Online Program

Youth Leadership in Public Housing: A Community Based Participatory Research project to elevate the needs of young people living in San Francisco's HOPE SF public housing communities

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sarah Wongking, MPH, Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Sophia Simon-Ortiz, MPH, Health Equity Institute, San Francisco State University, San Francisco
Erika Cespedes, MA, Youth Leadership Institute, San Francisco, CA
The HOPE SF Initiative is a unique effort to transform 4 of San Francisco’s most distressed public housing sites into thriving and healthy communities. Youth under the age of twenty-five comprise more than fifty percent of these communities and are impacted by numerous health disparities. A youth-led, participatory assessment was conducted to examine opportunities and barriers to supporting the health and well-being of youth aged 12-24 living in the four public housing communities. A Community Based Participatory Research approach was employed and young people from the communities were actively engaged in the design, implementation, analysis and presentation phases of the assessment. Nine Youth Assessment Leaders were hired, engaged in all stages and also received ongoing training and support in areas including Youth-led Action Research, social determinants of health and other topics.  In addition the assessment was a practice based learning opportunity for Master of Public Health students at SFSU. Together, the young people and graduate students gathered experiences and perspectives of 180 adult and youth residents, program staff and key informants. Findings and recommendations, focused on themes of violence, mental health, the built environment and other areas, were presented to city officials, department heads, residents and various stakeholders. The assessment has resulted in ongoing commitments to youth leadership in public housing communities of San Francisco and now serves as a model for engaging young people in research and policy-making processes. The assessment and ongoing partnership also illuminate strategies for academic-community partnerships that eliminate health disparities experienced by public housing communities.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related education
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe factors of successful CBPR project that engages young adults. Discuss strategies for academic-community based partnerships that focus on work in public housing communities. Identify benefits of youth leadership in assessment and planning processes

Keyword(s): Healthy Housing, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been one of the course instructors for this assessment practicum and I have also coordinated the community partnership for this work for the past 3 years. I work closely with the city and community leaders for this initiative. My professional experience has been dedicated to developing healthy and fruitful campus-community partnerships and I strongly value our partnership with the public housing community.
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.