Define Well-Being for Your Community
There can be no public safety without community well-being. But what does it mean for a community to be well?
Why do we need it?
Public safety strategies that focus primarily on responding to crime fail to address the many other, often unreported, factors that make communities unsafe and unwell, such as exposure to chronic violence and early childhood trauma.
How does it help?
Defining community well-being offers a baseline for measuring the impact of safety strategies. When the entire community is engaged in defining well-being, the result is more likely to be inclusive and accountable to the realities, disparities and priorities of day-to-day life. A definition of well-being may include access to healthcare, affordable housing, stable employment, education and parental supports.
Questions To Ask
- Have we engaged our most impacted communities and all system leaders in defining community well-being?
- Are our health and safety leaders committed to well-being as critical to our Shared Safety strategy?
- Have we analyzed data and input from local governmental and nongovernmental entities to better understand the risks?
1 in 5 Californians (20.6%) struggle to afford basic necessities, including nearly one quarter of California’s children.
What does it take to implement?
- Engage a diverse group of governmental and community stakeholders in defining well-being.
- Deepen understanding of the risk factors associated with crime and the contributors to well-being, particularly as they relate to vulnerable populations.
- Designate a senior-level staff person to manage and coordinate the effort and ensure all relevant agencies share responsibility.
- Consider factors outside traditional health and safety measures.
- Publicize the community’s concept of well-being and hold public leaders accountable for their support.
- Agreed-upon definition of community well-being.
- Public statements committing to well-being as central to a Shared Safety strategy.