The Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA) provides affordable rental housing, housing assistance, and community development for more than 12,000 residents of Clark County, Washington. VHA’s RISE & STARS Community Center (RSCC), open to all VHA subsidized-housing residents, is a hub for educational and recreational programs. The Center offers an after-school program, youth mentoring, self-sufficiency programs for teens and adults, parent-child play groups, an infant-toddler daycare center, and a community kitchen. It also serves as a place for elderly and disabled adults to gather, play games, and socialize.
C.H.E.F. provided a one-year Seed Grant and a two-year Continuation Grant to support development and implementation of “Fresh Ideas for a Healthy Community,” an RSCC program that promotes physical activity and healthy eating among residents of Skyline Crest, VHA’s largest public-housing complex.
The Seed Grant provided educational activities to help residents understand and engage in positive health practices, developing new skills and resources. Activities included healthy-cooking classes; family dinners focused on healthy lifestyles and gardening; walking groups; help creating vegetable container-gardens; and other events to help residents incorporate physical activity and healthy eating into their lives.
The Continuation Grant will enable RSCC to continue to offer many of the Seed Grant activities and expand the program with activities that reach teens and young adults. www.vhausa.com
“I would like to thank C.H.E.F. and our lead community partners (Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation and Washington State University (WSU) Cooperative Extension Nutrition Education and WSU Master Gardeners) for their support of our health promotion program “Fresh Ideas for a Healthy Community.” Connie Sherrard Resident Initiatives Program Manager Vancouver Housing Authority