Social Service Access
Social Service Access:
Analyzes and facilitates access to community resources
2011-2013. My interest in modeling access of peripheral and rural communities to essential social services came from my experience working as a housing advocate at the Addison County Community Action Group. At-risk, disenfranchised community members live farther away from town centers, often concentrated in mobile home parks situated on town borders due to exclusionary zoning codes. I sought to visualize access to food pantries and community centers in Middlebury, VT in the hope of decentralizing service provision and extending subsidized public transportation services to communities in need throughout the county.
This work was extended in 2013 when I was offered a GIS fellowship at Vermont Legal Aid (VLA). I expanded the scope of the project, working with attorneys and social workers across the state to apply spatial thinking practices to their work. I used the call center database at VLA to model need, and I identified gaps in legal service provision for poverty, housing, disability and health care law cases. The model identified prospective communities for increased VLA presence and outreach. These communities included migrant workers, new Americans, and Vermonters of color living outside of town centers where Vermont Legal Aid now applies additional attention and resources.
Tasks: Dataset acquisition, processing + management, spatial analysis, concept design, research, writing
Tools + Technologies: GIS (ArcGIS, QGIS), Adobe Suite, Microsoft Access