Healthy Neighborhoods Approach
Increasingly, research shows that our health and well-being is dependent on a range of interconnected social, economic and physical factors that impact the environments where people live, learn, work, and play. These factors and the resulting health inequities specifically play out at the neighborhood level.
Through our Healthy Neighborhoods approach to community development, we are evaluating each neighborhood where we work through the lens of these factors. For purposes of simplicity and clarity, we often speak of these factors as discrete elements. We are keenly aware, however, that they are intrinsically connected. Our projects, programs and neighborhood collaborations will typically impact multiple factors at any one time. We also understand these factors are not static. Rather, they have impacts of varying magnitude across the life course: in infancy, childhood and adolescence, during adulthood and in old age.
Strategic Partnerships and Collaboration
Certain factors—housing options, income and wealth, and social cohesion—have always and will continue to be central to the work of EBALDC. Over the past several years, we have also become more focused on working with coalitions of residents, community partners, businesses, and public agencies to understand the needs and priorities of specific neighborhoods. From there, we build on strategic partnership and collaboration opportunities, and leverage our own organizational expertise and strengths, in order to have the greatest impact on those priorities.
In refining what we have learned, and with full awareness of the critical issues to address over the next three years, our Healthy Neighborhoods approach will be focused on achieving four core community impacts:
- expanding affordable rental housing options
- expanding income and wealth-building opportunities
- increasing resident and community engagement
- supporting strong neighborhood partnership networks
Our Healthy Neighborhoods approach to achieving these four impacts will incorporate a spectrum of strategies. This includes convening or participating in collaborations that align residents, businesses, community partners and public agencies around a shared vision for neighborhood health and well-being. This also includes project or program specific partnership opportunities focused on increasing housing options, income and wealth-building opportunities, and resident and community engagement.
In the case of project or program specific opportunities, we are committed to prioritizing those that support and connect with other neighborhood health factors (e.g. a transit-oriented mixed-use development that combines affordable housing, a neighborhood grocery store, and a preschool center; or a financial services collaboration that has a dual focus on supporting parents’ financial stability and their children’s school success). And we will prioritize those opportunities in neighborhoods where there is a network of partners who are willing to take a collaborative approach to neighborhood revitalization.
Healthy Neighborhoods Four Community Impacts
Four Pillars of our Healthy Neighborhoods Approach
Our programs are focused on these four primary pillars and will be pursued in a way that fosters collaboration with other organizations and results in longer term systems change.