The current essay provides the description of Berkeley County in the form of a Windshield Survey. The general overview of the community presents the geographical description, health resources, citizen, protective, and community welfare services. All the information is obtained from official sources.
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Berkeley County is located in West Virginia. The boundaries of the chosen district are shown on Figure 1 (City-data, 2015).
Figure 1. Boundaries of Berkeley County (City-data, 2015).
The architecture of the community combines different styles: Italian, Gothic, Victorian, Georgian, etc. There are many old row houses in poor condition. Modern department stores, living apartments and auto-repair garages are located nearby historic places and parks. Numerous historic places such as Apollo Theatre, Aspen Hall, and other are listed in the National Register: The Planning Department of Berkeley City Council retain information about zoning and location of modern buildings (Berkeley County Council, 2015). Unfortunately, historical sites are wilfully damaged. One can observe the evidence of negligence and deliberate destruction in paintings on the walls, broken windows, and wrecked cars, all of which is vandalism of historic sites and properties; and uncontrolled archaeological excavation, vandalism and theft (West Virginia Culture and History, 2015). A vivid example of such decay can be seen in destroying carpet and walls by throwing honey and chocolate syrup on them (Herald Mail Media, 2014).
Various types of services are available in Berkeley County. Health departments comprise Health & Human Resources Department, West Virginia State Health and Human Resources Department, and Berkeley County Health Dept. There are numerous medical institutions in this community: Berkeley Medical Center, Gateway Behavioral Health Services Center, and Jefferson Memorial Hospital (Yellow Pages, 2015). In addition, the county has a number of the rehabilitation centers such as Stonebrook, Blue Ridge Rehabilitation, and Care Haven Center. There are many private dentist offices: Kool Smiles General Dentistry for Kids, Potthoff General Dentistry, and others (Yellow Pages, 2015). Amherst Family Practice, Corporate Occupational Health, Valley Health Occupational, etc. render occupational health services. Moreover, the citizens can visit private physicians at Flax Stephen, Foxcroft Family Care, and Panhandle Medicine.
Berkeley County is home to various educational institutions. There are 31 schools in the community (Berkeley County Schools, 2015). Also, children can enroll in 2 colleges (Blue Ridge Community and Technical College) and WV University Healthcare.
The residents of the community have the access to such official services as police stations, jails and correcting centers, post offices, libraries, and animal control departments. They can get involved in different volunteer services, for instance, working in volunteer fire stations, helping patients with Alzheimer at the Alzheimer’s Association, providing assistance in the American Red Cross and Auxiliary to United Hospital Center. In addition, people are provided with physical and psychological help at self-help centers (Telamon) and support groups (general, developmental disorders, and dialectical behavior). Martinsburg Christian Rehab Therapist establishes and realizes faith-based programs.
Health resources of the community are represented by the great variety of food markets (Martins), grocery stores (Butler Farm), retail stores (Target), drug stores (Patterson’s Drug Store and Walgreens), and dry cleaning centers (Dry Clean & Shirt Salon, and Sunshine Cleaners & Laundry). Citizens can travel from one location to another by automobiles, buses, bicycles, subways, and railway stations. Nowadays, the growing population of the community and considerable industrial development create the issue related to the effectiveness of the transportation system. The local transportation network cannot provide timely delivery of the whole amount of goods and passengers. For this reason, officials developed and implemented different programs to improve the existing transportation system and build new roads for automobiles and bicycles.
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Citizen Safety and Protective Services
The police department and numerous fire stations take care of the citizen’s safety. The Berkley County Sheriff Department is one of the best police departments in West Virginia. It consists of 58 uniformed officers, 20 court officers (bailiffs), 7 dispatchers/secretaries,7 animal control officers, 2 community service personnel (Berkley County Sheriff Department, 2015). There are volunteer and non-volunteer fire departments in this community. Neighborhood Watch Program enables close cooperation of the police officers and volunteers for providing more effective and timely reaction to any situations.
The community officials strive to maintain order and facilitate the economic development of Berkeley County. The governor of West Virginia is Booth Goodwin (Politics, 2015). Several political parties are represented in the community: Constitution Party of West Virginia, the West Virginia Democratic Party, the Libertarian Party of West Virginia, Mountain Party of West Virginia and West Virginia Republican Party (Politics, 2015). The majority of the citizens support the Republican Party.
Berkeley County is a developing community. The unemployment rate is 6.10 % (Best Places, 2014). The income of one-third of the population varies between $60,000 and $150,000 (Best Places, 2014). The most popular spheres for employment are management, business, engineering, IT, science, and finance. The most developed industries that supply the workplace for the population are fabricated metals, wood products and furniture, and chemicals (West Virginia University, 2014). A considerable part of the community GDP (about $ 7.7 billion annually) comes from exporting coal petroleum, resin, motor vehicle parts, and basic chemicals (West Virginia University, 2014).
Services Provided to Senior Citizens
Senior citizens can use various services at Berkeley Senior Services Center. There are special training and activities available. The most popular courses provide essential information about nutrition, improvement of physical and psychological condition, decreasing stress, etc. In addition, Berkeley Senior Services Center offers medical transportation and in-home care. Citizens can spend their free time in parks and recreation areas like Center in Lambert Park, Oak Street Park, Leeland Playground, and others.
Community Welfare Services beyond the City
Non-governmental organizations and churches such as Morgan County, Interfaith Service Coalition, Church without walls, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church organize food pantries for the poor. Homeless people and those who suffered from natural disasters can find emergency shelter and clothing in public and special medical needs shelters.
This essay provides the general overview of the Berkeley County. Analyzed information outlines the peoples life in West Virginia, amount and quality of various services, recreation and health resources. The Berkeley County is the developing community that combines growth and development with the signs of decay and unresolved transportation issues.
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