271179 Skid Row resident positive movement: Down but not out

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 11:10 AM - 11:30 AM

General Jeff, Community Activist , Skid Row Los Angeles, Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC), Founder, ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS, Hollywood, CA
Virginia Diane Woods, DrPH, MSN, RN , Department of Psychology/African American Health Institute-SBC, University of California, Riverside, San Bernardino, CA
Designing public health programs to meet unmet complex needs of the poor is not challenging. Just ask residents of the Skid Row Positive Movement. Like a tree with its roots, bark, branches and leaves, all are connected to keep the tree alive. Likewise, social ecological community approaches implemented by Skid Row residents have provided transformational systems changes that are life affirming; healing broken hearts, wounded spirits, damaged emotions, and averting mental “dis-ease” and facilitating progress toward productive independence. Skid Row, Downtown Los Angeles is known as the homeless capitol of the Nation. During the 2011 homeless assessment, there were 51,340 homeless individuals identified in Los Angeles County, California. The face of homelessness has changed in the 21st Century, likewise so have the needs. Skid Row residents repeatedly expressed to public officials and others that they felt left out and discarded. Issues of homelessness are complex and multifaceted. Residents used their available resources and creative genius to start and maintain a positive movement to significantly change their fragile community infrastructure and environment. Various projects, programs, and initiatives have been created to address their unmet needs, and to change social and environmental structural changes that will prevent further deterioration, promote good mental and physical health, strengthen community and individual resilience and self-efficacy, and provide early intervention before mental and self-destructive issues happen. A Skid Row community activist will share a myriad of home grown interventions and their impact on prevention and wellness along the lifespan continuum.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
To identify community-defined practices for African Americans that will ensure good mental health To discuss community-level systems changes that create a structure for culturally grounded prevention and early intervention service delivery for ethnic populations

Keywords: African American, Community Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a resident of Skid Row. I am a community activist working on multiple issues within the Skid Row community for over 5 years. I am the Resident Director for the Central City East/Skid Row Board of Directors (Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council), and the Co-Chair of the Skid Row Community Advisory Board for the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.