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Hesperia Community Assessment Report Out

October 25, 2021 – The results are in on the Hesperia Community Assessment conducted on August 18. The report out and planning meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 2nd at the Hesperia High School cafeteria at 6:30pm. Participants are asked to enter through the cafeteria doors.  The consultant has prepared a comprehensive report and will lead this follow-up resident session to identify top priorities, issues and next steps. Together, participants will brainstorm a starting point towards reaching their vision, and a roadmap of how to approach community investment.

The assessment included a series of small group meetings with key stakeholders during the day, and an evening Town Hall meeting. The small groups focused on five specific areas: businesses; nonprofits, churches, and schools; Village staff and officials; youth; and seasonal and generational residents. The Town Hall meeting was very well attended by over 50 people. Residents eagerly provided excellent feedback regarding their community’s vision and identified aspects of Hesperia they wished to preserve and change.

The Rural Partners of Michigan began offering community assessments back in 2012. Julie Hales-Smith, a consultant from North Coast Community Consultants leading the Hesperia Area Assessment, has facilitated over 30 rural community assessments across the state, including three now in Oceana County.

CMF selected the Oceana Foundation to participate in their Rural Economic Development Cohort Initiative, nearly four years ago. Since then, the Foundation has funded and helped to lead assessments in Shelby, Pentwater and Hesperia.  “It is critical for us to keep a pulse on community needs. These assessments help us to better understand how we can support each community’s unique needs and build relationships. Community leaders have done an amazing job of gathering residents’ feelings and aspirations and then fostering positive change. We are looking forward to the next steps that Hesperia residents identify as top projects,” said CEO Tammy Carey.