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Offering housing and resources to the vulnerable

  • Category: COVID-19
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Offering housing and resources to the vulnerable

Media Contact: Karina Rusk

Launched publicly in early April, the Community and Staff Support Project (CSSP) redeployed staff to assist with a variety of community service projects and internal support initiatives.

Closely connected to our outreach intervention effort with the agriculture community was the development of an innovative partnership with the Grower-Shipper Association. When Ag workers test positive for COVID-19, or are directly exposed to the virus by others, they often lack access to adequate housing to appropriately self-isolate.

Many farmworker families live with other families, often subletting their living room or garage to unrelated workers during the harvest season, with multiple people sharing a bathroom — ideal conditions for COVID-19 to spread.

To address this need, the Grower Shipper Association secured hotel rooms in the Salinas Valley to house workers who needed to be quarantined to help avoid spreading the disease to others. Starting in April, Salinas Valley Health nurses, re-deployed as part of the CSSP, conducted twice-daily check-ins with these workers to ensure they were healthy and had access to food and other necessities. As of July 1, more than 150 agriculture workers have been temporarily housed as part of this program.

“Providing safe housing for people who need to be quarantined is vitally important,” Delgado said. “COVID-19 can spread through households very quickly, especially in homes where people don’t have dedicated spaces to isolate. This program has made it possible to offer an alternative that keeps these workers safe, and protects their entire household and extended family as well.”

Industry article: Read more about how growers and worker advocates have joined forces with researchers, doctors and public officials in the Salinas Valley

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