Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) serves low-income families living in Baltimore City, Maryland, who face a higher than average rate of asthma prevalence, hospitalizations, emergency visits and deaths compared with other Maryland regions and the nation as a whole. Working through a coalition of 35 federal, state, local, nonprofit, university and philanthropic partners, GHHI uses a transformative asthma management model that combines in-home family asthma education; a comprehensive health, safety and home energy audit; and root cause remediation. Since 2000, GHHI Baltimore has completed housing interventions in 1,118 homes of patients diagnosed with asthma in Baltimore City.
GHHI began in Baltimore, Maryland, as the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning but the organization’s community-based workers understood that other home-based environmental health hazards—especially asthma triggers—required attention. In 2000, with seed money from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Coalition established one of the first Healthy Homes programs in the nation. In 2013, the Coalition changed its name to GHHI to reflect its broadened scope of services and mission impact, with Baltimore as its flagship site.
GHHI’s highly successful integrated approach served as the model for Baltimore City’s Office of Green, Healthy and Sustainable Housing. Unlike other Healthy Homes programs, GHHI integrates “green” weatherization and energy efficiency work with traditional healthy homes services, such as integrated pest management and mold removal, to achieve maximum health benefits for the target population. GHHI Baltimore also builds the community’s human capital by deploying its own team of contractors to conduct multi-faceted home interventions and by hiring residents of at-risk Baltimore communities who receive training and accreditation to conduct interventions. Through its integrated approach, which involves an intake stream from established referral sources and long-term partners, GHHI annually serves 100–200 children diagnosed with asthma.