Changing Health Culture in Low Income Communities

One of the first programs of its kind, the Claremont Healthy Village Initiative (CHVI) began reaching out to adults and youth, alike, in the Claremont Village New York City Housing Authority Development to make sustainable changes in their lives. Through a variety of grants, revenue streams and partnerships, this program has begun to make a difference in the health culture of a low income underserved population.

The way you eat, sleep, exercise, talk and think determines your health. Health is a culture that includes everything from belief to custom and habit. To find funding to support health in your community, go to and search for grants under the Health and Medical category.

Underserved populations have limited access to healthcare, health education and nutrition guidance. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and strong culture of health is harder for low-income households.

If you took a time-lapsed video of health in developing nations, you will find that there is trend toward chronic disease. Take a closer look and you’ll find that these diseases disproportionally affect those under the Federal Poverty Level.

The program’s goal is “To provide a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary coordinated program that would engage residents in creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The CHVI has been modeled on a four-pronged approach; medical wellness, physical wellness, nutritional wellness and social wellness.”

Through partnerships with community sectors (both private and public), the program set out to change the health of the community in 2012.

In 2015, the Initiative realized they needed to refresh their goal. The Initiative worked with GrowNYC Food Box, a partner as a pre-packaged produce program that disseminates nutrition information. It also engaged in Leadership Training and began a Youth Council.

In 2015, the Initiative was awarded grants for a Seniors Arts and Mental Health Program, Protecting Neighborhood Environmental Beauty, and Youth, Food, Art and more. And, community events engaged the local population and enabled the Initiative to provide health screenings and distribute health materials.

The Claremont Healthy Village Initiative is working to change the culture of health where it is needed most. If you are a nonprofit that similarly works in health advocacy, look for grants on You’ll find grants for Health and Medical, Nutrition, Sports and Recreation and Environment. 

About the Author: Sabeen has a Masters in Public Health and is currently writing for and its affiliated websites.