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Community Stories

Affordable and Healthy Rental Housing

Since 1990, Homes First! has provided supported housing using a unique and unusual business model. We provide clean and healthy homes for adults with developmental disabilities through partnerships with five local service providers. We also provide supported housing for adults in recovery through our partnership with Oxford House International, and supported family housing through our partnership with the Family Support Center.

The Produce Market Project

The City of Pontiac is located within Oakland County, Michigan with 36.6% of residents below poverty level, and 80% of school children eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Pontiac is plagued with health disparities in the leading causes of death such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. These disparities are associated with poor nutrition and low physical activity.

Let's Talk about Protection

The National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) of Bulgaria worked with Roma parents in a segregated neighborhood to address the problem with unvaccinated children. The NNHM goal was to take the children to the general practitioners who administer the vaccinations but also to convince the parents that the vaccine-preventable diseases are dangerous; to give them “easy to swallow” information on the vaccines and to answer their fears concerning vaccination.

The Banyan Tree Grows

Through the development of a comprehensive youth education model, OCAPICA works to improve the health of Pacific Islander communities in Orange County, California. Data shows that Pacific Islanders have high rates of obesity, alcohol and drug use, as well significant levels of poverty and low rates of education attainment. In partnership with Anaheim Union High School District, OCAPICA developed a pipeline program providing in-school and after-school activities to support the development of students and families.

Newton Bike Master Plan

When the Healthy Harvey Coalition (HHC) received a Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) Grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, the coalition prioritized active transportation as our goal. We partnered with the City of Newton, Kansas (population 19,117), Harvey County, USD 373, and the ReNewton Bicycle Initiative (RBI) to complete a Bike Master Plan (BMP) for the city.

Our Selves, Our Daughters

Our Selves Our Daughters (Our Daughters for short) is a community-initiated project that uses a dialogue-based model to address Female Genital Cutting (FGC) by exploring the many factors that support or detract from carrying out the procedure, addressing health impacts, and supporting informed decision-making that can lead to prevention.  Our Daughters engages with immigrant and refugee women, men and youth from FGC-affected communities living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. We utilize an iterative process that involves community-based research and education.

Project EXCELL

Project EXCELL (Extending College Education for Lifelong Learning) for  is a program that provides personal enrichment and life skill classes to adults 18 years and older with developmental disabilities. Students come from as far as 60 miles one way to attend classes in Manhattan KS. This program offers social and educational opportunities for students who may not otherwise be able to participate in a college setting through classes held on Saturday mornings on Kansas State University’s campus.

Charter Tool Box

The Charter for Compassion International seeks to make compassionate action “go viral” in the hearts and minds of communities globally by working with them to address their most pressing needs. We view compassion as a verb, moving beyond empathy to identify problems and act on solutions. November 2014, we launched the Charter Tool Box after a 9‐month process engaging 150 of our grass roots community organizers to learn what they needed in order to create viable action plans that would bring about pronounced change in their locales.

Re-usable, washable sanitary towels and undergarments program for poor young women in Kiambu County, Kenya

We began providing disadvantaged young women with sanitary towels and undergarments back in 2007 when a girl was brought to our office for counseling apparently her widowed mum could not afford sanitary napkins so she had improvised with rags which made menstrual blood to leak through her dress which was shaming.

The Urban Pioneers Service Project

Motor City Blight Busters (MCBB) has been working to alleviate blight within the city since 1988. The MCBB tears down blighted structures, clears trash, and brings lots to code. Since 2005, the Fertile Ground Collective (FGC) has been an integral part of the MCBB. Once the MCBB has cleared the land, the FGC helps residents in the neighborhood surrounding the lot establish community gardens. In this way, the cleared lots become vital spaces utilized by the community.

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