More help for public housing residents' health

January 28, 2022

The City of Minneapolis is intensifying its work improving the well-being of residents living in affordable housing high rises. A two-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aims to improve health and prevent chronic diseases in racial and ethnic communities where health disparities are widespread. The City will focus this grant on Black residents in public housing and Native American residents through culturally based organizations.

The grant will support the health of people living in public housing and members of the urban Native American community through culturally appropriate education and healthier environments including:

  • More access to nutritious, culturally specific food.
  • More access to preventive health care.
  • More access to breastfeeding support for new moms.
  • Help managing high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and unhealthy weight.

This grant allows the City to continue and build on its efforts to coordinate health services and programs for people living in public housing. The services have previously included:

  • Providing thousands of COVID-19 vaccinations to residents in 39 Minneapolis Public Housing Authority high rises.
  • Partnering with Hennepin Healthcare to provide booster shots to 564 residents and help them register for free COVID tests from the federal government.
  • Starting community gardens at 14 buildings to support residents who want to grow their own vegetables.
  • Coordinating a bi-weekly mobile grocery service at six buildings to increase food accessibility for residents with mobility and transportation challenges.
  • Organizing tours to nearby farmers markets where residents could use their food assistance benefits to purchase fresh produce.
  • Convening and coordinating the Minneapolis Highrise Health Alliance that includes public housing residents, clinics, the Minneapolis Highrise Representative Council, Volunteers of America, and the managed care organizations UCare, Medica, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, HealthPartners and Hennepin Health.