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Running Head: COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT

Community Assessment

Ruby Sabina

Frostburg State University


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Hyattsville: Location

Hyattsville, MD is a community in Prince Georges County, close to the border

of Washington, DC. At a total of 2.70 square miles, (United States Census Bureau,

2017) Hyattsville is not huge, but has a lot to offer its residents and visitors. It is at

an elevation of roughly 105 feet (City of Hyattsville, Maps), and although it is not

extremely hilly or difficult to traverse, you will find some ups and downs throughout

the city. On one side of Hyattsville, the small town of Brentwood borders the city. On

the other side one will find Hyattsvilles other neighbor: Riverdale Park. Although

the population at the most recent census was found to be 16,500, the most recent

estimates in 2016 put population estimates at closer to 17,500 (City of Hyattsville,

Demographics).

Throughout the city of Hyattsville one can find many different types of

housing. The type largely depends on the subdivision of Hyattsville. The six

subdivisions are University Hills, Hyattsville Hills, Downtown Hyattsville, Kirkwood,

Queens Chapel, Castle Manor, and Kirkwood. One of the most popular parts of

Hyattsville is historic Hyattsville. This neighborhood includes many old Victorian

homes built in the 1800s. One might also find some old Sears bungalows. These

were homes built by the Sears Company and actually selected out of a catalog. There

are also a few apartment buildings in this area. In the queens Chapel area, you are

more likely to find small, red, brick homes built in the 1900s. In downtown

Hyattsville, also known as the Hyattsville Arts District, there is a large, recently built

group of homes. This group of homes is centered on a collection of shops and

restaurants, making it a very popular area to live, shop, and eat. You will find these
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houses are very typical, recently built homes but they do have an old appliance shop

turned into a gym for its residents. Throughout Hyattsville, there are also many

homes and buildings that are designated as historic sites. Some of these include the

old Hyattsville Post Office and the Hyattsville Armory (Department of the Interior).

Hyattsville: Population

Many residents are proud of the diversity found in Hyattsville. As of the 2010

census the city was 35% African American, 34% Hispanic, 33% Caucasian, and 21%

other races. This includes a median age of 32 years, and 50.8% male and 49.2%

female. 24.2% of the citys population is under the age of 18 (City of Hyattsville,

Demographics). And at the time of the 2010 census, 10.8% of the population lives

below the poverty line (United States Census Bureau).

In recent years, the city of Hyattsville has experienced a steady stream of

revitalization and change. Although at one point it was not considered trendy, this

has changed in more recent years. EYA homes, a popular building company, started

this revitalization by building a new downtown center. This included many popular

restaurants and shops. More recently, a revitalization of the Mall at Prince Georges

has begun to take place, in the hopes of modernizing and making the mall attractive

to visitors. Another company has begun to build more shops and restaurants on the

other side of Hyattsville, and new restaurants are popping up all the time. Along

Rhode Island Avenue, also known as the Route 1 Corridor, arts and history live side

by side, with many buildings showcasing local artists.


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Population statistics in Hyattsville are difficult to write about because of the

large portion of undocumented immigrants living in the area (Prince Georges

County Health Department, 2016). The population statistics we do know about tell

us a lot about the economic and physical health of people in the area. They also tell

us a lot about the disparities that occur depending on where someone lives in

Hyattsville.

In some Hyattsville zip codes, the rate of residents without as much as a high

school diploma is as high as 37.2 percent. This is significantly higher than the

average rate in the state of Maryland (8.1 percent). These zip codes correlate with

those that have the highest rates of poverty, up to 16.6%. Again, this number is

higher than the state average of 10.1%. Also, the rate of persons holding a bachelors

degree or higher is 33.9%. This is on trend with the national average of 1 in 3, or

33% (United States Census Bureau, 2017).

Hyattsville has a large immigrant population, with about 36.5% of residents

born in another country. 45.9% of homes also speak a language other than English

at home (United States Census Bureau, 2017).

Causes of death specific to Hyattsville could not be obtained, but according to

the state of Maryland, the leading cause of death in Prince Georges County was

diseases of the heart, with cancer coming in at a close second (Prince Georges

County Health Department, 2016). Prostate cancer was the highest rate found in the

county (Prince Georges County Health Department, 2016).

At a rate of 13.6 live births per 1,000 population members, Prince Georges

County is higher than the national average of 12.5. As a county, however, the infant
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mortality rate of 6.9 is higher than the state of Maryland rate of 6.5. Also, the

percent of births with late or no prenatal care is high at 11.4 percent (Prince

Georges County Health Department, 2016).

