Addressing Segregation in Healthcare
Segregation is unjust and deprives people of color of the opportunity for optimal health and wellbeing including decent living conditions, safe neighborhoods, a good education, gainful employment, and more. The Hartford Knights (HK) is ultimately looking to address this problem.
The Community Health and Wellness Awareness program (CHWA) is HK’s newest program. We plan to create a gradual transformation through two simultaneous paths. First, we will engage in “on-the-ground” community action educating African American and Hispanic families about their previously unexercised choice to live in desegregated neighborhoods. In doing so, we will improve the family’s opportunity for a better life, and especially their children’s health. The ultimate policy goal of this activity is to help low-income families avail themselves of choice to use their rent assistance vouchers (RAPs) to move to their choice neighborhoods. The second path is for HK to engage an external consultant to conduct an in-depth assessment of HK, to provide guidance and strengthen its capacity to be an effective policy-oriented organization.
The HK community action path will entail collaboration with Open Communities Alliance and the Health Disparities Institute on their “Healthy Voucher Project” (HPV). HK’s is uniquely positioned to educate voucher recipients with children suffering from environmentally-related health problems (initially asthma) about opportunities to relocate to healthier neighborhoods. The rent assistance [voucher] program administered by the Department of Housing generates segregated housing patterns and contributes to adverse health outcomes. The Healthy Voucher Program will build on a federal experiment that resulted in broader housing choices and leads to healthier children. The role of HK will be to identify potential HVP families in the greater Hartford area and inform them of their decision to relocate and the support system required for a smooth transition.