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Over 52,000 people call our region home.

Foundation for Community Health serves a rural 17 town region where northwest Connecticut and the Greater Harlem Valley meet.

Youth waiting on swimming docks on a lake.

Salisbury, Connecticut, one of 17 towns served by Foundation for Community Health.

Photo by Anne Day.

Our place is a special one.

Natural beauty and tight-knit towns have created a strong sense of place, but with a relatively small and disperse population our region is also impacted by:

  • A small social sector
  • Limited town and state spending
  • Underdeveloped public transportation, broadband, and cellular service
  • Hidden poverty

Conditions that influence health

A person’s well-being is powerfully influenced by factors outside of medical care such as access to food, safe and stable housing, and the opportunity for positive childhood experiences.

Deepening divide among rich and poor

Poverty is rising as the number of part-time residents in our region increases. This creates community engagement challenges and exacerbates the existing barriers to affordable housing. Access to housing is a powerful determinant to health, it also has generational effects on wealth. On average 45% of renters in our community pay more than 35% of their income on housing.

Loss of working-class and middle-class families

As young adults and working-age families leave the region, the share of older adults and number of minority and foreign-born residents has increased. While the overall loss of population corrodes the workforce of a community, it also depletes the tax base for public schools.

Economic Stability

In our region the median household income is $72,000 per year, however, there are significant variations between towns. For instance, 7 out of 17 towns have median household incomes below their state’s median household income. Income is one of the most influential social determinants of health. All levels of income are affected by economic conditions – as middle class and upper middle-class households experience poorer health outcomes than their richer peers.

Food Security

Despite a rich agricultural history, a significant portion of our community is food insecure.

Approximately 12% of households in our region receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). We know that households with children are more likely than others to be food insecure, and adults in households with children experience the most severe form of food insecurity. Nationally, the number of food insecure seniors is expected to grow significantly in the next decade. Food insecurity is correlated with obesity, and other diet related chronic disease such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, as well as long-term complications that can develop from these diseases. Food security also impacts academic performance in children.

Explore our communities

Click a county on the map below to learn more

All counties

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Focus areas

Explore past grants

Learn more about our grantee partners and work happening throughout our region.

Greenwoods Counseling & Referrals

Focus: CEO’s Discretionary
Litchfield County, CT
Grant: $7,475
FCH made a grant to Greenwoods Counseling and Referrals, acting as fiscal sponsor to the Litchfield County Opiate Task Force to engage with Fio Partners in a series of strategy discussions.

North East Community Center

Focus: Improve Community Assets
Dutchess County, NY
Grant: $38,500
FCH made a grant to North East Community Center to support operations of their transportation program.

Northwest Hills Council of Governments

Focus: Legacy
Litchfield County, CT
Grant: $10,000
The Prescription Assistance Fund provides direct aid to individuals and families to help them cover prescription costs, premiums for prescription drug insurance, and/or prescription drug co-pays.

McCall Behavioral Health Network

Focus: Prevention
Litchfield County, CT
Grant: $87,700
FCH made a grant to support a collaborative approach to address youth substance use and misuse in the northwest corner of Connecticut.