Racial inequity. Housing insecurity. Hunger. Poverty. Health disparities.
We're more than 6 months into the global coronavirus pandemic that has killed over a thousand people in our state—yet it's not the only crisis affecting the lives of people in our community. Racism, economic inequities, and disparities in health and health care mean that those in the lowest socio-economic groups and, especially people of color, continue to suffer and die more often from COVID-19. We see it in those working hourly jobs, more at risk of exposure to the virus and more at risk of losing their jobs all together. We see it in seniors and those with underlying health conditions, at greater risk for disease and the stresses of social isolation. We see it in the families and children more reliant than ever on our food security systems, at risk now and afraid of going hungry as the crises continue. While the work we do mitigates the effects of housing instability and food insecurity, we know that we have to continue to take our work one step further.
Racial inequities affect access to food and housing security, so we must include action to achieve racial equity as a key piece of our strategy.
After more than a year of work with the racial equity support cooperative Nina Collective, last month we launched our Racial Equity training series with our first cohort of volunteers from across all of MOM's programs. It's been a wonderful opportunity to encourage open conversations and personal learning and we look forward to integrating these learnings into all of our interactions over the coming months and years. This is just one strategy for putting our words into action.
COVID-19 has taught us the power of flexibility and creative solution making. When given what seems like an insurmountable situation, we draw on our values to determine how to make sure our clients receive the best services we can give.
We know that there are many of you reading this today who may have found yourselves or your friends in new situations and possibly suffering from food and housing insecurity. MOM’s Food Distribution continues, and thanks to you, our generous community, the Housing Stability work we do has been able to stretch and reach out in new ways. And your support - both financially and with your time - will continue to ensure our capacity for this work for the year to come. We are grateful.
-Ellen Carlson, Executive Director
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