CAN DO’s COVID-CARE Initiative launched in July of 2020 in response to the inequitable burden experienced by under-resourced and communities of color due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Houston/Harris County. Through partnership with GROW Unity, the Houston Health Department, Harris County Public Health, apartment complex managers, and community leaders, an outreach team of community health workers (CHWs) led efforts to engage with predominantly Hispanic/Latinx communities in Southwest Houston and parts of Precinct 2 in Harris County through the FARO Initiative. These efforts centered around connecting residents to wrap-around resources (e.g., rental assistance, food assistance, employment resources, legal services, COVID-19 testing) for individuals affected by COVID-19 as part of a comprehensive approach to addressing the unequal burden of the pandemic. In addition, CHWs facilitated COVID-19 testing through collaboration with the Houston Health Department and Harris County Public Health plus provided health navigation and health education.
As this work expands to other existing CAN DO priority communities, CHWs will facilitate focus groups and surveys to identify health inequity through community and personal barriers to COVID-19 interventions (e.g., testing, vaccination, clinical trials) while continuing to provide comprehensive wrap-around resources. In addition, as we partner with local apartment complexes, churches, and other locations to serve as vaccine distribution sites, the CHW team will assist residents with registering for and accessing COVID-19 vaccines.