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Focus Area

Community-Driven Solutions

Health begins where we live, learn, work and play. It depends on our environment, the food we eat, economic opportunities and social connections. Institutional racism and disinvestment over generations have systematically produced many of the health inequities we see today. The most effective solutions to these systemic issues are created when leaders of community-based organizations engage residents in addressing neighborhood priorities.

In many neighborhoods throughout the nation, a history of racist policy decisions means that low-income communities of color experience limited access to affordable fresh food, safe places to live, high-quality education and living-wage jobs. When residents mobilize to improve these conditions, the health and well-being of entire communities can improve.

Residents living in disadvantaged communities often have a sophisticated understanding of the challenges they face, and have the expertise, experience and power to design solutions to change systems, services and practices to equitably improve health.

Using a community-driven approach, we work to:

  • Improve housing affordability and quality through local policy changes.
  • Accelerate action on climate change and equitably reduce health disparities.
  • Increase the adoption of food-oriented development.
  • Support communities in their efforts to drive more equitable policies, systems and practices.
  • Increase the use of inclusive or community-driven models of community development that address community conditions such as housing, food systems and safety.

Local and place-based approaches hold the potential to create new models for lasting change.

Kresge staff is working remotely, and our offices are closed until further notice.  See our promise to partners during COVID-19.