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The Division of Public Health (DPH) and the Healthy Communities Delaware (HCD) initiative announced on Tuesday collaborations with several communities throughout Delaware that have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Working with 12 community-based lead organizations, Healthy Communities Delaware is providing more than $720,000 in funding to nine communities across the state to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on Delaware’s most vulnerable populations. This funding will help communities address important fundamental needs by creating neighborhood hubs to serve as food pantries and provide prevention care and resources; hiring bilingual resource navigators; and replacing deteriorating buildings with affordable rental units. Projects will engage residents in identifying the needs of their communities, building trust, and directly providing food, education, and care resources.
“We know that health is more than just health care,” said Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Our environments – where we live, work and play – have a huge impact on our health. We believe that all Delawareans should have the opportunity to make healthy choices, regardless of their income, education or ethnic background, and we are excited about the work these communities will be doing to help us ensure all Delaware residents have access to the COVID-19 resources they need.”
“We are seeing the disproportionate impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on vulnerable Delawareans, including low-income households, Black and Hispanic communities, and non-English speakers,” said Rita Landgraf, Director of the University of Delaware’s Partnership for Healthy Communities. “These collaborative efforts will support nine communities working with 12 community-based organizations to navigate such challenges under COVID-19 as food security, resource navigation, housing, job creation and workforce development.”
“As Delaware continues to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, we know that one of the most critical supports that Healthy Communities Delaware can provide is strategic community investment,” said Stuart Comstock-Gay, President and CEO of the Delaware Community Foundation. “We are grateful to the State of Delaware for helping to fund these pragmatic community-based investments.”
Healthy Communities Delaware is collaborating with the following communities. Although only lead organizations are listed, every project is a collaboration among many partners within each community:
New Castle County:
• Jefferson Street Center, Inc.; Northwest, Wilmington — $99,900
• Cornerstone West Community Development Corp. (CDC); Westside, Wilmington — $49,950
• Be Ready CDC; West Side, Wilmington — $99,998
• Central Baptist CDC; Eastside, Wilmington — $99,900
• Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County; Eastside, Wilmington — $49,950
• Route 9 Master Plan Monitoring Committee; Route 9 Corridor of New Castle County — $49,950
• South Wilmington Planning Network; Southbridge, Wilmington — $49,950
• Latin American Community Center; Wilmington/New Castle County — $49,950
• NCALL, Inc.; Dover and Western Kent — $49,950
• The Food Bank of Delaware; Georgetown/Western Sussex — $49,950
• La Esperanza; Georgetown/Western Sussex — $49,950
• Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project; Ellendale — $25,500
Healthy Communities Delaware involves business, community, and organizational participants, and is managed as a collaboration among DPH, the University of Delaware Partnership for Healthy Communities, and the Delaware Community Foundation. HCD works in partnership with communities to address resident priorities around the social determinants of health — conditions in which we are born, live, learn, work and age. Many Delawareans lack the basic resources for health and well-being – safe and healthy homes, a quality education, meaningful employment, a healthy environment, access to healthy foods, financial stability and reliable transportation. Many of these inequities are a result of and perpetuated by structural racism and discrimination, and are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more detailed information on the specific projects being funded, visit healthycommunitiesde.org/collaborating-communities. For more information on Healthy Communities Delaware, visit healthycommunitiesde.org.