The Road Ahead
Over the past four years, the Healthier Perth Amboy (HPA) coalition has grown and developed into a diverse set of partners with the mission of addressing residents’ social, economic, and environmental barriers to health. We are tremendously thankful, as this was an opportunity to explore the hard conversations about why Perth Amboy residents face higher health risk factors than those in neighboring communities. Over the years we have examined outdated policies, environmental concerns, and systemic racism that can impose physical and mental harm upon our community’s families.
With support from New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI), HPA was given the opportunity to create a Blueprint for Action, and then revise our Blueprint as we learned and grew. Our new Blueprint reflects our understanding of the social determinants of health and how we must work upstream in order to see sustainable results.
Although COVID-19 is a historically tragic event for Perth Amboy, it has made the Healthier Perth Amboy partnerships stronger. Our partnerships allowed us to create a coordinated response to the pandemic and ensure that our residents have access to food, health care, and social services.
Although COVID-19 is a historically tragic event for Perth Amboy, it has made the Healthier Perth Amboy partnerships stronger. Our partnerships allowed us to create a coordinated response to the pandemic and ensure that our residents have access to food, health care, and social services. As rates of sickness are rapidly declining, Healthier Perth Amboy is prioritizing three areas of focus to create an equitable recovery, including:
- Career Readiness Services: HPA partners are connecting their services to ensure that young residents can address the barriers they face to employment. This includes High School Equivalency Programs, English as a Second Language courses, case management, childcare services and more. This initiative is called Bridges to Employing Youth and involves all HPA partners.
- Healthy Housing: As residents are facing more time inside, unhealthy housing issues are only getting worse. The Healthier Perth Amboy partners have launched their Healthy Housing Campaign in light of policy change that is anticipated to occur over the next few months.
- Mental/Behavioral Health: Nonprofit HPA partners such as Jewish Renaissance Foundation, the Puerto Rican Association for Human Development, United Way, the Raritan Bay Area YMCA and the Center for Support will continue to combine, expand, and cross-promote their programs to ensure that all community members have access to the services they need.
The road ahead will be difficult, but we know our partnerships will allow us to succeed in creating a Culture of Health in the face of COVID-19. We thank NJHI for their unwavering support and commitment to our community.