Health and Environmental Justice

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Cradle to Career

This new grant area combines two of the Foundation’s old grant areas including Healthy Communities and Environment. Within Health and Environmental Justice, we recognize that your health is influenced by where you are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and age. We know that improving health outcomes requires an approach that supports a whole person within their community. Data shows us that there are differences in the environments within which residents live across our region. 

  • Waterbury has the highest live birth rate and highest infant mortality rate in Connecticut.
  • Access to prenatal care varies by community. In Waterbury over 18% of pregnant women received late or no prenatal care, this number increases for Black and Latina mothers.
  • Children in Waterbury are disproportionately affected by asthma. Slightly more than 21% have been diagnosed with asthma compared to the 15% in Connecticut and 13.4% in the nation.
  • In 2016, out of cities with at least, 100,000 residents, Waterbury had the highest eviction rate in the Northeast and it is the 22nd highest in the nation.
  • 43% of residents in the Foundation’s region who make $15,000 or less report not having enough money to buy food for their families

Our approach focuses on:

  • Supporting programs, advocacy and system change efforts that address health disparity
  • Increasing access to safe and affordable housing
  • Improving food systems to ensure access and affordability
  • Improving health systems to ensure access, culturally responsive practices, and affordability
  • Applying an Environmental Justice lens to projects that seek to clean up land, air and neighborhoods in order to positively impact health

Efforts we support include:

  • Collaborations that improve access to basic needs (such as food and housing) and to preventative health care especially for BIPOC residents
  • Evidence-based prevention and chronic disease management programs for diabetes, obesity, tobacco use, asthma, mental health first aid, and falls
  • Housing advocacy efforts that address high eviction rates, safe housing (lead abatement) and affordability in Waterbury
  • Expanding access to behavioral health and substance abuse interventions, especially in multi-lingual and rural communities
  • System improvements that support increased access to medical and behavioral health services (such as transportation and telehealth)
  • Efforts to advocate for environmental justice in Waterbury and work toward reducing environmental disparities across communities.
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Health and Environmental Justice grant proposals are accepted twice annually. See Previous Health and Environmental Justice Grantees

Francesca Evangelista

For more information, please contact:
Francesca Evangelista, Program Officer, | 203.753.1315, x106