Healthy Living Grant Program

 
Supporting community-led efforts at addressing prevention strategies that promote health equity and healthy living is paramount to our success as a nonprofit hospital. To do this, City of Hope established the Healthy Living Grant program.    
 
The Healthy Living Grant program is giving out $5,000 grants to groups/organizations that can demonstrate not-so-ordinary, sustainable and collaborative approaches to promoting healthy living by addressing the root causes of illness and disease.  
 
Applicants must provide services, for vulnerable populations, within the Greater Los Angeles or Orange County regions. Proposals must incorporate at least one of these five topics below. (See the 2021-2023 City of Hope Implementation Strategy, page 13 for more ideas.)
 
  • Access to Care – Specifically related to implicit bias, structural racism, policy, systems, environment and cross-sectoral collaborations that address the social determinants of health
  • Mental Health – Upstream programming to address access, policy and quality services that serve both the adult and youth communities
  • Food and Housing Insecurity – Policy and/or programming that creates linkages to sustainable sources of food and housing
  • Healthy Living – Programming that addresses risk factors for chronic disease
  • Cancer Prevention – Prevention education and screening programs
 
 
The City of Hope Healthy Living Grant (HLG) recipients use our funding to make a difference. We know this because we went out and watched them work. Many broke down barriers to healthy living and lifestyles by providing much-needed support in the languages its community members speak. Others provided knowledge and education that help change the perspectives of individuals coming to their community. We have seen gardens grow, kids walk to school safely and early morning walkers getting in exercise before most other people’s days have begun. We have heard these programs delivered in Mandarin, Spanish and English. In order to effectively share what we have learned from our grantees, we want to provide them with an opportunity to showcase their work (in our local vulnerable communities). To help them get ready, we assisted them in reporting their evaluation data and taught them how to turn those numbers into compelling 15-minute presentations. Then we provided each grantee with an opportunity share their findings at our yearly conference and awards luncheon (see the 2020 cohort presentations here).
 
Each year, the City of Hope Community Benefit Advisory Council sits downs and reviews all the HLG submissions. After hours of reviewing the submissions individually, the HLG committee meets to discuss the each one and make their final recommendation for awardees. These recommendations are presented to the entire council for a vote. This year, the grantees represent an incredible group of non-profit organizations that are working hard to create impact in the lives of the people they serve. Below are the brief details of this year's Healthy Living Grant recipients. 
 

2021 City of Hope Healthy Living Grant Recipients

Rainbow Labs. Summer Mentoring Program for LGBTQ+ Youth will be acting on the power of mentors to address mental health. They are launched a nine-week pilot program that started in June 2021. 50 LGBTQ+ youth pair with 10 mentors for a summer-long afterschool program. Youth will meet weekly with their peers and a mentor for formal activities such as utilizing their storytelling power and an accelerator program offering opportunities for youth to engage with LGBTQ+ professionals. Mentors will also offer informal time for one-on- one support to the unique needs of their mentees. All of those selected to mentor will undergo extensive trauma-informed, youth development and LGBTQ affirming training.
 
Glendale Unified School District. GUSD Student Wellness Services are focused on increasing the emotional and physical well-being of GUSD students and their families though the implementation of supportive mental-health and wellness topics/counseling via remote programming. Recognizing the intersections between hunger and mental health, GUSD School Wellness Services will also provide food and food resources to the students who enter their program.
 
Orange County Buddhist Church. Project Kokoro Senior Crafts Class will address issues that are prevalent with the Japanese American senior community that include isolation, decreased stimulation and decrease in personal interaction outside of their homes. Through the craft classes they will encourage hand/eye coordination, problem solving, creating express and project completion. Additionally, they will provide discussions on topics of concern to the seniors, as well as current issues that will increase socialization and sharing of stories. To stay active, physically, they will offer gentle exercise and movement activities. Ultimately resulting in reduced social isolation, increased interpersonal interaction and the promotion of critical thinking skills.
 
