Sustaining Healthy Lifestyles on the Lower East Side
Building Healthy Communities
August 23, 2021
Through its Building Healthy Communities priority area, NYHealth has supported six communities across the State in implementing neighborhood-level approaches to increase access to healthy, affordable food and to improve the built environment to make physical activity easier.
In each neighborhood, community convener organizations have spearheaded and acted as the main coordinators for the work, assembling and mobilizing partner coalitions to achieve shared goals. As a result of these efforts, nearly half a million New Yorkers in these neighborhoods have better opportunities to lead healthier lives. As this initiative winds up its final year of programming, it is vital that community convener grantees and their partners are prepared to grow and sustain their work at the end of the grant cycle. In 2021, NYHealth awarded a grant to University Settlement Society of New York to sustain opportunities for a healthy lifestyle and physical activity for residents on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Under this grant, University Settlement built upon its existing work of making healthy lifestyles accessible for residents, including older adults, on the Lower East Side. It implemented the “Stay Healthy at Home” campaign to support the health and wellness of older adults. It worked with partners to gather input and ideas from residents to design a culturally competent campaign that met the needs of the community. The campaign included health information and resources to promote physical, social, and mental health and wellness for older adults who remained at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. University Settlement also completed a walking map project to promote physical activity by connecting residents to exercise circuits and walking trails in their neighborhood. The map was accessible on a website with an easy-to-use interface, and included points of interest and activities for older adults. The campaign and the walking map created a set of lasting materials and resources that residents can use for methods and ideas to stay healthy.