Patients visit a bilingual clinic. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Bill Owens, a 52-year-old small-business owner, loves his Seattle neighborhood of South Park for its racial and ethnic diversity. Owens has become close to his neighbors of Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican, Guatemalan, and Jamaican descent. Yet Owens and his friends are making themselves sick by residing in South Park, an industrial area south of downtown Seattle that is home to more than 3,700 people.
Among the daily risks and challenges they face are limited access to healthy food, exposure to environmental toxins, and restricted transportation options. These and other burdens, including economic insecurity, weigh heavily on South Park residents.