Previously, we had on the average been able to reach out to 500 people in the year. This funding enabled us to reach out to more than four times that number. That’s over 400% increase in our outreach activity.

Pharaoh MitchellCEO

Executive Summary

The Community Action League (TCAL) was selected along with other grassroots community based organization (CBOs) to support the efforts of the LA County Department of Health Services and the LA County Department of Public Health, in partnership with Community Partners to serve regions and communities disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic through resources and prevention.

This report has been prepared to outline the implementation, findings, and recommendations of the County Covid-19 Community Equity Fund program by The Community Action League (TCAL) and its implementation partners for the entire duration of the program, the period of March 2021 to November 2021 (9 months).

  • The planned activities of the program for the period under review were:
    To conduct 1:1 outreach via telephone, walk-ins, etc. and engage people by sharing resources (i.e., PPE, incentives, etc.)
  • To visit homeless camps, people sleeping under bridges, behind buildings and in the deserts.
  • To give out sanitation equipment, gloves, face shields and our informational materials on COVID 19 safety and awareness.
  • To connect or refer 300 individuals to system navigation services
  • To support vaccine distribution efforts and vaccine distribution sites through “vaccine events” where we bring the community, pre-register folks for the vaccine, and
  • To track progress and service delivery goals (outreach, engagement, system navigation).

The prioritized target groups for the planned activities included Individuals experiencing homelessness, justice impacted people, low-income individuals, including frontline lower wage earners and uninsured individuals and families, and recently unemployed individuals.

 

The Community Action League (TCAL) worked with four organizations to provide Covid-19 outreach, engagement, and system navigation services to communities in Palmdale and Lancaster for the duration of the program (i.e. the months of March- November 2021.

  • Paving the Way Foundation (PWF),
  • Jackson James Foundation (JJF),
  • Ruth Sanchez, and
  • Heights of Greatness Leadership Institute (HGLI)

Collectively, TCAL and its partner organizations provided outreach, engagement and system navigation services to a total of 2,536 people within the nine (9) months duration of the program (March – November, 2021). Of this number 1,387 were male and 1,149 were female; Black/African American men were 849, while 763 were black/African American women. Hispanic/Latino men were 366 in number, while 280 of the women were Hispanic/Latino. Other ethnic groups, including white and Native Americans make up the remaining 278 men and women.

Participant groups were made up of homeless men and women, justice impacted people, low income individuals, recently unemployed individuals, persons over 50 and/or with underlying health conditions, domestic violence victims/survivors, youths and young adults.

Introduction

Health equity is when all members of society enjoy a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Public health policies and programs centered around the specific needs of communities can promote health equity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought social and racial injustice and inequity to the forefront of public health. It has highlighted that health equity is still not a reality as COVID-19 has unequally affected many racial and ethnic minority groups, putting them more at risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.

The term “racial and ethnic minority groups” includes people of color with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Negative experiences are common to many people within these groups, and some social determinants of health have historically prevented them from having fair opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health. Social determinants of health are the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, play, and worship that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.

To achieve health equity, there is the need to understand and appropriately addressing the needs of all populations, according to specific cultural, linguistic, and environmental factors. By ensuring health equity is integrated across all public health efforts, all communities will be stronger, safer, healthier, and more resilient.

   

The program took into consideration the various factors that affect health equity, such as discrimination; healthcare access and use; occupation; educational, income, and wealth gaps; and housing.  These factors and others are associated with more COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in areas where racial and ethnic minority groups live, learn, work, play, and worship.  They have also contributed to higher rates of some medical conditions that increase one’s risk of severe illness from COVID-19. In addition, community strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 might cause unintentional harm, such as lost wages, reduced access to services, and increased stress, for some racial and ethnic minority groups.

TCAL believes that we all have a part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and promoting fair access to health.​ To do this, we have to work together to ensure that people have resources to maintain and manage their physical and mental health in ways that fit the communities where people live, learn, work, play, and worship.

Discussion

This outreach program involved numerous stages, and our paid community-based outreach workers were the backbone of the effort.

The first step was to locate people who were eligible for service but not enrolled for whatever reason. That involved some aggressive and creative outreach in the areas of raising awareness and connecting with people. The next steps were to actually enroll eligible people and then help them connect to the particular services required.

The outreach workers gave group presentations, distributed Covid-19 related information, and held one-on-one meetings. As families were enrolled, the outreach workers followed through personally with their clients, making sure individuals understood and knew how to use the available services.

This involved regular one-on-one meetings with family members and well-organized follow-up. Sometimes that meant the outreach worker made phone calls to a doctor’s office to check the status of a claim or helped a parent fill out paperwork.

We got a reasonable turnout for both the testing and vaccinations. We are looking forward to more as we embark on other avenues of outreach in our community.

 

Summary of Outreach Activities

Outreach, Engagement, and System Navigations services that were offered include:

  • Passing out personal protection equipment, food, blankets, water, and providing transportation to and from vaccination sites.
  • Distributing PPE and sharing COVID-19 information flyers and brochures.
  • Making phone calls and setting up teleconferencing meetings and Covid-19 online awareness campaigns.
  • Support vaccine distribution efforts and vaccine distribution sites.
  • Pre-registering folks for the vaccine.
  • All clients were given COVID-19 information/flyers upon arrival at our locations.
  • The program offered COVID-19 Testing every Friday.
  • Clients receive flyers with vaccination site locations and times.
  • Clients receive self and family care mental breaks/mediation information.
  • Clients in Domestic Violence classes were given information on staying safe and keeping family safe during COVID-19.
Summary of Results

The team, led by TCAL and its partners reached a total of 2,536 people in the period under review (March – November). The outreach, engagement, and system navigation services which were provided covered a diverse group of people.

