COMMUNITIES OF OPPORTUNITY: CATEGORIES OF IMPACT
Health is a critical factor in determining opportunity potential. But health disparities between neighborhoods persist. Children who grow up in the least healthy zip codes are statistically likely to live 20 years fewer than those who grow up in the healthiest zip codes. Many living in poverty also experience chronic stress as they struggle to cope with the challenges of day to day life.
Our Communities of Opportunity work aims to equalize the landscape of opportunity and engage residents, through the co-production of interventions, to improve health and wellbeing, resulting in better life outcomes for our residents.
Diet and exercise have a tremendous impact, not only on health, but also on cognitive capacity. We run healthy eating classes, helping to build healthy eating habits and cut down on obesity levels; we provide a wide range of exercise classes, from yoga to zumba; we build gyms and exercise facilities in all of our new developments; and we create walking clubs; we promote health fairs and on-site health provision including services like mobile dentistry, podiatry, health checks etc.; and we encourage residents to develop healthy habits and healthy lifestyles.
West 135th Street, New York
The residents of 135th street identified improved well-being as one of their top priorities as a community. The community enjoys regular fitness activities, dances, and “healthy” pot luck get togethers at our newly launched resident center. This community convening space has opened a world of opportunity for the residents to share their talents and try new ways to improve health. The 135th street is partnered with the Harlem YMCA to provide free Yoga and senior chair exercises, and a nationwide fitness program known as “Silver Sneakers”. Fitness classes are now offered twice a week in the morning and early evening on site to better serve the fitness goals of our working families.
Poor neighborhood conditions and/or poorly designed housing have been shown to have deleterious effects on a wide range of outcomes, including health. We believe that safe, green, stable affordable housing is a platform to achieve better health.