Resident Development Programs
HUD’s Community and Supportive Services office tapped the Chester Housing Authority to create a two-year pilot program to reduce cardiovascular risk among residents through health education and health-promoting activities. What has ensued has been a remarkable story of a community making measurable change. Through food shopping and cooking education, diet, group exercise, gardening, and group support, residents attend activities to help lose weight, reduce blood pressure, and decrease waist circumference. In ANUME, CHA has articulated as a model program for modifying behavior to reduce cardiovascular vulnerability and improve health prospects among a low-income population.
Residents bring in harvests from the Chester Housing Authority’s Bennett Community Farm. Now in its seventh year, the garden’s success has also spurred adjacent community development – the entire grassy area surrounding the farm, unused for many years, is now the site of additional structures and has been named Bennett Park.
Fathers Are Talking
The initiative began as a support network for community fathers in April 2012. It has become a grassroots focus of reflection and analysis about fatherhood, family stabilization, and the roles of men in communities like Chester. Members are regularly invited to speak at schools and other family support organizations.
Inspired by Fathers Are Talking, residents initiated the Women’s Circle in 2013. Meetings focus on the roles and experiences of women in the family and community.
The Chester Housing Authority makes a show of gratitude to the communities which welcome its service during the holiday season. Program partners and staff put on a Holiday Village that has now become a CHA tradition. Participants also collect toys for CHA children through the donations of St. Luke’s Greek Orthodox Church in Broomall.