Bringing Neighborhood Projects to Life
Building Healthy Communities
March 28, 2016
Safe public spaces, access to healthy foods, opportunities for physical activity, and the overall built environment of neighborhoods greatly influence health outcomes.
Far too often, the residents of communities are left out of important decisions that shape their neighborhoods. Although policymakers and city planners may recognize the disparities a community faces, they are not directly tied to neighborhoods at the same level as its residents. Furthermore, even if community members do take steps to organize, develop action plans, and engage policymakers, their ideas have traditionally been underfunded and overlooked. In 2016, NYSHealth awarded a grant to In Our Backyards (ioby) to provide the resources for resident leaders to tackle some of their most pressing community health concerns.
Under this grant, ioby recruited, trained, and supported residents to make meaningful health improvements in their communities. Specifically, the ioby team used its innovative model of mobilization to spur neighborhood-level action at all six NYSHealth Healthy Neighborhoods Fund sites, plus the New York Community Trust’s South Bronx Healthy and Livable Neighborhoods sites, which complemented the initiative. Designated neighborhood project leaders received one-on-one coaching and training from ioby staff in strategies for articulating their ideas, fundraising, community organizing, implementing their projects, and networking. Examples of projects that residents of Healthy Neighborhoods Fund sites undertook with ioby included activating vacant lots, providing nutrition education, or improving public transportation. Additionally, this grant was used to leverage additional funds for neighborhood projects through a 1:1 matching campaign from crowdsourcing efforts.
See ioby’s Healthy Neighborhoods Challenge report.