thinkEast Health  (2020)

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thinkEAST Health is a project that will collaborate with residents of thinkEAST, a 24-acre affordable housing district in East Austin. Through Housing Authority City of Austin and Cesar Chavez Foundation support, thinkEAST will provide 300+ units of housing to those making 30-80 percent of Austin’s median family income. Project thinkEAST Health will be a community-informed, multi-organization collaboration that is intended to improve the individual and collective health of this new affordable housing community.

This project will address helping underserved communities within East Austin by understanding barriers to health and creating health conversations that are unique to residents in these neighborhoods.

The project will use initial gatherings with residents and subsequent waves of conversations and interactions to learn about the community’s interests and self-defined needs.  Through prototype innovations, health engagement activities, and relationship building with residents, this partnership will build toward the future of the health of thinkEAST residents.

Our overall plan is to build on our initial efforts, to listen and learn, to try and to evolve. Building off of the research the project team has already conducted with underserved Austinites and particularly East Austinites, the initial research will help understand any barriers to health and any pathways to community and health conversations that are unique to these residents and this new neighborhood. As such, we have structured our work into an initial round of research and then two waves of “building a prototype” and “running and iterating a prototype” for two different concepts.

The efforts of this project will aim to learn about health behaviors in the community and impact and establish healthy behaviors as residents move in and establish their lives in the thinkEAST community.

Funding for this project was made possible by a grant from the St. David’s Foundation, Austin, Texas.  The views expressed in written project materials or publications do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the St. David’s Foundation or The University of Texas at Austin.  Department of Health and Human Service.  Mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations do not imply the endorsement of the St. David’s Foundation or The University of Texas at Austin.