The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Center on Society and Health (CSH), in partnership with Engaging Richmond and the VCU Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA), recently published “Regional Scan and Strategies for Community Engagement in Health, Housing, and Community Development,” a report funded by the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation.
The report describes community engagement strategies in local non-profits and coalitions in the City of Richmond and the Counties of Chesterfield and Henrico. It includes themes from interviews and case studies, as well as an inventory of community-engaged organizations, an annotated bibliography of literature on community engagement strategies, and maps that overlay housing data and community-engaged organizations in the Richmond region. The report highlighted themes that are important considerations in engaging communities, such as outreach, capacity building, and evaluation.
Some key findings from the report include:
- Most organizations and initiatives require greater infrastructure and resources to consistently involve stakeholders.
- Equity in health, housing, and community development in the Richmond region can benefit from more multi-sector and regional collaborations.
- There are many opportunities for growth in improving infrastructure and funding, capacity building of potential resident leaders, evaluating efforts, and utilizing existing community and resident assets during engagement efforts.