Winter 2018

The fight for health equity—for everyone to have a roughly equal shot at the potential and choice that good health offers—is of course, similar to the fight for economic justice and the work of community development.

As we launch a “Health and Community Development” desk here at Shelterforce, it’s important to start the conversation by reminding ourselves of our goals. After all, no one ever wanted to improve their own personal health in order to reduce the cost burden of health care in America, relieve the pressure on their local hospital ER, or even to “reduce health disparities.”

Tools of the Trade: Measuring the Health-Related Returns of Community Development

Partnerships are becoming more the norm and less the exception, but how do we know that they are actually having a good effect on health, well-being, and economic opportunity?

Why Do We Care About Health Equity?

The fight for health equity—for everyone to have a roughly equal shot at the potential and choice that good health offers—is of course, similar to the fight for economic justice and the work of community development.
Dr. Jim O’Connell sits on a patient's bed at Pine Street Inn Supportive Housing in Boston.

Not Just Partners, But Neighbors: Health Care in Affordable Housing Developments

Offering on-site health care in housing developments makes sense. But developing and managing housing and health care facilities can be very different. How do you make them work together?
Mabel Duffy, Myrtle Stern, and the May Day marching band occupy a major intersection in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Game of Chance: Mass Eviction in Pittsburgh

In Pittsburgh, hundreds of Penn Plaza residents were given 90-day eviction notices after their building was slated for demolition. The mass eviction was well known throughout Pittsburgh, but few knew what was happening inside the building.
Two people partake in the Healing Hands project.

Using Art to Create Community at a Clinic

Arts projects at a Minneapolis clinic created a natural connection between people who might not otherwise interact.

Organizing for Hospital Community Benefits

Community development corporations need to become more educated about hospital community benefits. This is what can be done to get the process started.
A graphic showing the demographic clusters of Georgia.

Reshaping Housing Policy with a Health Lens

In Georgia, public health practitioners used a Health Impact Assessment to suggest changes to the allocation plan for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. This is how they made it happen.
The view of downtown Richmond, Virginia, as seen from Jefferson Park.

Interview with Mark D. Constantine, president and CEO of Richmond Memorial Health Foundation

Mark Constantine gives us a view of one foundation’s attempt to learn to walk the walk and how that commitment can influence the work one organization does to create a culture of health in its community.

Financial Metrics Won’t Tell the Full Picture

Cost savings alone do not measure the full value of the collaboration between the health care and housing sectors.
A sign that reads "wellness center."

Aligning Health Systems With Community Development

Hospitals and health systems can’t solve societal challenges alone. But they can play a key role in mobilizing and aligning joint resources to bring positive changes to low-income communities.
A senior housing building at Mercy Housing Southeast’s Mercy Park development.

Why Health and Housing Partnerships Are Hard

Housing managers and health providers are natural partners for health care programming, but misunderstandings and institutional mismatches can get in the way.
Q: Can Support Community Development Improve Outcomes for the Health Sector? Yes! Over 50 percent of premature deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to preventable non-medical factors, specifically behavioral, environmental, and social conditions. Graphic of a home and all the areas that community development helps with health outcomes. Image links to PDF version of The Answer.

Q: Can Supporting Community Development Improve Outcomes for the Health Sector?

Yes! Over 50 percent of premature deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to preventable non-medical factors, specifically behavioral, environmental, and social conditions.
An African-American man gets his blood pressure checked at the California Hotel, an EBALDC development that offers affordable apartments with community and commercial spaces.

Approaching Partnerships Between Health Care Institutions and Community Development Organizations

There isn’t an exact science to forming partnerships. The slow and sometimes messy process requires patience, allies, and trust.