Since 2013, Healthy Homes has been building a neighborhood-based network of community members to support entire families, foster child health and well-being, and reduce poverty. Activated community members perform door-to-door personal outreach to support the needs and hopes of households with children under the age of six and pregnant women. Through our growing network of households and our partnered work with families, Healthy Homes is transforming how the health and social needs of the most vulnerable people in Cincinnati are met. Our mission is to empower families, particularly families living in poverty, to realize the dreams they have for themselves and their families.

Healthy Homes is creating measurable, lasting change for families living in poverty in many ways. We present three of these ways here.

First, Healthy Homes provides resources and services in response to the needs and hopes of families in its network, most of whom have household
incomes below 200% FPL.
The Healthy Homes package of goods and services includes:

  • Home safety equipment, to decrease likelihood of injury
  • Safe sleeping education and safe space for every infant to sleep, to decrease risk of infant mortality
  • Connection to prenatal and/or pediatric medical home, to increase access to and utilization of medical care
  • Ongoing support for pregnant women navigating the numerous resources and services in the neighborhood, to foster healthy pregnancy outcomes
  • 15 reading books, connection to Imagination Library, and early childhood literacy education and tools, to increase early childhood literacy

We track multiple metrics related to package delivery, such as total number of package elements delivered, time from first engagement to delivery of complete package, and needs expressed for elements beyond those included in the standard package.

Second, tracking needs beyond the elements included in our standard package led to the development of our Family Care Plan (FCP) initiative, which is one of the ways we are directly working to reduce poverty. Through the FCP, we identify and seek to solve problems related to social determinants of health for families within our network. Using QI methodology, we co­-developed with families a way to discuss, measure, and achieve real change for children and families in hardship. BCs utilize multiple tools with families to identify and track family needs in a systematic, quantifiable, and actionable way, including the Wheel of Life and the Arizona Self­Sufficiency Matrix. With this initiative, Healthy Homes aims to increase the self­-sufficiency of families in our program in meaningful, measurable, and sustainable ways. Moreover, to achieve lasting community change, we first start this work at the individual family level to learn deeply, and we then apply the lessons learned to seeking change at a larger systems level.

Third, to achieve measurable change for families living in poverty, Healthy Homes is increasing the capacity and activation level, or community involvement, of the families within our network. We recognize that there is tremendous short­ and long-­term value in developing and empowering community members. As such, community capacity building and activation has been at the core of our work with families. To measure progress in activation, we have co-­produced a systematic method for measuring and tracking the level of community activation of the families in our network.