Building Healthy Communities Merced serves the areas of Southwest Merced, Planada, Le Grand, and Beachwood/Franklin.
Southwest Merced and East Merced County struggle with the challenges faced by many rural, agricultural-based counties. Nearly one-third of families in the region live below poverty and nearly one in five adults is unemployed. Despite this, there is a wealth of opportunity for improvement in the region and leadership that is committed to turning ideas into action in order to improve community health.
With its history of cross-sector collaboration on children's issues such as expanding health coverage, youth empowerment, and youth gang prevention and intervention, this level of engagement bodes well for the community's future. Community-based organizations that provide health services are beginning to focus on prevention, and grassroots, resident-led coalitions are emerging to tackle the social, health, and economic challenges within Southwest Merced and unincorporated cities of East Merced County.