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Building a Culture of Health, Wellness & Accountability in Affordable Housing

Learn how the work, commitment and forward thinking of one resident services manager is empowering residents in CPDC’s Southeast D.C. Arbor View community to change their minds, circumstances and lifestyles.

A 5-Part Blog Series

A person must first change their mind to change their life.

Arbor View Greening Day | CPDC | May 16, 2015This is what Cora Clark knows to be true. And it’s what she’s committed the past 10 years of her life doing at the Arbor View affordable housing community in Southeast Washington D.C. Her cause: educating residents about health and nutrition, teaching them to make better daily choices for better health outcomes and equipping them to not only stock and grow produce in their own backyard…but to prepare it healthily.

As the CPDC Resident Services Manager at Arbor View, Cora also tackles less tangible and more difficult to break down barriers to good health in her community, including the basic right to access fresh foods no matter one’s address, long-engrained poor eating habits, big-picture understanding of food and its impact on overall wellness and the importance of preventative managed healthcare.

To change the tide, Cora has made health and wellness her mission; the impact has been far-reaching. Motivated by the notion that access to nutritious food is a right and necessary to live a healthy life, Cora has: led residents in establishing and operating an onsite food pantry and garden; hosted dozens of food and nutrition workshops, cooking demonstrations and education sessions; secured thousands of dollars in funding and grants for food and health initiatives; sought out, secured and implemented countless opportunities for residents; and singlehandedly built invaluable relationships and partnerships with local food and environment leaders to sustain Arbor View’s health-focused programming.

These efforts have been so well received by residents at Arbor View that Cora is credited by those who know her work well with spurring an entire culture shift in the community as it concerns food, health and self-care.

CPDC recently completed a $5 million reinvestment in Arbor View, including extensive renovations, new amenities and expansion of the resident community center and food pantry. On the heels of these improvements, this 5-part blog series will explore the culture of health and wellness that is defining the Arbor View community, resident efforts to maintain the momentum and the dynamic resident services manager whose grassroots approach and determination is inspiring and making the movement possible.

*Part 2 of this series to be published Wednesday, May 20


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