AUSTIN, Texas - People of color across the country are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
One Austin City Council member has launched a program aimed at providing resources to those in East Austin.
In April, Councilmember Natasha Harper-Madison was developing a pilot program to help those less fortunate, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. The program, called HEAALTH or Helping Every Austinite Access and Learn Techniques for Health, officially kicked off this week.
Workers consist of advocates who knocked on 500 doors in District 1. Donning PPE and using an abundance of caution, they presented questionnaires to see how they can help residents get the care and help they might need, like basic necessities and financial assistance.
The pandemic is hitting the African-American and Latinx communities hard in Austin. Harper-Madison says COVID-19 only highlighted healthcare disparities that already existed.
"The need for help didnt just start. They were not on easy street before the pandemic hit, this just made things significantly more challenging for most families we are interacting with," Harper-Madison said.
The team will collect and assess the data and they hope to roll out the HEAALTH program citywide.
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