In addition to helping Staten Islanders find what they need on an individual basis, we advocate for issues and against the inequality that affects all of us.
Social determinants of health are the structural, historical, and situational conditions that impact how we live and thrive. Many of CHASI’s programs exist to help remedy the negative impacts of these conditions – racism, economic inequality, sexism, cultural barriers, bias, and poverty that stack the odds against a thriving and healthy life.
Some of these conditions are the result of unfair policies and antiquated laws and beliefs. Our responsibility to each other and to the future we want is to fight for what we believe in. This means speaking up and organizing when an issue impacts our local, state, or federal elected officials and the choices they make through their votes and influence. We take a stand on issues that affect our clients and staff, including domestic violence, drug prohibition, health care access and affordability, HIV privacy and resources, and the reduction of public benefits like health insurance and supplemental nutrition programs.
For CHASI, this also means fighting for a future of fairer laws and application, responsible policing, drug laws, and systems that allow restorative justice and mediation for people to grow and change when they have made mistakes.
It means advocating for a fair and equitable Staten Island. We work in NYCHA houses, in the courthouses, with hospital systems and health providers, and in our neighborhoods every day to fight alongside people who are advocating for themselves. We support grassroots organizing efforts within our communities and support fledgling and emerging organizations who seek assistance. CHASI staff come from the areas we serve, are committed to making a difference where we live and work, and have lived through the circumstances and experiences we’re working to change for others.
We visit local elected officials to discuss issues affecting our communities, and we invite people involved in public policy to visit our programs to see our work in action. If you’d like to visit or like to learn more, our doors are open. Let’s work together to make Staten Island a better place.