Base releases cultural housing survey results
By Master Sgt. Stephen Love , 45th SW Military Equal Opportunity
/ Published May 18, 2007
Patrick AFB --
Whether you're a thousand miles away or located in one of our three housing area, a family's unwavering support is often the fuel that feeds our execution of the mission. Therefore, 45th Space Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Susan Helms directed the 45th SW Military Equal Opportunity office to conduct a cultural assessment in the housing areas and dormitory.
General Helms and other senior leaders believed it was important to gain a greater understanding of how base residents interact and get along in the Patrick housing areas and dormitory facilities.
The approximately 664 families residing in North, Central and Pelican Coast housing areas along with about 150 single Airmen in the dormitory at Patrick AFB could participate. Unfortunately, only 29 families and 14 single Airmen completed the survey.
The low participation can be attributed to various factors. For instance, another housing survey occurred simultaneously, and this may have caused confusion. Therefore, this assessment will be established as a recurring means of reaching out to the community.
The survey was developed to measure families' and dormitory residents' perceptions associated with living in their respective areas; their interaction with their neighbors; how they perceive the overall morale; and their understanding of how to complain about a dispute and their freedom to do so.
Despite the low participation rate, significant input was gathered. First and foremost, families and single members felt welcomed moving into their Patrick living quarters. They also perceive their neighbors will lend a helping hand in times of need.
"That perception alone was worth the efforts to conduct this assessment and was very refreshing, considering the demanding times we live in regarding deployments," said Capt. Rachel Castellon, chief of MEO.
In addition, survey results indicate families don't allow cultural differences to hinder interaction.
However, there were some areas of concern. Some respondents reported hearing a neighbor use derogatory language to-ward another neighbor. Dormitory residents spoke of cliques along racial lines.
Other concerns reported were related to unfamiliarity with reporting disputes in housing and possible safety and security issues for families.
Clarification on how to handle and report disputes in housing is being worked now and residents will be receiving information very soon.
If it is a housing maintenance concern, contact the housing office or Pelican Coast contractor, but if it is a persistent neighbor irritant, try to talk to that person first. If that is not working, please inform your unit first sergeant.
"My Equal Opportunity and Treatment policy compliments the Air Force policy and that is 'Zero Tolerance.' Zero Tolerance does not mean it is not going to occur, but when it does occur, my leadership team and I will strive to identify it, eliminate it and enhance the environment it has affected," said General Helms.
Questions concerning this assessment may be directed to the 45th Military Equal Opportunity office at 494-6333.