Our Healthy Living and Community Outreach Initiative includes collaborative programs designed to educate residents on the benefits of healthy living, improve their financial literacy and family stability, and help them have the tools needed to build a better future for their families. Examples of these activities include:
- Healthy Living Today Outreach Program – The Center offers a formalized program of free workshops on healthy living to help promote awareness on healthy lifestyles (including nutrition, healthy food choices on a budget, and stress management).
- Coatesville on the Move Program (“COTM”), an initiative of Activate Chester County — This community partnership is designed to organize a variety of activities encouraging residents to move more, eat smart, and create a supportive environment. One component of this program is a COTM Walking Competition, where residents log miles walked as part of a community-wide competition.
- Women’s Health – The Center offers a half-day event on women’s issues and provides resources and information such as healthy lifestyle tips, budgeting, reproductive health, stress management, nutrition, dental health, and healthy relationships.
- Vaccine Clinic – The Center provides vaccines (flu, shingles, other immunizations) to community residents at our accessible location during a free clinic. Vaccines are provided at no charge, regardless of the recipient’s insurance status.
- eatFresh Program (in collaboration with the Chester County Food Bank, and ChesPenn Health services) – Participants learn about the relationship between food and health, improve their health by eating mindfully, and they receive a steady stream of fresh produce to take home. Fresh produce is provided weekly by the Chester County Food Bank from June – October, and monthly cooking classes are offered. Health screenings track participants’ progress.
- Coatesville Area Food Summit – In partnership with the Chester County Food Bank, area food providers come together twice a year to discuss need and efficient food distribution strategies to eliminate gaps.
- Fresh2You – This Chester County Food Bank mobile market brings fresh produce to our Center weekly through the summer and fall for purchase along with nutrition education and food tastings. SNAP recipients double their purchasing power up to $10 at this market.
- Food Bank Distribution – Emergency Food Boxes are distributed to clients in crisis situations, and weekly produce and food staples are available every Wednesday to support client needs.
Financial Literacy and Family Stability
- Foundations of Money Management – This series of workshops helps participants improve their money management skills and gain access to banking services so that they may reach their financial goals. After attending the workshops, participants are eligible to open a checking account at PNC Bank.
- Expungement Workshops are provided regularly by a Legal Aid Attorney to assist those with a criminal background to expunge their record, thereby providing increased access to employment opportunities.
- Legal Education Series – This new series of workshops will be conducted by Legal Aid and will provide education on Family Law, Public Benefits, Employment Rights, Bankruptcy & Consumer Law, and Landlord Tenant issues to help clients address these disabling issues.
- Back to School Children’s Health Outreach Event (in collaboration with the Bridge Academy and Coatesville Youth Initiative) – In 2013, the Center joined with other local organizations to offer a collaborative Back to School Event for the community to prepare children for success. This event provides families with over 1000 backpacks filled with school supplies and health information, free haircuts, health and community resource fair, family fun and food, and an opportunity to meet the school administrators.
- Literacy – The summer reading program has been expanded year round to encourage early reading since 34% of Coatesville Area School District students were reading below third grade level in the 2013-2014 school year. Pop Up Lending Libraries were installed outdoors and in two of our tenant suites to provide ongoing access to books. A permanent reading nook is proposed for installation later in 2016.
- Coatesville Area Resource Network (CARN) – Monthly meetings are held for Coatesville area service providers to meet in person, build collaborative relationships, and to increase communication and share information on timely topics of mutual benefit. Speakers educate on community issues and program services, participants share their organizational events and programs, and a Problem Corner discussion provides a forum for seeking help with unique client needs. Meetings are held the third Wednesday of each month(except August and December) from 9:30-11am at the Brandywine Center 4th floor conference room at 744 E. Lincoln Highway.
- 2-1-1- Rollout in Coatesville (in collaboration with United Way of Chester County) – The Center’s Director is serving as the ‘lead’ Coatesville area representative to promote the use of Chester County 2-1-1 Information & Referral by conducting community presentations and disseminating educational materials to the Coatesville community.