In healthy neighborhoods, children ride bikes and play together in nearby parks. Parents buy healthy, affordable foods at local markets. And community leaders and police have a shared vision for what it takes to keep communities safe. Thriving neighborhoods aren’t just pleasant, they’re healthy. Research shows that people living in healthy communities are less likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, and obesity and are more likely to live a healthier, happier life.

California is leading the way, building power in low income neighborhoods and in communities of color to advocate for public policies that aim to reduce air pollution, prevent displacement, shorten commutes, keep our neighborhoods safe, and so much more.

The California Endowment is investing in residents, community groups, and public servants to change the odds so that health happen in all neighborhoods.



The evidence is clear: people living in unhealthy neighborhoods live sicker and die younger.

We think that’s wrong and believe that all Californians deserve an equal opportunity to live a healthy and happy life, no matter where they live.

The statistics are startling. More than a million Californians have to drive longer than 20 minutes to buy fresh vegetables. California continues to have some of the worst air pollution in the country. And though everyone agrees that education is the key to a better life, California currently spends more on prisons than on colleges and universities—our budget priorities badly out of sync with our state’s needs.


in Neighborhoods.


As part of our Building Healthy Communities initiative, The California Endowment asked Californians what their neighborhoods look and feel like when they’re healthy and when they’re not. We also listened to the experts. The results are clear.

Parents won’t let their children play when streets aren’t safe. Kids aren’t going to do well academically if they go to school hungry and the best they can hope to eat is junk food washed down with junk drinks. Neighbors won’t get to know and trust each other unless they have common places to exercise, talk and meet up.

So let’s reimagine our communities as places where people are surrounded with healthy options throughout the day—places where people live together, learn together, and  support each other.

Talk to a city planner for 20 minutes. She’ll tell you how to turn a neglected parking lot into a park. Talk to a law enforcement expert. He’ll tell you things get dangerous sometimes, but smart policing strategies can keep our neighborhoods safer. Talk to young people and they’ll tell you the greatest obstacles to a healthy and successful life.  So that’s one thing we’re doing. We’re talking.

By investing in local organizers, young people, parents, government leaders like city planners, police officers, and elected officials in every corner of our state, The California Endowment is supporting efforts to make all our communities safer and healthier than ever.

Our Work

Our Work

The California Endowment’s Health Happens in Neighborhoods campaign is aiming for a state where all communities thrive.

Health Happens in Neighborhoods focuses on four areas:

  • Livable Places: Promoting livable places so families can be physically active and healthy in their communities.
  • Neighborhood Safety: Improving safety in our communities, including implementing Proposition 47 to better align state and local budgets with community needs. Proposition 47 keeps those who have committed certain non-violent offenses out of prison and will generate funds for the state to provide better mental health and drug rehabilitation services.
  • Water and Healthy Foods: Increasing access to water and healthy food, while raising awareness about the danger of junk drinks.
  • Building a State of Resilience: Helping young people exposed to violence or other trauma recover mentally and physically, tapping their natural resilience and helping them get their lives back on track.