The Center at Sierra Health Foundation, in partnership with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA), has announced more than $17.3 million in grants to 110 community-based organizations throughout California to support community engagement, public health education and encourage COVID-19 vaccination among those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
Community based organizations – including some in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties – have been providing critical services and information to Californians during the pandemic and are key partners in reaching Californians who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
“Systemic inequalities in our government and healthcare systems have left many Californians at a higher risk from COVID-19,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Building on the successful infrastructure created to encourage underserved communities to participate in the census, we must reach these disproportionally affected Californians through trusted messengers and community-based partners to minimize the spread of the virus, overcome vaccine hesitancy and save lives.”
The Center at Sierra Health Foundation was brought on board as a partner due to their expertise and deep reach into underserved communities. Funds will be used to support outreach to disproportionately impacted populations, including workers in the hardest hit sectors, and will prioritize interactive engagements designed to connect individuals with information and resources related to the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, public health guidance, workplace protections, and other state resources, including the public safety net in multiple languages.
Organizations received awards ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 for regional or statewide outreach efforts to be conducted over six months, from February through July 2021. The Center at Sierra Health Foundation is administering funds on behalf of LWDA. The California Community Foundation is administering the COVID-19 outreach project on behalf of CDSS in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange counties and will announce its contracted partners in mid-February.
A full list of organizations that received contract awards can be found at the Center at Sierra Health Foundation website: CDSS - California COVID Community Health Project, LWDA - California COVID Workplace Outreach Project.
Community-based organizations were invited to apply for funding under one of two tracks:
LWDA - California COVID Workplace Outreach Project. Selected organizations will conduct outreach and educate workers and employers in high-risk industries, such as the food and agriculture sectors, on how to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
CDSS - California COVID Community Health Project. Partner organizations will conduct culturally relevant education and outreach activities, disseminating COVID-19 information to communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. These communities include: Asian American, Black/African American, Indian/Native American and Tribal, Latinx (Latino/a); Middle Eastern and North African; Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders; LGBTQ+; People with disabilities and deaf and hard of hearing populations; Older adults (people aged 65 and older); People with limited English proficiency; People experiencing homelessness; People living in multi-generational households.