CHEER has been facilitating a group of renters in examining weaknesses in Takoma Park’s rent stabilization law. The renters are proposing that the City Council implement some changes that will provide for greater scrutiny and give renters a say in rent stabilization exemptions. They are going before the Takoma Park City Council at the June 1 evening session. This is intended to protect them from massive rent increases, such as the 40% to 72% rent increases that dozens of households at Hampshire Towers experienced last summer.
CHEER has evolved from an idea for sharing information about the community to becoming a network of support for the hopes and dreams of a richly diverse community for Takoma Park and Long Branch. Our new brochure timeline documents this. Our journey began with an effort to develop indicators of housing in Takoma Park in 2008 and evolved into a community strategic plan for fulfilling community goals related housing, health, local economy, and youth development. These goals empower the whole community to define its own destiny and aspire to give every individual an equal opportunity to live a healthy and richly fulfilling life.
Our partner community organizations in Takoma Park and Long Branch are holding several events in the coming weeks. We hope you can attend one or all of them!
The Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) has awarded a $45,000 planning grant to Community Health and Empowerment through Education and Research (CHEER). HIF’s mission is to support organizations that offer solutions to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare for residents of Montgomery County.
CHEER is the convener of Healthy Long Branch, a consortia of health care providers, social service providers and community groups in Takoma Park and Long Branch. Healthy Long Branch brings partners from multiple sectors, such as business, nonprofit, health care, housing and community groups, together to help everyone in the community achieve excellent health.
The grant will go toward developing the Healthy Food Access Prescription program for residents in the Takoma Park and Long Branch communities with chronic health conditions that can be improved upon through good nutrition.
The World Health organization defines health promotion as the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. The definition moves beyond a focus on individual behavior towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions. At CHEER the Community Outreach Specialists are committed to developing the health awareness of individuals, groups, and organizations, and empowering them to make healthy choices while leading, supporting, or cooperating in multi-agency projects to promote a healthy context or social environment.
Since the fall of 2015, in collaboration with other community organizations, CHEER helped more than 300 individuals in need of referral to primary care providers, health insurance coverage for them or their family members, and general health information. CHEER Outreach Specialists were able to make appointments for everyone, help them register for health insurance, or provide the health information they needed “when they needed”.
Now, with the support of Susan Komen Foundation, we are getting ready to help women to better understand breast cancer. Understanding that education and early detection is the best way to treat breast cancer, we will be promoting early screening and helping them to schedule appointments for mammograms at MobileMed Clinic.
In the coming months the CHEER’s outreach specialists (Karla Castro, Dolores Badillo, Maribel Juarez, Sonia Reyes, Fitsum Teshome, and Betelhem Abebe) will participate in rigorous trainings conducted by Washington Adventist Hospital on breast screening and blood pressure to continue helping community members increase control over and improve their health.
What other ways would you like to see CHEER helping the health of the Long Branch community?