The Problem Solving for Better Health® (PSBH®) program in Florida was organized in partnership with the Florida Department of Children and Families and HUD in Liberty City, Miami, in 1997. Liberty City is a poor, urban, mostly African-American district that is dealing with many of the same problems occurring in other large cities in the United States.
Since its inception, the program has expanded to over 100 projects implemented throughout Miami-Dade county, even as far south as Homestead, one of the cities hardest hit by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Initially, the program focused on Florida’s welfare-to-work initiative and its impact on high unemployment rates, women lacking adequate job skills, and the subsequent need for low-cost child care. However, in the last few years, the scope of the projects has grown and now includes a large number of projects which focus on a wide range of children’s issues, from the need to provide poor children with low-cost pediatric dental care to teaching children relaxation techniques that ease the stress and anxiety they experience when taking the now mandatory Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests (FCAT).
Every year since 1998, the number of challenging health projects has increased. Many of the participants have begun to work in collaboration with other organizations in the area and have gained national recognition with Weed and Seed and Community Voices, an initiative funded through the Kellogg Foundation.