The median household income in United States is $53,657, but the median

income in Hyattsville is $64,786 (United States Census Bureau, 2017). This is

necessary however, as the median home price and fair market rent per month is

higher than the state average (roughly $1100 in Hyattsville compared to $900 in the

state of Maryland) (Prince Georges County Health Department, 2016). Residents in

this area also spend roughly 35 minutes one way commuting to work (United States

Census Bureau, 2017).

Because of its close proximity to the DC area, many different occupations can

be found in Hyattsville. With roughly 77.6% of the population in the work force, we

can see lots of different types of jobs (United States Census Bureau, 2017). A part of

the arts district, the area is particularly friendly to artists with housing found

specifically for people who consider themselves artists.

Prince Georges County uses a website fueled by the health department called

PG County Healthzone. This website provides access to many things health related

in Prince Georges County, accessible by zip code. They provide statistics compared

to the goal rate provided by healthy people 20/20. Healthy People 20/20 provides

comprehensive health goals for communities to reach. According to PG County

20/20 Hyattsville has reached many health goals. Some of these goals are

adolescents who are obese, death rate due to lung cancer, incidence of cervical

cancer, preterm births, death rate due to suicide, and rates of smoking, binge
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drinking, and teens who smoke (PG Health Zone, 2017). Some areas where

Hyattsville has not met the 20/20 goals are pedestrian injuries, death rate due to

homicide, high school graduation, mothers who receive early prenatal care, infant

mortality rate, incidence of tuberculosis, adults with influenza and pneumonia

vaccines, and prevalence of high blood pressure and cholesterol. These are all things

that should be focused on in the coming years.

Hyattsville: Social Systems

One of the biggest issues facing families in Hyattsville is the lack of childcare

for children who are not yet school aged. With the boom the Route 1 corridor (area

including Hyattsville, Mount Rainier, and Riverdale) is experiencing, childcare has

simply not kept up. Waiting lists in the area are years long and the cost of daycare,

much like the rest of the country, is simply not affordable. Luckily, Hyattsville

borders DC; so many parents are able to subsidize using DC area daycare options.

But this does not leave a lot of options that are accessible by public transportation

or convenient for Hyattsville families.

The Hyattsville school system is pretty good, with ratings of 6s, 5s and 4s

(out of 10) found on one commonly used website greatschools.com. This website is

rated by local parents and students. However, there are two huge problems facing

Hyattsville schools right now. One is the condition of school facilities. Hyattsville

Middle School and Hyattsville Elementary School were slated for huge renovations

in the upcoming years due to deteriorating conditions and planning area

overcrowding (Wright, 2017). Due to a lack of funding, both projects have been
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pushed back and the amount of money dedicated to them has been decreased.

Unless the county can find alternate sources of funding, these projects will just

continue to face delays (Wright, 2017).

The second major problem is teacher retention. In Prince Georges County,

the rate at which teachers are leaving their jobs is roughly 13.8%, much higher than

the state-established target rate of 10% (Ryan & Bauman, 2016). If almost 14% of

teachers are leaving for other schools each year, something definitely needs to be

addressed. Luckily, Prince Georges county just received a grant of $25 million to

help address these problems (Ryan & Bauman, 2016). Hopefully, hiring and

retention can be something the county becomes experts at with this extra financial

support.

In a recent health report for Prince Georges County one of the main findings

was that the county does not have enough healthcare providers to serve the

residents (Prince Georges County Health Department, 2016). They also found that

the quality of providers in Prince Georges County needed to be improved (Prince

Georges County Health Department, 2016). This can partially be attributed to the

fact that the close proximity to DC makes many residents simply travel into the city

for their healthcare.

Unfortunately, the same is true for access to hospitals. With the local Prince

Georges Hospital struggling, many residents seek care at DC area hospitals like

Washington Hospital Center or Washington Adventist in Takoma Park.

Transportation is one area where Hyattsville is seeing some exciting

developments. It is a very bikeable community, with access to Capital Bike Share,


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which provides bikes at the drop of a hat to anyone with a credit card. There are

also many area metro stations, like West Hyattsville and College Park. With an

average commute to work time of 35 minutes (United States Census Bureau, 2017),

Hyattsville residents arent doing too badly in terms of commuting. And now they

have something new to get excited about: the purple line. This is a light rail line

being built, slated to open in 2022 (Maryland Transit Administration). This new line

will allow residents of Prince Georges County to move between the rail lines of the

Washington Metro without having to go all the way into DC, something commonly

complained about amongst metrorail riders.

