Leveraging our place to transform a community: The westward ho initiative
This presentation will describe a unique community development partnership between the owners, managers, and tenants of a large urban subsidized housing property and a local university. The findings of a mixed-methods assets and needs assessment, designed and implemented by university faculty and students, provided an in-depth portrayal of the health and social status, service utilization and quality of life among a representative sampling of the subsidized housing property tenants. Archival data provided by local police and fire departments supplemented the tenant-reported high rates of 911 calls and elevated utilization of crisis and emergency services. While tenants reported good access to routine health care, they also reported elevated chronic health risks (including mental illness, cardiopulmonary disease, and diabetes), as well as social isolation and community disconnectedness. Consistent with the principles of participatory action research, tenants, property management, and community stakeholders have been engaged with the university in designing and implementing a student-staffed, faculty-supervised onsite program that provides psychosocial rehabilitation and health promotion support and services. Embedding the university within the community in this manner provides an opportunity to revitalize a sense of community among property tenants, involves the local philanthropic community in addressing the needs of an often-marginalized population, and expands service learning and research opportunities for university faculty and students.
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Discuss the role universities can play in revitalizing local community assets through engaged partnerships and collaborations
Keyword(s): Community Development, Needs Assessment
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in the conceptualization of the project and provided supervision to the lead author, who is a graduate student of mine.
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.