couple walking in the park

Safe Communities

The Challenge:

According to the US Surgeon General, health and wellness are influenced by the places in which people live, learn, work, and play. Communities, including homes, schools, public spaces, and work sites, can be transformed to support well-being and make healthy choices easy and affordable. Healthy and safe community environments include those with clean air and water, affordable and secure housing, sustainable and economically vital neighborhoods, and supportive structures (e.g., violence-free places to be active).

The chronic stress associated with living in unsafe neighborhoods can accelerate aging and harm health. Unsafe neighborhoods can cause anxiety, depression, and stress, and are linked to higher rates of pre-term births and low birth weight babies, even when income is accounted for. Fear of violence can keep people indoors, away from neighbors, exercise, and healthy foods. (Community Health Rankings and Roadmaps)

Local Facts:

In Douglas County, 4.9% of residents have been a victim of violent crime in the past five years:

  • 9.2% of NE Omaha residents
  • 5.9% of SE Omaha residents
  • 3.6% of NW Omaha residents
  • 3.1% of SW Omaha residents (CHNA, 2015)

In Douglas County, 22.4% of residents perceive their own neighborhood as “slightly” or “not at all” safe:

  • 40.3% of NE Omaha residents
  • 35.8% of SE Omaha residents
  • 2.7% of Western Douglas Co. residents (CHNA, 2015)