The Community and Family Institute (CFI) in the Fulbright College of Arts and Science
was created in 1997 to facilitate research on community and family issues/problems.
With a specific focus on but not limited to Northwest Arkansas, CFI also engages in
research relevant to all of Arkansas, national, and global issues.
The Institute recently has been involved in several Northwest Arkansas community research
efforts: Point-in-Time (PIT) homeless census in Northwest Arkansas (2007-2017). This
PIT served as the primary sampling frame for a comprehensive study of 168 homeless
adults living in Washington and Benton Counties (2015).
In addition, CFI completed a survey of 350 middle school students in Fayetteville
and 1,500 high school students attending Springdale High School (grades 10-12), looking
at issues related to nutrition, food insecurity, well-being, social capital, and family
dynamics. Those final reports can be found on the website; CFI continues to examine
issues related to adolescent health, and well-being.
CFI conducts research in collaboration with community partners to promote a better
understanding of community and family issues, with a focus on promoting social justice
and equity in a diverse and multiethnic world. CFI supports community-based research
partnerships on a wide range of topics including but not limited to: homelessness,
health and public health, social capital, education/schools, crime and violence, family,
and youth. The Institute can provide expertise and analytical support to non-profits,
local governments, school districts, etc. that are interested in developing comprehensive
research/evaluation programs and assessments. Whether you need to better understand
a specific project outcome or goal, or design a large data collection (secondary and/or
primary) to better understand who you serve, CFI can assist with all phases of program
and research development.
Homelessness in Northwest Arkansas
This report highlights the findings from the 2015 PIT Homeless Census in NWA. In addition,
the report provides an overview of how the population has changed with regards to
the PIT reporting since 2007. Finally, this report highlights a comprehensive random,
representative survey of 168 homeless adults living in Washington and Benton Counties.
Provides a comprehensive overview of a number of health-related issues facing middle
school students in the Fayetteville Schools. The report highlights responses from
334 5th-7th grade students and 174 parents who responded to a parent survey.
Provides a comprehensive overview of health and nutrition findings from Springdale
high school students in grades 10-12. The report highlights responses from nearly
1500 students and examines their connections to their family, school, and community.
This reporthighlights the effects impacting families living in poverty across the
United States. A comparison of poverty indicators and benefit classifications across
the 23 states that CirclesUSA is currently working in is provided.
Provides a glimpse into how young adults (junior and seniors in high school) perceive
their community through the lens of a camera. As part of the Adopt-A-Classroom project
at the University of Arkansas School of Education, this project looks at the comprehensive
insights of 96 students on life in Northwest Arkansas.
Includes the highlights from a recent point-in-time census of visitors, an in-depth
survey of clients and their needs, and a survey of the non-profit partners at both
Centers for Non-Profits in Springdale and Rogers.
Homelessness in Northwest Arkansas
Health and Poverty
Homelessness in Northwest Arkansas
With and Without Their Own Place: Homelessness and Housing in Northwest Arkansas
Community Fact Sheet 4:
Counting NWA's Homeless: Preliminary Results from the 2009 Homeless Census Link->
Community Fact Sheet 5:
Putting a Face on NWA's Homeless: More Results from the 2009 Homeless Census Link->
Community Fact Sheet 8:
Counting NWA's Homeless: Preliminary Results from the 2011 Homeless Census Link->
Community Fact Sheet 9:
The Changing Face of NWA's Homeless: More Results from the 2011 Homeless Census Link->
Community Fact Sheet 15:
Counting NWA's Homeless: Preliminary Results from the 2013 Homeless Census Link->
Community Fact Sheet 16:
The Changing Face of NWA's Homeless: More Results from the 2013 Homeless Census Link->
Health and Poverty
Community Fact Sheet 6:
Hope 2009: A VA Sponsored Event for Northwest Arkansas' Homeless Link->
Community Fact Sheet 7:
Hope 2010: 2nd Annual Community Service-Focused Event for Northwest Arkansas Link->
Community Fact Sheet 11:
Hope 2011: 3rd Annual Community Service-Focused Event for Northwest Arkansas Link->
Community Fact Sheet 12:
A Health Status Report Link->
Community Fact Sheet 13:
Results from Hope 2012 Link->
Community Fact Sheet 14:
Hope 2012 Health Update Link->
Community Fact Sheet 18:
Hope 2013: 5th Annual Community Service-Focused Event for Northwest Arkansas Link->
Community Fact Sheet 19:
Hope 2013: A Health Status Report Link->
Community Fact Sheet 17:
Health, Well-Being and Food Insecurity among Middle School Students Link->
Community Fact Sheet 1:
The Changing Face of Northwest Arkansas Link->
Community Fact Sheet 3:
Opinions Matter: What NWA Residents are Saying About Quality-of-Life Link->
Community Fact Sheet 10:
Race and Ethnicity Matter: What NWA Residents are Saying About Quality of Life Link->
The Northwest Arkansas Community Indicators Project is a prime example of the type
of comprehensive evaluation of community needs that the Community and Family Institute
is interested in helping to develop and execute. The goal of this project has been
to stimulate dialogue about developing issues in the region and to encourage informed
strategies for shaping future policies and effective actions. This project was a collaborative
effort between the University of Arkansas’ Community and Family Institute, the Northwest
Arkansas Community Foundation, and the United Way of Northwest Arkansas. This report
would not have been possible without funding from the Walton Family Foundation. In
addition, the continued funding of the Community and Family Institute through the
Jones Trust Fund has been instrumental to this effort. Northwest Arkansas has experienced
considerable transformation in its soft infrastructure (demography, health, education,
arts, civic engagement, etc.) over the last thirty years. The changes occurring in
Northwest Arkansas have created a number of significant challenges that the region
must acknowledge and address head-on, but certainly not all the changes have had a
negative effect. The region’s metamorphosis has invigorated communities throughout
the area and created a tremendous set of social, economic, and cultural opportunities.
