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Community Economic Development & Healthcare Playbook

– The Build Healthy Places Network and the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations have published this playbook to help community economic developers and social enterprises partner with health care systems to create career pathways for residents, particularly those in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. The Community Economic Development & Healthcare Playbook provides strategies, on-the-ground examples, and a four-step guide for initiating partnerships.

Download the Playbook

2021 County Health Rankings Data

– Good health allows people to fulfill their potential and thrive. For more than 10 years, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, has examined the multiple factors that impact health and sparked conversations with leaders from all levels and sectors about why where we live matters to our health. The Rankings make it clear that health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care such as safe, affordable housing, employment and access to transportation, green space and nutritious foods — factors that communities can do something about. While the data used to calculate ranks for the 2021 Rankings are from 2019 and earlier and therefore do not yet reflect the impact of COVID-19, they show the differences in health and opportunity by place and highlight health barriers disproportionately impacting communities of color and families with lower incomes that were likely worsened by the pandemic. The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program has updated its web site with new data and resources to help communities take action.

Explore the Annual Rankings and Data Sources
Access the State Overview for New Jersey

Build Healthy Places Network Commons: Healthy Neighborhood Investments Policy Scan & Strategy Map

– Build Healthy Places Network has partnered with Shift Health Accelerator to develop the Healthy Neighborhood Investments: A Policy Scan & Strategy Map that identifies several policy actions for advancing health and racial equity through cross-sector investments. Using the Thriving Together Springboard for Equitable Recovery and Resilience as a fundamental framework and incorporating community leaders’ reflections on healthy neighborhood policy, this scan serves as a tool for community-owned priority setting that reduces inequities and strengthens neighborhood revitalization.

Download the Policy Scan

Socially Connected Communities: Solutions for Social Isolation

– This new report from Healthy Places by Design, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, reframes the conversation about social isolation and outlines five recommendations for creating socially connected communities. The lessons and recommendations shared in Socially Connected Communities: Solutions for Social Isolation are meant to inspire collective action to build relationships between neighbors, improve trust and foster an overall sense of community.

To support communities’ efforts to lead meaningful change that improves trust between neighbors and strengthens an overall sense of belonging and connectedness, Healthy Places by Design has also developed complementary Action Guides for local government and community leaders, and for philanthropic leaders.

Download the full report and Action Guides

Advocacy Toolkit for Park Equity, Life Expectancy, and Power Building

– To increase park equity, community stakeholders who traditionally have been underrepresented in parks-related decision-making must be heard. The Prevention Institute has developed an advocacy toolkit to support community-based organizations, their members, and others who are building power to secure equitable investments in park infrastructure in disinvested communities. Featuring policy recommendations, community profiles, maps and resources in both English and Spanish, the Advocacy Toolkit for Park Equity, Life Expectancy, and Power Building is part of a broader suite of resources for health equity, coalition building and collaboration that are available to communities. This toolkit is supported by the Urban Institute through funds provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

Access the Advocacy Toolkit for Park Equity, Life Expectancy and Power Building
Browse all available tools from the Prevention Institute

New Jersey Summer Meals for Kids: 2020 Snapshot

– The New Jersey Summer Meals for Kids: 2020 Snapshot is Hunger Free New Jersey’s analysis of NJ Department of Agriculture data regarding participation in two federal child nutrition programs: the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option program.
Hunger Free New Jersey determined that while New Jersey communities have steadily expanded summer meal service over the past several years, in 2019, communities only reached about one quarter of low-income students, leaving far too many without this critical nutrition that can help them return to school in the fall ready to learn.

According to this 2020 snapshot, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts, non-profits and their community partners served free meals to twice as many eligible children as in 2019 and that for the first time ever, New Jersey exceeded a national benchmark of reaching 40 percent of children who receive free or low-cost school lunch.

Click here to read more and to download the report.

NJ ACES Statewide Action Plan

– Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a term used to describe all types of traumatic experiences that occur in individuals under the age of 18, including: 1) emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; 2) emotional and physical neglect and 3) exposure to violence, substance abuse, mental illness, or parental incarceration.

To make New Jersey a trauma-informed and healing-centered state, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families has released the NJ ACES Statewide Action Plan. This plan, developed with support from the New Jersey Funders ACEs Collaborative of the Burke Foundation, The Nicholson Foundation and the Turrell Fund, explains key concepts to understand ACEs and outlines five core strategies to reduce — and ultimately prevent — ACEs in New Jersey.

Read the NJ ACES Statewide Action Plan here.

New Jersey Future Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit

– Green infrastructure can improve communities by reducing flood risk, returning clean water to the ground, cleaning and cooling the air, and aiding in pedestrian safety. To help communities better understand the impact of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection stormwater rules that go into effect on March 2, 2021, New Jersey Future has updated its Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit. The updates will help communities work with developers, organize the approval of green infrastructure projects and more.

Access the toolkit
Browse additional resources provided by New Jersey Future

The Road Forward: Health Equity in New Jersey During and After the Pandemic, a webinar panel presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

– The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound and lasting impact on neighborhoods, businesses, and people throughout the country and in New Jersey. When New Jersey eventually shifts focus from relief to recovery, plans must address the heightened impact on communities that were already lacking access to opportunities for good health before the pandemic. This webinar recording features RWJF Director of New Jersey Grantmaking, Maisha Simmons, along with a cross section of leaders as they discuss strategies and solutions needed for post-pandemic health equity in New Jersey.

Panelists include:

View the recording

The Planner’s Playbook: A Community-Centered Approach to Improving Health and Equity

– While past planning practices have helped create inequities, planners today have the power to help solve them, promoting a society that gives everyone a fair and just opportunity to thrive. ChangeLab Solutions has developed The Planner’s Playbook: A Community-Centered Approach to Improving Health & Equity to provide guidance and resources, concrete steps and real-world examples to planners, decision makers and other practitioners who wish to center equity in the design and function of their communities.

Download the guide

2020 New Jersey ALICE Report

– ALICE is an acronym used to collectively describe households that are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These community members live paycheck to paycheck, unable to afford basic necessities or to set aside savings for an emergency. ALICE is employed in roles such as child care workers, cashiers, gas attendants, home health aides and restaurant servers, according to United for ALICE. The latest ALICE in New Jersey: A Financial Hardship Study indicates 1.2 million households were in financial distress prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 report, interactive graphics and a compilation of resources about the impact of the pandemic on this population are a resource for learning more about ALICE in New Jersey.

View the Report and Interactive Graphics
Visit the United for ALICE COVID-19 and ALICE web page

Factsheet Series: The Intersection of Community Development and Health

– The Build Healthy Places Network, in collaboration with NeighborWorks America, has released a series of factsheets to address the question “What makes community development a great partner in health?” Exploring the intersection of community development and mental health, social isolation and homelessness, the factsheets shares statistics, evidence for action and guidance on engaging new partners in addressing these issues, particularly amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Download the factsheet series