The table and chart below shows the distribution of the prioritized groups.

Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a new reality, presenting opportunities and challenges. Screening and support during this unprecedented time can be proactively offered, as described in this outreach program. Based on feedback from patients and families, and uptake of components among other clinicians, we contend that a proactive outreach program is valuable, timely, and adaptable to other programs        All patients and caregivers voiced appreciation for the proactive approach, particularly those lacking an extended family network. Many noted that these calls made them feel “more safe and supported”. Families conveyed positive feedback to our staff and team members.

Other Key Accomplishments (2020/2021)

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health)

The Community Action League (TCAL) and its partner organizations collectively provided COVID-19 outreach, engagement, and system navigation services to 1,500 people

In January 2021, The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health), in partnership with Liberty Hill Foundation, launched the Public Health Councils (PHC) program to serve workforces in prioritized sectors disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. TCAL was selected from a pool of qualified Community Based Organizations (CBOs) with experience providing outreach, education and technical assistance to low-wage workers and advising them on workplace and health related issues.

Under the PHC program TCAL has engaged more than 800 low-wage workers, advising them on workplace and health related issues. Specifically, TCAL’s accomplishments include:

  • Distributing critical water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services and supplies for 506 people, including 258 children;
  • Reaching over 500 people, including approximately 253 women and girls and 110 children with risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) information and activities;
  • Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for 100 health workers.

 

California Wellness Foundation

TCAL was awarded a capacity building grant by the California Wellness Foundation that will help establish its long-term resilience through dynamic capacity building and leadership coaching. The goals for this duration of the program are:

  • Facilitating training on infection prevention and control for 200 health workers;
  • Facilitating training on delivering essential services for more than 100 social workers;
  • Supporting community-based mental health and psychosocial interventions in COVID-19 response plans, reaching 300 children, adolescents, parents and caregivers.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Under the California Black Freedom Fund (CBFF) fund, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) is supporting TCAL’s Next Black Leader Project (NBL Project) which aims to build political literacy and a deep understanding of the democratic system in Black youth.

The NBL Project will recruit 500 young leaders each year, providing them with foundational experiences and skills that will foster an understanding of the political process, while building networks to encourage continued engagement.

The Equity & Resilience Initiative II (ER II) is the inaugural initiative launched in June 2020 as part of LA Care Health Plan (L.A. Care) COVID-19 response funding and to advance critical systems toward racial justice and equity in philanthropic giving. The ER II continues to support community-based organizations working to mitigate the impact of historic maltreatment of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Colour (BIPOC), including the recovery needs of racially and economically marginalized individuals and communities from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a beneficiary of the program, ER II will help establish TCAL’s long-term resilience through dynamic capacity building and leadership coaching. Under this program, TCAL will:

  • Support more than 1,000 children, including approximately 700 girls, with remote learning;
  • Collate resources to help with funding, HR and project management concerns;
  • Produce resources, updates and webinars to keep everyone informed with what the pandemic means for the sector.
2020 US Census

During the 2020 US Census TCAL carried out Community Events, Community Group Strategy sessions, coordinated with City Council and local community organizations, door-to-door outreach, etc to reach out to about 40,000 people who we helped to fill out the census surveys, contributing to the overall success of the Census.

Total CEP Results (from 3 CEP reporting totals, contains duplicates–most numbers were called multiple times and some individuals may have been contacted during fall and during gotc or nrfu)

-Attempts (total door knocks/phone calls): 33,374

-Contacts: 4,256

-Commits/Already Completed: 3,687

During the 2020 US Census TCAL carried out Community Events, Community Group Strategy sessions, coordinated with City Council and local community organizations, door-to-door outreach, etc to reach out to about 40,000 people who we helped to fill out the census surveys, contributing to the overall success of the Census.

Starting with TCAL approach—porch-to-porch, face-to-face outreach interactions with residents in high crime areas—organizers learned about families’ needs as well as residents’ concerns about ongoing criminal activity, and neighbourhood blight issues. TCAL provided follow-up referrals and information and, through repeated interactions, cultivated trust and relationships with residents that allowed them to delve deeper into difficult and often intransigent neighbourhood crime and blight issues. TCAL worked collaboratively with residents to bring local law enforcement attention to these issues and also to develop the skills, knowledge, and relationships to enable residents and neighbourhoods to respond to these issues effectively in the future.

TCAL program incorporated a number of “strategic outreach initiatives” into their door-to-door outreach work in 2018, delivering high-quality referrals and information to residents on particular anti-crime topics over a several week period in targeted geographic areas. Organizing staff worked with local resource providers to design effective outreach materials, identify target areas, and train organizers. In addition to delivering this information in door-to-door outreach, TCAL staff presented these materials across the city at community meetings and Prevention and Intervention program places and conducted resident surveys that helped organizers to develop a deeper understanding of these issues from the community’s perspective.

Key Partners

COVID – 19 Emergency Rental Program

The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program provides greatly needed rent relief to California landlords and renters who have faced financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program helps eligible households with rent, both for past due and future payments. The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provides tenant (renter) protection laws and funding to support this program and was signed by Governor Newsom in January 2021.

A Housing is Key partner, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and TCAL provided local on the ground and in-language support to residents to help them access the California Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

TCAL has also been working with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the United Way to help over 200 people with housing under the Rental Relief Program. TCAL work with The State of California through the Department of Housing and Community Development (“HCD”) under available funding from U.S. Treasury to provide emergency rental financial assistance and housing stability services for HCD’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (the “Program”). The Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Number for this award is 21.023.

The work was focused on: 1) promotion of the program; 2) targeted outreach to eligible households; 3) technical assistance to provide guidance to individuals as they navigate the application process.