Wellness is promoted when neighborhoods are economically and environmentally vital, socially connected, civically engaged and safe. The program areas in this portfolio address fostering healthy environments and violence prevention.
A healthy neighborhood includes clean air, safe drinking water, access to healthy food, and parks and other spaces for community gatherings and recreation. But people in underserved communities often live, work and play in unhealthy environments and have little say in local planning and other decision-making processes. We seek to ensure that community residents are engaged in civic life so that effective systems, infrastructures and resources are in place in low-income communities to address long-standing inequities in the distribution of resources and assets.
The evidence is consistent and compelling. Underserved communities bear a disproportionate share of the public health burden of violence in California. These communities are grappling with poverty, incarceration and re-entry, limited educational opportunities, and easy access to guns. Cal Wellness’ goal is to build resilience in diverse communities across the state so that all Californians have the opportunity to live in safe and healthy neighborhoods.