Grantee Blog

Urban Health Literacy Workshops

Below are some stats regarding our assessment of basic health literacy knowledge. Presented are the challenged areas of knowledge and behavior (n=20).

Many of the participants had comorbidities 114% (Hypertension, COPD, Diabetes, Heart Disease)

33% were unsure of how to prevent heart disease

29% were unsure what disease is related to low fiber

57% believed light foods are always a good option because they are low in calories

42% did not engage in any physical activity

48% were not satisfied with their health

This small sample may be representative of most residents in public housing. These data underscore how important it is to promote physical activity and nutrition information to reduce risks of chronic disease and to provide develop evidence-based interventions in chronic disease among lower-income public housing residents.

But aside from these troubling findings, the urban health workshops have taken on a life of their own. They are primarily attended by Black women who tend to be head of household in this setting. Our facilitated group conversations are a context of sharing ‘real’ information about health, family, violence, finances, and providing community-based social support. It seems that having a facilitator that looks like them and who also shares her physical and nutritional challenges creates a sense of credibility and trust. Many of the women come to more than two (which is mandatory) workshops for comradery and information sharing. In these workshops, we have discussed challenges around eating healthy and in engaging in physical activity and nutrition information related to diabetes and obesity. We have also discussed the causal relationships between adverse childhood effects and adult health – the best workshop ever! We have also discussed how the Trenton Public Housing Authority can hold exercise classes across properties so that all residents can access these classes. They also talk about what type of exercise they are interested in, such as hip hop and African dance.

About the Grantee

Trenton Housing Authority (THA)

We seek to create safe, energy efficient neighborhoods by partnering with individuals and organizations to provide affordable housing, education and employment opportunities for families of modest means who live in the City of Trenton. Through the public housing and services that we provide, the THA helps citizens become self-sufficient and improve their quality of life.