NEIGHBORHOOD UNITED AGAINST DRUGS
MOBILE UNITS PROPOSAL
Organization’s Mission: The mission of the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) is to unite government, business, neighborhoods, and individual’s initiatives to improve the quality of life in the greater Philadelphia region, build wealth in urban communities, and solve emerging issues. The mission of Neighborhood United Against Drugs is to reduce drug use/abuse, teen pregnancy, chronic illness, the spread of HIV infection, and senseless violence in the community through programs and activities designed to educate and equip people with the skills needed to make positive choices in life.
Specific Aims: Health and human resources have not met the needs of vulnerable urban populations. The informal resources of community based organizations can fill considerable gaps in the formal health care system: often not meeting needs until crises occur; poor communication among services, lack of sufficient follow-up for problems that are often chronic and need a longitudinal approach. Neighborhood United Against Drugs proposes a new system that will complement the formal health care system by applying the knowledge and contacts of a trusted grassroots community based organization with a long and well respected history of working in the West and Southwest community.
The new structure has Neighborhood United Against Drugs and Its Partner organizations (list coming soon) and other health care providers providing outreach, health education and early noninvasive medical screenings and testing to adult residents of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. NUAD’s two mobile units will travel throughout the targeted area providing free health screenings and various types of noninvasive medical testing.
Our objective is to increase access to important health education information and early noninvasive screenings and testing for the poor, disable, senior, home bound, and other vulnerable populations that have limited access to healthcare information and services.
As a consequence of this system, urgent and emergency visits to the formal health care system will be reduced and readmissions to hospitals will be reduced. Though studies vary on the percentage of inappropriate ER visits (the CDC says it’s 8% but Health Affairs puts it at 27%), no one disputes that these patients could get better and less expensive care elsewhere.
This would also result in a tremendous saving to the Hospital because they would not have to absorb those cost which are not covered by a payer when a person visits the ER. And poor people who are already living on fixed incomes will have more opportunity to receive free services. Our proposed Specific aims are to:
1. Provide health education information to the residents of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties through street outreach using NUAD’s mobile units.
2. Provide noninvasive medical screening and testing to adults ages 18 and older using the NUAD mobile units.
Unique Aspects of the project:
The idea for this project came directly from grassroots community people. A recently retired community activist that had ownership of two RV’s approached the Director of Neighborhood United Against Drugs and said although he was retiring he wanted to find a way to have his vehicle’s serve the community.
He was impressed with the work NUAD had done in the community and felt that together they could find a way to make good use of these vehicles. The two than reached out to other community activist and community organizations and came up with the idea of using the vehicles to do outreach, health education and early health screening and testing in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties.
The decision to address health related issues was based on a number of surveys and reports that suggested that health was a major concern for the people living in these two communities. Although these vehicles are not new both have less than 50,000 miles of travel. Form more than a year community members have been spending their weekends cleaning and repairing both RV’s.
Everyone involved considers the work to be a labor of love. The feeling one gets while working on these vehicles knowing once they are restored to their original grander the good work that their will make possible in the community is a tremendous feeling that keeps each of us motivated.
By partnering with other partners in the community the dream can become a reality. If these other partners could provide $25,000 in funding to cover the cost of:
- Service & Repair
- Gas & Oil cost over a year
This small investment into this community effort would result in a win for the community organizations utilizing the vehicles and the residents and community we service. NUAD the lead organization will promote partners by displaying the company’s brand name / logo as the primary sponsor on 2/3 of the rear of each mobile unit. The mobile units will be available to do noninvasive health screenings and testing and NUAD will recruit other health care providers to attend the health fairs.
Background and History
NUAD has a long history of providing health programs and services that focus on education. According to social learning theory, learning is difficult if there is little or no awareness of the link between behavior and consequences (Albert Bandura, 1997). Understanding this premise, the aim of all NUAD programming is to increase participants understanding of the ways they can positively affect their futures by making better choices. This premise is infused into all NUAD past and present programs including:
1. HIV Counseling, Testing and Referrals provided those high risk individuals identified through street outreach efforts. Over the past five years NUAD tests an average of 350 high risk individuals per year. 95% of those people that tested positive for HIV were linked to primary medical care.
2. An HIV/AIDS Reduction/Intervention Program that provides services for HIV positive individuals who are disconnected to care (individuals who have been out of the health care system for more that 3-6 months). NUAD staff attempt to locate these individuals and reconnect them to care services.
3. “Did You Know” Initiative serves as a clearinghouse in the community for statical information on AIDS, informing residents about varying levels of risk in each zip code.
4. An Abstinence Education Program for high-risk under-served African American adolescents per year that helps them to find alternatives to high risk behaviors.
5. Teen Pregnancy Prevention Increase knowledge of risky behaviors that may result in unwanted pregnancies and or the contraction of an STD or HIV, involving 100 young people per year.
6. Youth Violence Prevention Equips 100 participants per year with the skills needed to help them avoid violent confrontations at home and in their communities.
7. Peer Education Program that trains youth ages 14 to 18 to conduct health education with over 500 younger children per year.
8. An After-School Program at the Shaw Middle School which annually serviced 50 middle school youth from the Kingsessing neighborhood, one of the most violent communities in Philadelphia. Youth were given a combination of academic enhancement and personal enrichment services geared towards increasing their life skills and reducing risk factors.
9. Men’s Health, a program that was done in collaboration with the Health Annex when it was managed by the University of Penn’s School of Nursing. The program provided outreach to young men in the poor urban, largely African American communities of West and Southwest Philadelphia to increase their utilization of primary and preventive health care services. Approximately men were serviced per month.
10. “Let’s Clear the Air” a smoking initiative that targeted residents of West and Southwest Philadelphia. The program aimed to increase awareness of the negative impact of cigarette smoking and of second hand smoke to individuals
Neighborhood United Against Drugs currently provides HIV Counseling, Testing and Referral services along with STD Testing to the residents of Philadelphia. These services are supported by federal and state funds coming through the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Health’s, AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO).