Bon Secours Health System established a Community Investment Program where a portion of unrestricted assets (investment funds) are made available through loans to community projects. These funds are combined with resources from other socially responsible investment parties. The monies are made available through non-profit financial institutions to borrowers at low, or below market, rates to foster improvements in the overall health of communities. Loans are made for affordable housing projects, community and childcare centers, workforce development, education as well as economic and social development initiatives. While the financial returns to Bon Secours Health System are modest, the social impact and community returns are expected to be significant.
In addition, Bon Secours Health System participates in a strategic partnership with Mercy Housing, Inc. Through this relationship, developments are created that serve the affordable housing and health care service needs of low income and senior populations in communities served by Bon Secours Health System.
As part of a community engagement strategy, the Healthy Communities team works with residents and community leaders to revitalize neighborhoods and to systematically overcome the social conditions in which people live. It’s about building trust and bringing collaborations and partnerships into the community that can affect change. The Healthy Communities team also works with Community Ministries to bring resources such as the Mobile Dental Unit, the Mammography Van, Surgeons for Sight and the Wellness Outreach nurses to communities we serve
Sterling Land TrustFounded in 2010 with the support of Bon Secours St. Francis and the Nehemiah Corporation the Sterling Land Trust is the first of its kind in the state of South Carolina. The Land Trust focuses on affordable housing and engages developers, county and city officials in opportunities for affordable housing development in the Sterling community.
The Sterling Pride Farm with the help of Bon Secours St. Francis Health System is an important asset in the Sterling Community. A Healthy Communities’ Sustainability Specialist works closely with residents who manage the farm. The farm provides fresh vegetables to residents who might not otherwise be able to access healthy foods. Sterling is considered a food desert where a substantial share of the residents have low levels of access to a grocery store or a healthy, affordable retail food outlet.
City ViewConcerns from residents regarding the conditions of the City View neighborhood – abandoned housing, trash, crime and safety brought Bon Secours Healthy Community Initiatives to work with the community. Staff helped the community develop a community needs assessment, held community forums and engaged residents to identify their top priorities as well as their community challenges.
As a result, residents formed a neighborhood association that meets monthly and developed a relationship with the County Sheriff’s Department as a way to increase safety. Community members continue to advocate for community needs to improve the conditions in City View. The community has developed a Vision that is guiding their future.