Using data and communal input to create change

In 2018 and 2019 the Free Root Operation held our Day of Action. This was an opportunity for people to canvass and ask South Shore residents what they need, and what they want the community to look like. Volunteers also distributed and raised awareness of our Community Needs and Assets Assessment (CNAA), which was the first conducted in South Shore. The CNAA is the organization's qualitative and quantitative approach to ensure the work we are doing is in direct collaboration and alignment with the community.


The survey uses the Center for Disease Control methodology to approach understanding the needs of stakeholders in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood. Our team devised the CNAA by identifying the key aspects that factor into a person's quality of life and overall mobility. We distinguished five primary groups: Education, Domestic, Environment, Health, and Leisure.

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Compassion for others' experiences  fuels stronger communities.  






Our team created survey questions corresponding to each of these aspects to ensure that the data we collected captured the full picture of the communities accessed. We worked with local businesses, schools, and community organizations in South Shore to distribute the survey to residents and community members. We started by surveying the parents at Bouchet Elementary and expanded into canvassing the South Shore Community. We held our Day of Action during August of 2018 and 2019 to solicit data with the help of 100+ volunteer canvassers who went door-to-door to speak directly with South Shore residents and distribute the surveys. This data will be published soon to contribute to more initiatives to support this community. 

Our Sponsors

​Nash Community Center

Chicago Public Schools 

The Obama Foundation 

Bouchet Elementary

Tate and Associates

Chicago Cares

Lawrence Hall