How Four Communities Are Collaborating to Improve Health

This feature was previously published on the Build Healthy Places Network blog and was written by Jeni Miller.

Frequently, the neighborhoods where many residents grapple with poor health are the very same places where many people are living in poverty. And yet, too often, efforts to address health and those to address poverty are working in silos. Our new case study series shows how community developers working in low-income neighborhoods are integrating health into their projects in ways that are making a real difference in the lives of low-income residents.


BHP page shot

Our case studies examine how the project came to be, who the key partners have been, and what kind of financing it took to make it happen. We ask about key turning points in the project, and we explore the outcomes being measured.

We also spell out how each site is addressing social determinants of health because, as the evidence continues to show, health is not just about going to the doctor. It is rooted in the conditions where we live, learn, work, and play.

In these first four case studies, you can learn:

  • How for-profit developers in St. Paul partnered with a social service agency to renovate an apartment complex that supports refugee and new immigrant families.
  • What exciting new programming is emerging as a major Philadelphia hospital partners with the city to build a health and literacy complex.
  • How a group in New Orleans puts top-notch early childhood education at the center of its approach to improving neighborhood health and wellbeing.
  • And how, in one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in Oakland, a community developer convened a partnership of residents and organizations to think—and build—strategically, to keep housing affordable while improving health and well-being.

The mission of the Build Healthy Places Network is to catalyze and support collaboration across the health and community development sectors, together working to improve low-income communities and the lives of people living in them. Community Commons is proud to be a part of MeasureUp, a microsite of resources and tools to help you measure and describe your programs’ impact on families and communities and on factors related to health.

Feature photo credit: Twin Cities LISC


Leave a Reply