New York State Health Foundation

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Community Solutions International, Inc.

  • Project Title: Brownsville Community Engagement
  • Priority Area: Building Healthy Communities
  • Grant Amount: $50,000
  • Date Awarded: January 11, 2017
  • Region: Brooklyn
  • Region: New York City
  • Website:
  • Grant Status: In Progress


Through its Healthy Neighborhoods Fund initiative, NYSHealth is supporting six communities across the State in their efforts to increase residents’ access to nutritious food, opportunities for physical activity, and other initiatives that encourage healthy living. Healthy Neighborhoods Fund grantees and their partners have sought ways to increase community engagement so they can equip residents with the tools they need to advocate for healthy, affordable food and safer parks and public spaces in which to be physically active. Community engagement not only helps shape a neighborhood’s future, but also ensures that improvements are sustainable. To advance community engagement efforts, NYSHealth is allocating up to $50,000 to each Healthy Neighborhoods Fund site toward additional training, capacity building, and other activities that lead to deep engagement with neighborhood residents. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded Community Solutions a grant as part of this effort.

Under this grant, Community Solutions will engage Brownsville residents and a network of community-based organizations to improve neighborhood conditions that support health, employment, and wellbeing; enhance the safety and vitality of public spaces; and improve the quality and sustainability of public housing. Specifically, Community Solutions will build on its new model of community engagement to invite the community to participate in the short-term activation and long-term development of Livonia Avenue, an urban renewal site under the elevated 3 train line. In addition, Community Solutions will partner with Friends of Brownsville Parks to create a community engagement plan that ensures continued access to health and fitness programs during closures at Betsy Head Park and Brownsville Recreation Center for innovation projects. Lastly, Community Solutions will engage the experience and ideas of residents living in Brownsville’s public housing in shaping housing options for their families and other New York City Housing Authority residents, as well as in developing short-term improvement projects on public housing property in Brownsville.