Plan for Hyattsville

As a whole, the city of Hyattsville is a thriving, up and coming community.

With great access to jobs in Washington, DC and transportation thriving, it is a great

place to live in the DC area. Lack of access to healthcare providers, care for new

parents and young people, and fixing of area schools are of the utmost importance,

as evidenced by the lack of residents with things like flu shots and blood pressure

screenings, infant mortality rate, and school overcrowding. These things affect the

most vulnerable of the population, including the youngest and oldest residents.

A new hospital is being built in Largo, which will see some traffic from

Hyattsville residents, but it is still a considerable distance. One way Prince Georges

county might be able to aid its residents could be to partner with some doctors in

DC. Opening satellite offices to already established offices in the DC area could offer

new and improved options for much needed providers in the DC area.
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One of the most important things Hyattsville can do is screenings. These can

be set up at any public gathering, like the popular Hyattsville Arts Festival. At these

screenings nurses could check patients for risks for things like tuberculosis,

administer flu vaccines, check blood pressure, and provide education about

cholesterol. Nurses at these events could also provide residents with providers who

may help serve patients with no insurance, for example the clinic at Holy Cross

Hospital.

One of the 20/20 goals Hyattsville has not reached is the infant mortality

rate. This is something the city needs to address immediately. One way they could

do this is educate residents prior to discharge after delivery about safe sleeping and

ways to reduce the risk of SIDS. The city could also consider participating in one of

the new baby box programs. These programs provide a box that can actually be used

as a crib, free of charge to new parents. The boxes also usually contain some onesies,

free samples, diapers, and formula.

Hyattsville should also focus on ensuring each student graduates with a high

school diploma. One school system in Alaska enacted a comprehensive system to

combat this problem. This included hiring a graduation support coordinator. This

persons job is to work with families of students who are identified as having a high

risk of dropping out achieve the goal of graduation. These counselors can use tools

like peer mentoring, home visits, and a credit check system to help students.

Resolutions to issues about school improvement are ongoing, but

desperately need to be addressed. Millions of dollars are needed to renovate

crumbling Hyattsville schools. How can these funds be raised? The current schools
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in Hyattsville are not big enough to accommodate the students in the area. One thing

is for sure: Hyattsville needs to be continuously lobbying Prince Georges and the

state of Maryland for help with this funding. By ensuring our lawmakers are aware

of these problems and lobbying for Hyattsville, they have a much better chance of

ensuring this happens.

Luckily, 2018 will be a great year for Hyattsville in terms of daycare facilities.

With two new facilities opening, one in College Park and on in Hyattsville, hopefully

parents will find relief.


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References

American Federation of Teachers. Across the Stage. Retrieved from

https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/if_acrossthestagegradsupportmanua

lace.pdf.

City of Hyattsville. Demographics. Retrieved from

http://www.hyattsville.org/206/City-Demographics.

City of Hyattsville. Maps and GIS. Retrieved from

http://www.hyattsville.org/525/Maps-GIS-Page.

Maryland Transit Administration. Purple Line Project Overview. Retrieved from

http://www.purplelinemd.com/en/about-the-project/project-overview.

Prince Georges County Health Department. (2016). Prince Georges County

Community Health Needs Assessment. Retrieved from

https://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2

884.

Prince Georges County Health Department. (2017). PGC Healthzone. Retrieved from

http://www.pgchealthzone.org/.

United States Census Bureau. (2017). QuickFacts, Hyattsville City. Retrieved from

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/hyattsvillecitymaryland/LFE

305215#viewtop.

United States Department of the Interior. National Register of Historic Places

Inventory- Nomination Form. Retrieved from

https://mht.maryland.gov/secure/medusa/PDF/NR_PDFs/NR-673.pdf.
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Ryan, C. L., & Bauman, K. (2016). Educational Attainment in the United States: 2015.

Retrieved from

https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/

demo/p20-578.pdf.

Silvera, E. (2017). Prince Georges county schools receive grant to address low

teacher retention rate. The Diamondback. Retrieved from

http://www.dbknews.com/2017/11/16/prince-georges-county-public-

schools-grant-education-department/.

Wright, H. (2017). HES, HMS building projects delayed, proposed funding decreased.

Hyattsville Life & Times. Retrieved from http://hyattsvillelife.com/hes-hms-

building-projects-delayed-proposed-funding-decreased/.