Recognizing that quality affordable housing is only one component of healthy living, Neighborhood Concepts, Inc. recently started an initiative to not only provide residents of their properties in Huntsville with free health and fitness opportunities, but to also make them available at their door step.
NCI partnered with the Huntsville Hospital Mobile Medical Unit to offer routine health screenings. “Due to work and family commitments and a lack of discretionary income, many of our residents often overlook their mental and physical well-being. By offering these services on-site, we can help promote healthy lifestyles that enhance quality of life,” said Mary Ellen Judah, NCI executive director.
Franklin Hills resident Gail Ellis said, "Usually I only go to the doctor when I’m sick. Since this was free and they were coming here, I thought I would take advantage of it and I’m glad I did. I became a vegetarian in January but my blood pressure was still a little high today, so I know I need to make some more changes."
With little discretionary spending for gym memberships and the difficulties that come from juggling work and family responsibilities, NCI felt it would be beneficial to introduce yoga classes at Flint River Apartments. Expected outcomes are not only improved physical condition, but also a reduction in mental health concerns such as depression. Tawndi Wohlwend, a resident at Flint River, said, “There is no way I can afford to attend yoga classes if it was not offered to us for free. I look forward to attending the classes because it helps me pay more attention to my body, and I get to meet new residents.”
The health and wellness programs are funded in part through a grant from Wells Fargo and in-kind services from Huntsville Hospital. NCI has been awarded a $1,000 grant from the Ivy Center of Huntsville to expand the program.