Bringing Neighborhood Projects to Life: Phase 3
Building Healthy Communities
March 20, 2019
Community engagement unlocks the knowledge contained within residents to solve local problems.
When residents implement their own solutions, they build community participation, neighborhood cohesion, and long-term stewardship. Policymakers, for example, may not fully realize that a dangerous intersection discourages walking or that students are motivated to transform a vacant lot next to a school into a teaching garden. However, ideas from resident leaders have traditionally been an underfunded, overlooked source of fast, inexpensive solutions to a number of interconnected challenges of building healthy communities. In 2016, NYHealth awarded a grant to In Our Backyards (ioby) to provide the resources for resident leaders to tackle some of their most pressing community health concerns. In 2017, NYHealth awarded ioby a second grant in support of a matching funds campaign to advance innovative, cost-effective ideas for building healthy communities. In 2019, NYHealth awarded ioby a grant to continue support for projects that improve access to nutrition education, create opportunities for physical activity, and foster community engagement in NYHealth’s Healthy Neighborhoods Fund communities.
Under this grant, ioby oversaw another matching funds campaign to help community residents in implementing an array of community projects in the six NYHealth Healthy Neighborhoods Fund sites. NYHealth funds were used to provide a 1:1 match for crowdsourced dollars (up to $10,000 per project). ioby recruited project leaders interested in organizing projects related to the grantees’ goals, trained them on crowdfunding best practices, supported their campaigns, and managed money disbursement and data collection. ioby also provided one-on-one coaching and training for project leaders on best practices; conducted in-person workshops at each of the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund sites; and revamped its webinars, social media advertising, and printed materials to draw new leaders into the campaign. To ensure maximum impact of the project, ioby staff continued to work directly with the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund communities to promote the campaign.