Esperanza Community Housing Corporation (Esperanza) serves the communities located in South Los Angeles, an area that is home to almost one million residents and one of the most economically disenfranchised areas in the County of Los Angeles. Founded in 1989 out of a successful community organizing campaign to prevent the displacement and housing vulnerability of tenants, Esperanza has grown to become a national leader in advancing the Promotores de Salud (Community Health Promoters) Model in targeting health disparities, improving health, and increasing access to health services for community residents. Since 1995, Esperanza has trained and mobilized 474 Promotores de Salud, through an intensive 6-month training, to provide culturally accessible primary prevention, health education and advocacy services to families and children in South Los Angeles. In 1998, Esperanza began cultivating its Healthy Homes collaborative to address primary prevention of lead poisoning and other housing-based hazards, in a multi-layered approach to mitigating environmental health hazards in the home. Recognized as a National Healthy Homes Leader, Esperanza established the Healthy Breathing Program which uses a Healthy Homes approach in its home-visitation model to focus on the identification of asthma triggers, iterative health education, and management of asthma episodes in the home.
Along with their team of Promotores, Esperanza’s Healthy Breathing Program partners with federally qualified health centers, local hospitals, and clinics to provide comprehensive services to asthma patients throughout the year. Esperanza’s Healthy Breathing Program features repeated in-home visits and a year-long patient evaluation; identifies and helps control in-home asthma triggers; and, provides in-depth asthma education for patients, household members, and caregivers. The program strives to enroll at least 500 pediatric and adult asthma patients every three years. These efforts have led to improvements in prescription adherence, increases in the number of patients with asthma action plans, reduction in severe asthma episodes, and more efficient referrals to medical homes and wrap-around services. The Healthy Breathing Program provides valuable cost savings by reducing the number of unnecessary emergency room visits. A 2012 analysis of a single emergency department saw more than 1.4 million dollars in savings by utilizing preventative in-home and outreach education.