Leadership Eatonville Community Survey Reveals Resident Priorities

In a recent survey conducted as part of the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) funded Leadership Eatonville program, Town of Eatonville residents were asked what they would do to make their community a better place. With an average residency of 23.4 years, participants are long term members of the community with an invested interest in the betterment of the town they call home. Their responses suggest activities for youth, neighborhood beautification efforts, jobs and adult education hold the highest priority.

The Polis Institute, on behalf of WPHF and the Healthy Eatonville Team, contacted 383 Eatonville residents between June 6 and July 11, 2016, for the purposes of learning more about the perception of the town and to solicit interest in Leadership Eatonville. The interview team included three Eatonville residents, two individuals who work in the town, as well as two professional community organizers who were all trained to conduct facilitated conversations.

The month long effort involved contacting 730 households door-to-door. Of those contacted, 322 households completed the survey including a number of households in which multiple adults took part in the conversation. The result of these conversations included an abundance of feedback on neighborhood opinions and 40 new members recruited for the Leadership Eatonville program.

The remainder of the information was qualitative as reported by the interviewers.  Results of the study will be presented for discussion at Leadership Eatonville meetings in October as well as at the October meeting of the Investor Council whose members represent businesses who are committed to investing time, talent or money in the needs of the town as identified by residents.

A selection of questions and their associated results from the Eatonville Community Survey are listed below:


Do you consider yourself a community leader?

I Don't Know102.6%
No Answer30.8%


What opportunities have you had to demonstrate leadership in the community?

Neighbor44Being a good neighbor, help the elderly, watchful
Family19Being a good parent
No opportunity19
Civic18Held office, worked for town, helped officials
Church14Pastor, lay leader
Events9Zora Neale Hurston
Non-profit9Help homeless, started memorial, worked for non-profit
Business7Own business
Clean3Keep street clean, landscape


What would you do to make the community a better place?

Youth activities/programs48better programs for youth and children
Beautification26clean up area, beautify neighborhood
Build Community24unify, keep heritage, more family functions, activities
I Don't Know20
More Involvement16communicate, get involved, know what's going on
Jobs14Help people get employment
Educational Programs14vocational training, adult education
Get Rid of Drugs13
Fix Roads/Drainage13
Improve housing13
New businesses13gas station, restaurant, bars, hang out places
Improve leadership12new leadership at town hall, more honesty
Improve policing12community policing
Help the elderly12
Economic development10more money into community
Infrastructure9Street lights, sidewalks
Be more neighborly8Give advice, encourage people, help out
More parks/facilities7Bigger rec center, parks for kids
Church/God6get people in church, pray, trust God
Better schools6
Reduce crime rate5
Monitor traffic flow5
Property improvements4