The intent of this quality of life report is two-fold. First, is to provide the people
of Northwest Arkansas with an empirically grounded understanding of the changes taking
place in their communities and the consequences of those changes. The second is to
serve as a resource for citizens, service providers, and other stakeholders as they
discuss the region’s challenges, build upon its successes, and plan for its future.
A regional approach that examines, in detail, the quality of life in the four counties
of Northwest Arkansas (Benton, Carroll, Madison, and Washington), is the report’s
focus. Focusing on life in these four counties forces one to ask big questions that
transcend jurisdictional boundaries.
- NWA Indicators Full Report Link->
- NWA Indicators Cover Link->
- NWA Indicators Chapter 1 Link->
- NWA Indicators Chapter 2 Link->
- NWA Indicators Chapter 3 Link->
- NWA Indicators Chapter 4 Link->
- NWA Indicators Chapter 5 Link->
- NWA Indicators Chapter 6 Link->
- NWA Indicators Chapter 7 Link->
- NWA Indicators Chapter 8 Link->
- NWA Indicators Chapter 9 Link->
- NWA Indicators Chapter 10 Link->
- NWA Indicators Chapter 11 Link->
- NWA Indicators Afterword Link->
- NWA Indicators References Link->
- Data Tables and Sources Link->
- Village of 100 Link->
- Spotlight Summary of Social Indicators Link->
National Alliance to End Homelessness
National Alliance to End Homelessness is a comprehensive resource-rich website with
data and reports covering topics from rural homelessness to the mental and physical
health issues facing today's homeless population. The website is both policy and
research-focused; great resource for both researchers and those delivering services.
Homeless Resource Center
Homeless Resource Center is a SAMHSA-sponsored website that highlights both comprehensive
research reports and ongoing community-focused work that addresses the complex needs
and problems of the homeless.
American Community Survey
American Community Survey is a census-sponsored survey designed to full in information
gaps regarding the nation's population and general community shifts taking place between
the national decennial census years.
The Community Indicators Consortium (CIC)
The Community Indicators Consortium (CIC) is an active learning network and community
of practice among persons and organizations interested or engaged in the field of
community indicators and their application. CIC's website is a resource for individuals
and organizations working to improve the use of indicators for better planning, decision-making
and communities' quality of life.
The Census Bureau
The Census Bureau is the primary population data collection agency in the United States.
Their website is a comprehensive resource that makes a wide-range of data and reports
on population, housing, business and industry available to the general public. This
is a great secondary data resource for examining population and community issues.
National Association of Counties
National Association of Counties is a website that offers both data and general information
on counties throughout the United States. The website has both interactive data search
and mapping capabilities.
The Saguaro Seminar: Social Capital in America website
The Saguaro Seminar: Social Capital in America website is designed to introduce and
familiarize the general public to the critical questions and issues related to the
development and application(s) of social capital in contemporary society. The website
is part of a larger project that focuses on expanding what we know about our levels
of trust and community engagement and on developing strategies and efforts to increase
this engagement among all types and members of communities across the United States.
The National Institute of Health
The National Institute of Health is our nation's central coordinating health agency
and their website is filled with resources that are useful to both researchers and
those working in the health and health-care delivery field. Their website provides
important grant information and assistance; important jumping-off site for other community
and family health-related websites.
Dr. Fitzpatrick's CV