Bringing Neighborhood Projects to Life: Phase 4
Building Healthy Communities
June 29, 2020
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. 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 resident leaders in NYHealth’s six Building Healthy Communities neighborhoods with resources to tackle some of their most pressing community health concerns. Since then, NYHealth has awarded ioby a series of grants in support of a matching funds campaign to advance innovative, cost-effective ideas for building healthy communities, most recently in 2019. In 2020, NYHealth awarded ioby a grant to further support projects that improve access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity; foster community engagement; and promote COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
Under this grant, ioby oversaw another matching funds campaign to support community residents in implementing an array of community projects in the six neighborhoods. NYHealth funds were used to provide a 1:1 match for crowdsourcing dollars. ioby recruited project leaders within these six neighborhoods, trained them on implementing online fundraising campaigns, and managed money disbursement and data collection. ioby also provided one-on-one coaching and training for project leaders in project development and crowdfunding best practices. Additionally, ioby identified and engaged active past project leaders in fostering sustainability and expanding the impact of their projects. To ensure further sustainability, ioby connected experienced project leaders with emerging leaders for peer-to-peer support through its community and partner networks.