sometimes just knowing that help is available to them whenever they need it is all the comfort that patients need.