Question-and-answer sessions with more than 200 residents of the Beaumont neighborhood starting next month could produce some answers to the question: What ails this Northland neighborhood and what kinds of help do the people living there need?

Question-and-answer sessions with more than 200 residents of the Beaumont neighborhood starting next month could produce some answers to the question: What ails this Northland neighborhood and what kinds of help do the people living there need?

The neighborhood, bounded on the north by Morse Road, the south by Ferris Road, the east by Cleveland Avenue and the west by Karl Road, has become the initial focus of a revitalization effort led by the Northland Alliance.

The goal of the survey, which is modeled on one done as part of a much larger, better-funded urban renewal project in the Weinland Park neighborhood, is to get residents to identify the types of assistance they need and then get nonprofit organizations and agencies to look for ways to provide it.

Representatives of those organizations have been convening in a series of nonprofit summits convened by Northland Alliance chairwoman Joyce Bourgault; the focus on the Beaumont neighborhood and reviving a civic association grew from those meetings.

Developed in the late 1950s as a single-family subdivision, the Beaumont neighborhood subsequently saw large-scale apartments rise up. More recently, immigrant and refugee populations have moved into the area. These lately have included Bhutanese refugees fleeing religious persecution in Nepal.

Survey-takers, both paid and volunteer, were to receive training this week before setting out to conduct in-depth interviews with people at 210 households in the Beaumont neighborhood.

"We talk about how to get accurate information, ways to word questions so as not to show bias," said Tamar Mott Forrest, associate director of the Research Core at the International Poverty Solutions Collaborative, part of Ohio State University's College of Education and Human Ecology, Human Development and Family Science.

In addition to asking questions, the people conducting the survey will also hand out information on basic community services available to the residents, according to Bourgault.

"They'll be doing every sixth household, and right now, they're working on putting together the information about the Northland area and surrounding areas, resources in the community, so that people will be given that as well as get their $10 gift certificate to Kroger," she said.

This will include information on available health care services, local schools, substance abuse treatment facilities, "all those sorts of resources," Bourgault added.

"It's not a brief survey," she said, noting that the questionnaire runs to some 25 pages.

The people asking the questions will be backed up by at least four interpreters provided by Community Refugee and Immigration Services, which has an office on Sinclair Road, according to Forrest.

"We've already spoken with the Bhutanese community because we've been telling them not to open their doors to everybody," Bourgault said. "I think we've got that covered now. We're getting pretty close communication with them."

Completing the target number of surveys, what with trying to find people home, encouraging them to participate and arranging for interpreters where needed, should take at least all of August and perhaps part of September, she said.

Analyzing the data collected should occupy all of October, according to Bourgault. Once that is done, residents will once again be asked to look over the conclusions, "to make sure we're not off base," before another Northland Nonprofit Summit is held to begin to look for ways to address problems and issues identified in the survey.

Forrest cautioned that there will be limitations on how much can be done for the Beaumont neighborhood.

"The funding is not the same for this project as it was in Weinland Park," she said.

Improving the neighborhood south and east of the main OSU campus has been the focus of an ongoing collaborative of the Columbus Foundation, the city, the university and various major private funding sources.

"We're hoping that it's going to develop into bringing in specific businesses," Bourgault said of the survey information. "We're really feeling very good that this is going to give a lot of helpful information to developers and businesses and nonprofits to help the community."