Health Equity and the Built Enviroment 2019 Grantees

July 17, 2019

Richmond Memorial Health Foundation is explicitly committed to supporting and convening efforts that address the social, economic, and structural conditions that contribute to poor health outcomes for individuals and families. We apply this commitment by intentionally approaching our work with an emphasis on racial and ethnic equity, recognizing health disparities are closely linked to race and ethnicity. Additionally, RMHF recognizes the critical role the built environment plays in an individual’s overall health and well-being.

RMHF Trustees recently approved the recommendations of the external review committee and awarded eight grants totaling $360,000 for health equity and the built environment.

Organization Name: Children’s Home Society of Virginia
Program Title: The Possibilities Project (TPP)
Proposal Summary: $50,000 to underwrite a Policy Analyst to coordinate advocacy work, including research analysis, increasing public awareness (speaking, publications and media outreach), educating legislators and administrators, and coalition work. RMHF funds also provide aged out youth (AOY) a year of safe housing and weekly mental health counseling and dental service.

Organization Name: Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, in partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Richmond (CHoR) and the Medical Legal Partnership
Program Title: Legal Interventions for Improved Pediatric Health in the Built Environment
Proposal Summary: $50,000 to provide legal interventions, outreach, education and practical tools to families in the Greater Richmond area with children treated at the Children’s Hospital living in substandard housing conditions with the intent of interrupting the disparate impact on health that families living in poverty face due to poor housing conditions.

Organization Name: Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME)
Program Title: HOME’s Eviction Diversion Program
Proposal Summary: $50,000 to prevent people in the Richmond area from enduring traditional eviction proceedings. In an effort to save tenants, landlords and taxpayers the cost and burden to community resources, and avoid the distress that often accompanies evictions, HOME’s Eviction Diversion program works with the City of Richmond and Central Virginia Legal Aid Society to support 300 people.

Organization Name: VCU Foundation (RVA Eviction Lab)
Program Title: Strategic data: Co-producing knowledge for advocacy and organizing with the RVA Eviction Lab
Proposal Summary: $50,000 to interrupt the destabilizing and politically demobilizing effects of housing instability caused by eviction. The project seeks to build networks, support neighborhood-based organizing, facilitate political advocacy, and engage in data-driven policy development at the state and local levels in Virginia – with specific attention in Richmond. One project outcome will be a replicable model for building community capacity and addressing housing instability in communities across Virginia.

Organization Name: Manufactured Home Community Coalition of Virginia
Project Title: Reimagining Richmond’s Mobile Home Parks
Proposal Summary: $50,000 to support activities that increase housing quality, stability, and opportunity in Richmond’s mobile/manufactured home parks. MHCCV will conduct resident engagement in parks to understand needs, educate local officials on challenges and solutions, develop new and equitable financing options for mobile homes, advocate for statewide policy reform, promote park preservation through nonprofit and resident ownership of mobile home communities, and publicly advance a positive image of mobile home parks to dispel unfounded stereotypes.

Organization Name: Richmond Opportunities, Inc. (ROI), in collaboration with RRHA, Richmond City Health District and others
Program Title: The Creighton People Plan: Resident Voice and Transition Services in Public Housing Redevelopment
Proposal Summary: $50,000 to ensure residents in Creighton are supported through their transition to healthy housing of choice. The focus areas are to: (1) provide holistic coaching/case management to households throughout any rehabilitation or redevelopment process; (2) empower residents to lead communications and community building in their neighborhood; (3) organize service partners to develop an efficient network of providers focused on successful housing transition; (4) continuously evaluate to improve services, monitor results, and develop a model that can be replicated to other public housing communities.

Organization Name: Southside Community Development and Housing Corporation
Project Title: Addressing the racial wealth gap through financial, employment, and homebuyer counseling on Richmond’s Southside
Proposal Summary: $50,000 to address the racial wealth gap, and related health inequities, by providing comprehensive financial, employment, and homebuyer counseling to people of color living on the Southside of Richmond. This year, SCDHC will integrate its HUD approved Comprehensive Housing Counseling program with Virginia LISC’s Financial Opportunity Center. Funds will support the integration of services, through creation of a continuum model, integration plan, and staff development. Funds will also support SCDHC’s efforts to communicate about the new FOC by creating a communications plan and collateral materials, in both English and Spanish.

Organization Name: Urban Hope
Program Title: Funding for strategic planning for Urban Hope, Inc.
Proposal Summary: $10,000 to engage in a six-month, consultant-led planning process that will draw input from Board, staff, tenants, clients, and all other stakeholders to create a 3-5 year plan.


Special Thanks to External Reviewers:
Alfredo A. Cruz – Foundation for Louisiana (Review Committee Chair)
Ira Goldstein – Reinvestment Fund
Claudette Grant – Formerly with Piedmont Housing Alliance
Deborah Kasemeyer – Northern Trust
Lance Loethen – Opportunity Finance Network
Patricia N. Mathews – Northern Virginia Health Foundation
Ascala Sisk – Center for Community Investment
Karl Stauber – Danville Regional Foundation