El Monte Union High School District. Burger Swap will encourage students to change their burger eating habits by providing a plant-based burger choice in their cafeteria. Students will participate in the awareness by developing a social media campaign, via PSAs, that will convince teens that plant-based burger options are an easy swap for their favorite beef patty meals. Students will also showcase the benefits of meatless burgers beyond saving the world and reducing their carbon footprint, or capitalizing on some student’s interests in health eating, environmental sustainability and humane treatment of animals.
 
National Coalition of 100 Black Women – Los Angeles Chapter. Cancer Health Disparities Against Black Women recognizes that access to cancer treatment and prevention programs has not been equal for African Americans living in urban areas. This program will outreach to Black women, living in LA District 10, providing them educational materials, programming and support needed inform and empower while on, and after, their cancer journey.
 
Promotors for Better Health. HPV + COVID-19 Vaccine Program will use a combination of a promotora model and the co-design process to create health education materials to create health education materials that will increase HPV and COVID-19 vaccination rates in the Latino communities in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. The promotora model utilizes lay community health workers to target often hard-to-reach populations, traditionally excluded racial/ethnic groups, and other medically underserved communities. The co-design process stresses the importance of community input and review and aims to draw on diverse perspectives by actively engaging people with lived experience in program design.
 
Orange County Buddhist Church. Tomodachi Bento Project will address three main goals: food insecurity, mental health and healthy living of socially isolated/homebound Japanese senior citizens residing in Orange County. To address the food insecurity, meal packages that require only microwaving or boiling water are delivered with each bento lunch. The meal packages can provide four to five additional meals for approximately 70 seniors. The social isolation that often leads to loneliness, anxiety and depression among seniors will be mitigated through the 10 to 20-minute weekly in-person visits and monthly check in calls. Participants will also be invited to participate in a weekly senior program called, Stretch and Munch giving them an opportunity to engage with others and to take part in a gentle exercise program.
 
Global Federation of Chinese Businesswomen – Greater LA Chapter. Recovery, Resilience and Reconnection for Hope will focus on increasing prioritization of cancer health awareness to empower and support communities during and after the pandemic through an Asian symposium and youth conference. An array of creative approaches will be used to reach their targeted community which will include: Simulcast translation in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese; Youth cancer health ambassadors who will provide firsthand accounts regarding their cancer journeys; conference will be broadcast via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook; ACS Youth Cancer Health Ambassadors will lead the efforts to create social media public health and engagement campaigns; care team navigators will connect participants with needed community health resources and classes.
 
In addition to the $5,000 grant, the grantees will receive one-year of technical assistance. This technical assistance will support the grantees as they learn plan, implement, and evaluate the impact their programs will have on the communities they serve. At the end of the year, the grantees have an opportunity to share the story of their experience with the incoming grantees at our annual Healthy Living Luncheon. To see the poster presentations from this year’s conference click here.

2021 City of Hope Community Building Grant Recipients

South County Outreach. Their Hunger Prevention (food pantry) program boasts a “Client Choice” model, whereby clients are able to “shop” the market’s shelves as they would a typical grocery store. However, due to COVID-19, they have temporarily amended this model, allowing for clients to preselect foods based on preference and dietary restrictions, and staff and volunteers shop the market for each client individually. This allows clients to remain in their vehicles and retrieve food curbside, as they might at any local grocer or chain store. This model helps prevent food waste and increases dignity among the clients, remaining sensitive to the cultural food preferences in which many of our clients have expressed interest. Every household can visit monthly for a week’s worth of free groceries for every member of the household.
 
Wayfinder Family Services. Wayfinder Family Services, Special Education School is one of the only state-certified, nonpublic schools in Southern California to teach individualized curricula to elementary and high school age youth (ages 5 to 22) with severe disabilities, including vision loss, autism, hearing impairment, Down syndrome, seizure disorders and cognitive delays. The Capacity Building Grant will support Wayfinder Family Services in creating COVID-19 classroom structures that will continue to deliver important programming related to life skills, positive self-image and increased independence. COVID-19 has become a major factor in the community’s ability to thrive during these uncertain times. Both South County Outreach and Wayfinder Family Services has received the $5,000 grant to live out their vision and serve communities that are especially vulnerable because of the impact of COVID-19.
 

For more information, please contact Nancy Clifton-Hawkins at communitybenefit@coh.org.