Children & Families First’s Seaford Community of Hope (SCOH) program is on track with its seven-year objective to establish up to three FRCs in underserved neighborhoods in Seaford. Already creating significant positive impact in the Meadowbridge neighborhood, the program will use a mini-grant from Healthy Communities Delaware, to move forward with next steps in establishing their second location in the Chandler Heights Apartment complex.
Both Meadowbridge and Chandler Heights were prioritized for supports based on historical rates of high crime, violence, community instability, and disengagement. Over the past two years, the residents of Meadowbridge have benefitted significantly from the strengths-based, trauma-informed, culturally competent engagement services and supports offered by Children & Families First.
With the desired outcome being actionable plans and supports focused on social and health conditions for improved overall well-being, Midline Oware, Program Director for SCOH knows from direct experience at Meadowbridge the projects must intentionally involve the neighbors to develop them from within and the timeline to develop the necessary rapport and trust is at minimum a year-long investment. “We anticipate that the Chandler Heights neighborhood strengths and needs assessment will yield diverse ideas that will guide neighborhood-specific program development,” states Oware, “For example, lighting reduces the risk of violence and crime; a school bus shelter that supports safety, health, and school attendance; or a community garden, playground, or walking path that supports healthy behaviors.”
In partnership with the Sussex County Health Coalition, Seaford Police Department, and many others, SCOH will begin to coordinate discussions, gather information, and engage the residents of Chandler Heights in neighborhood-driven, neighborhood-focused collaborations to enhance well-being beginning in late 2022.