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LISC was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from the Health Forward Foundation to implement block-level improvements in the Ivanhoe and Blue Hills Neighborhoods to improve perceptions of safety, engage residents, and encourage active living. This grant helps to implement recommendations in the recently published Health Happens in Neighborhoods reports, a two-year research project to better understand the impacts of community development on resident health in our NeighborhoodsNOW neighborhoods.
The study was conducted in several phases in partnership with NeighborWorks Success Measures and the Dotte Agency design studio of the University of Kansas, along with the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department providing technical assistance and research analysis. The graphic from the Health Happens in Neighborhoods reports below depicts the phases and steps taken to conduct this research and report. This work builds on the 2012 research conducted by the Office of Community Health Research at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.
With the new HFF grant, the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council will work with residents to conduct additional walk audits using the Healthy Community Audit instrument that was developed as part of the research project in the area surrounding their current Gateway at 39th real estate development project (between Euclid and Prospect from 37th to 41st). They will then prioritize and advocate for sidewalk improvements, implement Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) improvements, and work with residents on beautification projects in this 26 block area.
"Having support to perform the Healthy Community Audit ensures that Ivanhoe will be able to develop a strong data-driven case for improving the walkability and safety of our residents,” says Nailah M’Biti, Chief Real Estate Development Officer with Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council. “The audit results will also build upon the real estate development and safety work currently in progress and help us continue catalytic momentum in the target area." Photo credit: Matt Kleinmann.
In Blue Hills, the Blue Hills Neighborhood Association (BHNA) will use the HFF grant to expand their ‘Blue Hills Beautiful initiative’, working with residents to undertake small scale, big impact projects that will provide visible signs of change in a 20-block area in the south part of the neighborhood. BHNA will engage and work with residents to clean up properties, do minor home repair, make CPTED improvements to homes, and neighborhood beautification projects.
“We know that we're sending a message that our neighborhood is important to us and that we care enough to work on others' behalf. We believe that eventually Blue Hills Beautiful will effect change in the hearts and minds of Blue Hills residents and together we'll build a safer, cleaner neighborhood," said Blue Hills Neighborhood Association President, Cheryl Barnes. Photo credit: Cheryl Barnes.
As a first step implementing in this grant and disseminating the information and data in the Health Happens in Neighborhoods reports, LISC Deputy Director Ina Anderson will join Brenda Calvin with the Health Forward Foundation, Shannon Criss with the Dotte Agency and University of Kansas School of Architecture, and Nailah M’Biti with the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council to speak at the upcoming 2019 Heartland Conference on Health Equity and Patient Centered Care on August 7th.
LISC will assist in coordinating multi-sector collaborations to connect the neighborhood-level projects with larger community development initiatives and policies that support healthy communities. We will be sharing outcomes and updates along the way so stay tuned! If your organization or agency is interested in partnering, please contact LISC Deputy Director, Ina Anderson.
The Health Happens in Neighborhoods reports both demonstrate and propose possible ways that Kansas City communities can improve the health of their neighborhoods.