Make an Impact

PHRESH research can help Pittsburgh residents shape the future of their neighborhoods

An arial shot of the Hill Fistrict and Homewood neighborhoods of Pittsburgh

Photos by YaMomzHouse

Your Health. Your Voice. Your Neighborhood.

Pittsburgh Hill/Homewood Research on Neighborhood Change and Health (PHRESH) has been studying the way neighborhood investments in the Hill District and Homewood residents of Pittsburgh affect things like diet, sleep, health and well-being for more than 10 years.

We’ve learned that when residents are involved in decisions shaping their neighborhood, communities can become healthier and happier because of it.

Explore our findings

It's my life. I can't think of living anywhere else in the world than the Hill District. Every brick, every alley is in my spirit. I just love this place.

Brenda Tate, Hill District
COVID-19 + Food Insecurity

The Pandemic Hit Black Neighborhoods the Hardest, with Food Insecurity on the Rise

Health + Well-Being

Your Zip Code Can Affect Your Health Just as Much as Your Genetic Codes

Neighborhood Investment

Communities Thrive When Residents Are Involved in Decisions That Affect Their Neighborhoods

An aerial shot of Homewood An aerial shot of Homewood

I grew up here in Homewood. I moved to Atlanta and lived there for 15 years, and I relocated back to Homewood in 2006. My neighborhood has changed and a lot of ways since I came back. So if there [continue to be] development and investments happening, I'd like to see the benefit go across the board for the people who have been here and not just to the new residents to come in.

NeKeisha Carter

Homewood Resident

Photo by YaMomzHouse

Know the Facts

Healthy behaviors icon

Higher quality housing and safer, more walkable neighborhoods are linked with healthy behaviors, day and night.

Food insecurity icon

Rates of food insecurity in the Hill District and Homewood nearly doubled at the onset of the pandemic to 37 percent.

Community investments and engagment icon

Community engagement plus community-based investments equals better physical and financial health for residents.

Explore our findings

Our Community Partners

  • Homewood Children's Village Logo

    Homewood Children's Village

    The mission of Homewood Children's Village is to improve the lives of Homewood’s children and simultaneously reweave the fabric of the community in which they live. PHRESH has worked with Homewood Children's Village in dissemination of our results, and in getting feedback on how our research can make sure to address important and relevant questions.

  • Hill District Consensus Group Logo

    Hill District Consensus Group

    The Hill District Consensus Group builds on the leadership and power of low-income and working class residents of the Hill District to advance racial and economic justice in our neighborhoods, our schools and our city. Through grassroots organizing, budget and policy advocacy, and implementing community plans, the group is building a community of hope, justice, and opportunity.

  • Hill CDC Logo

    Hill CDC

    Hill CDC supports economic development activity and works with private and non-profit developers, governmental parties, and others in the early stages of planning, design, and implementation of community development efforts, to assure alignment with appropriate stakeholders and the community master plan. Besides being housed in the Hill CDC building, the PHRESH project has relied on many of the Hill CDC priorities to guide its main research questions.

  • Operation Better Block Logo

    Operation Better Block

    Operation Better Block has a mission to strategize, organize and mobilize, block by block, to benefit the Homewood Community. Operation Better Block has helped PHRESH maintain contact with our cohort and has been an important partner in making sure that we are answering relevant questions.

  • YaMomzHouse logo


    YaMomzHouse is an Emmy award-winning digital multimedia agency based in Pittsburgh with video, audio and photography clients in the city and around the world. Led by director, composer, and Pittsburgh-native Emmai Alaquiva, YaMomzHouse partnered with PHRESH to explore the neighborhoods of Homewood and the Hill District to capture community voices through these films.


RAND is a nonprofit organization that conducts research to help policymakers and leaders make informed decisions. Part of our mission is to help individuals, families, and communities throughout the world be safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.

The PHRESH study has supported this mission since 2011, when we first hired members of the Hill District and Homewood communities to interview fellow residents about neighborhood access to a grocery store. We’ve since grown to explore other neighborhood changes, like housing improvements, business openings, parks and more.

Work With Us

The goal of PHRESH is to capture residents’ health and well-being over time. We hire residents from the community to help with data collection and welcome your feedback.

For more information, contact PHRESH Field Coordinator La’Vette Wagner at 412-586-5695 or


We are grateful to:

  • All PHRESH participants
  • The PHRESH team
  • Barbara Zwick, the late Charles J. Zwick and the Zwick Impact Fund
  • The National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute [NCI] grants CA149105, CA164137 and National Heart Lung and Blood Institute [NHLBI] grants HL122460, HL131531)