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Building Healthy Communities | East Harlem

East Harlem, also known as El Barrio, was a welcoming community to Latinos and other immigrant communities for most of the 20th century—from Italians to Puerto Ricans to Dominicans, and most recently, to Mexicans and Chinese. In the 1950s and 60s, urban renewal efforts led to a concentration of poverty in this neighborhood. East Harlem now has the second-highest concentration of public housing in the United States. Overlapping issues of poor health outcomes, high unemployment, and other social determinants of health have threatened the vibrancy of this community. Neighborhood advocates, Harlem residents, and the Harlem District Public Health Office are working hard to improve the health of and increase opportunities for advancement for East Harlem residents.

Grantee NameFund for Public Health in New York
Project Title: East Harlem Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative
Grant Amount: $600,000

COMMUNITY FAST FACTS

  • The median income in East Harlem is $33,500.
  • 31% of residents live below the federal poverty level.
  • 44.2% of children live in poverty.
  • The unemployment rate in East Harlem is 12%.
  • The obesity rate is 33%.
  • The smoking rate is 19%.
  • The diabetes rate is 13%.

PROJECT GOALS

  • Increase access to fresh, affordable produce (wholesale and retail);
  • Enhance the physical environment to be responsive to the community’s needs and conducive to a healthy lifestyle;
  • Improve visibility and increase use of existing neighborhood resources for physical activity; and
  • Increase income and opportunities for economic mobility for residents.

WHAT WE’VE ACHIEVED TO DATE

HEALTHY FOODS
  • Launched a Fresh Food Box program and distributed 1,227 boxes to community residents; and
  • Launched a healthy restaurant program, highlighting healthy offerings and low-calorie options.
     

BUILT ENVIRONMENT & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
  • Launched a trail-making committee that is using data to identify safe and inviting routes for walking groups; and
  • Hosted discussion sessions with residents on improving pedestrian safety and their walking experience.
     
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
  • Led workshops contributing to the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, which will inform the City’s rezoning process and guide projects for neighborhood development;
  • Carried out multiple MAPSCorps data collection projects to create comprehensive maps of neighborhood assets and share them with the community; and
  • Held the first East Harlem Health Action Summit, which awarded $250,000 in grants to resident-driven projects, including a family-walking program that connects residents with neighborhood resources.

PARTNERSHIPS

WHAT WE’RE INVESTING IN

UPCOMING EVENTS

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