By Emily Viverette
FaithHealthNC held its first Forsyth County asset mapping event June 27-28th at Wentz Memorial United Church of Christ. This and several other mapping events over the next several weeks hope to identify, assess and map community health assets in Winston-Salem. A special focus is access to health care so that people can best align assets to nurture health and wholeness in the community.
This two-day event invited people in East Winston to share their wisdom and intelligence about the deep and trusted assets in this community. On Friday, community health providers representing faith-based and government organizations gathered to map and explore the services they offer. In so doing, they identified potential gaps in assistance and named other providers missing from the conversation.
In a final exercise, participants identified potential partnerships that they’d like to develop. Participants’ energy grew over the course of the day as they seemed to feel a renewed sense of purpose and hope for the possible emerging partnerships.
A number of community members who seek community health services gathered on Saturday. They shared their stories of suffering and resiliency from their “faithhealth” journeys in East Winston. These lively individuals were unafraid to speak their truths and offer one another support. Over the course of the day, people shared stories, tears and a great deal of laughter. They mapped community assets and named the trusted community partnerships in their neighborhoods. The intelligence and wisdom of this group was profound. They, too, identified some of the gaps in assets as well as their hopes for future community health improvement. Many expressed gratitude for the area churches that strengthened the intangible religious health assets of hope, joy and compassion.
As a part of our ongoing commitment to transparency and learning in our work, a follow-up report will be sent to the participants. As these maps of community assets become visible, we hope that more people will be able to access and engage both the tangible and intangible religious health assets for the increased health and wholeness of our community.
Photos by Gary Gunderson. For more on this story read his “Party Blender” post here.