The SCOH is on track with its seven-year objective to establish up to three FRCs in underserved neighborhoods in Seaford. We are currently underway with expanding our reach into another subsidized housing community. A mini-grant from Healthy Communities Delaware will fund costs to complete a Neighborhood Needs Assessment in Seaford’s Chandler Heights Apartments.
The proposed HCD funding aims to lay the groundwork for our next objective: deeper engagement in a second neighborhood. Community partners have prioritized both Meadowbridge and Chandler Heights for their high crime rates, violence, community instability, and disengagement.
According to the Seaford Police Department, these two apartment complexes are perennially top “hot spots” for service calls that impact health and safety. As such, they need positive, strength-based, trauma-informed, culturally competent engagement—practices deeply embedded in Children and Families First’s projects and services. Learnings from working with families at Meadowbridge demonstrate that the timeline to develop rapport and trust with residents and to secure agreements for place-based work is likely to be a yearlong investment—one that would benefit significantly from a process that intentionally involves neighbors in improvement projects developed from within.
The top priority for this grant is to support place-based projects in communities experiencing the most significant inequities, mobilize residents with lived experience and cross-sector collaborations, and strengthen vital conditions of health that people and communities need to thrive. Through SCOH’s partnership with Sussex County Health Coalition, we will leverage the SCHC’s committee structure to coordinate discussions with stakeholders and partners who have provided focused efforts at Meadowbridge and Chandler Heights
apartments to learn and build support for the current project. We have identified the following goals and objectives for year one.
We anticipate that the Chandler Heights neighborhood strengths and needs assessment will yield diverse ideas. During the engagement and assessment phase of the proposed project, we envision using that information to guide SCOH-wide and neighborhood-specific program development. For the proposed project, we expect to collaborate with neighbors to hone in on one or more physical projects appropriate for a planning grant to improve the physical community and support healthy behaviors. For example, lighting reduces the risk of violence and crime; a school bus shelter that supports safety, health, and school attendance; or a community garden, playground, or walking path that supports healthy behaviors.