Health Engagement Leading to Prevention is on a mission to achieve a safe environment for seniors, disabled, and formerly homeless individuals to live together and work together in the community.
Health Engagement Leading to Prevention (HELP) is addressing the social determinants of health (SDoH) issues faced in Subsidized Housing and Public Housing by providing:
- Community nursing
- Community health worker training
- Resident education and support
This model has worked when duplicated throughout healthcare, low-wealth housing, and with unhoused individuals. The program has expanded with additional funding from other funders who have witnessed the model’s success.
HELP for better outcomes
The residents of Arrowhead Apartments in Asheville, NC are a combination of seniors, disabled and formerly unhoused individuals. This type of subsidized housing facility is not uncommon in the US. The residents here are on limited budgets, have a higher incidence of chronic disease, and are at greater risk for a shortened life expectancy. Many residents are eligible to receive services from social services and healthcare organizations. The wicked problem is that residents face barriers to access these services, including social service programs, healthcare, transportation coordination, and health education. So, though eligible for services which may impact health and ability to remain independent in the community, many residents are not connected to them.
Health Engagement Leading to Prevention is approaching this problem through interagency collaboration with service coordinator, nurses, doctors, social workers and the Arrowhead manager and staff. Additionally, they are working towards sustainability by training individuals at Arrowhead to become community health workers (CHWs). The result has been better outcomes for this hard-to-serve population and less need for eviction and infractions than when agencies are working in isolation.