I thought many Croakey readers might find this article useful and inspiring.

It is about the transformation of a poor, crime-ridden community in Atlanta, Georgia, called East Lake Meadows.

As the headline says, it is about “Purposefully Building a Community that Addresses Health, Education and Violence”.

It might also be called, a case study of community development as a model for addressing the social determinants of health.

The author is Carol Naughton, Senior Vice President of Purpose Built Communities, a not-for-profit that works “to transform struggling neighbourhoods into vibrant and sustainable communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive”.

She writes:

“Early on, we realized that change would mean thinking differently.  It would require a strong, committed group of public and private leaders to come together, to create partnerships and work across boundaries and interests, and to take shared responsibility toward common goals for the common good.”

There has been no single magic bullet but the important strategies (over many years) have been:

  • Replacing distressed, low-income, unhealthy housing with high quality mixed-income housing;
  • Creating a cradle to college education pipeline;
  • Bringing the community wellness partners/programs together to create healthy sustainable neighbourhoods; and
  • Creating a newly formed non-profit with a single focus, called the lead organisation, that drives and coordinates the revitalisation.

The article, published by the US not-for-profit Trust for America’s Health, cites outcomes that sound impressive. Maybe I’ve convinced you to read it.

(And more related reading here  and here.)




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