In the months leading up to the Housing + Health Summit we’re co-sponsoring November 17th, we will be featuring Austin area nonprofits who understand the benefits of incorporating health initiatives into housing. One such organization is Foundation Communities the largest affordable housing provider in Austin.
Andrea Albalawi is the Director of Health Initiatives for Foundation Communities. Albalawi said, “Foundation Communities is committed to improving the quality of life of its residents and we do so through a holistic housing plus services model. These include financial stability programs, education, health and mental health services.” Foundation Communities offers fitness classes including Zumba, yoga, aerobics and walking groups. Also, nutrition classes, healthy food classes and cooking demos. The organization also provides health education including diabetes classes, support groups, women’s health, health fairs and 5k races. Their Insure Central Texas program provides Obamacare health coverage enrollment and navigation.
“We are uniquely positioned as a housing organization to do place-based work and address health disparities,” said Albalawi. “Our goal is to improve long-term health outcomes for our residents. This year we have three strategic initiatives. They’re our smoking cessation initiative, a healthy food initiative and our blood pressure initiative.”
Foundation Communities has had great success in getting its residents to participate in healthy programs by allowing residents to have a voice in which programs are offered. This month, we’re featuring Foundation Communities resident Adrian Coleman. After spending eight years living on the streets of East Austin, Coleman is now at Skyline Terrace taking part in activities that have her body and mind healthier than they’ve been in a very long time.