County Administrator's Office
For Immediate Release

La Plaza to lead response to disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on Latinx and indigenous communities in Sonoma County

Santa Rosa, CA  –  September 30, 2020  –  En español

CoronavirusThe Sonoma County Department of Health Services’ Latinx Health Work Group has selected the nonprofit group On The Move to develop and implement a large-scale outreach and education campaign in response to the adverse and disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 within the local Latinx and indigenous communities. The initiative will be deployed through On The Move’s successful program, La Plaza: Nuestra Cultura Cura (Our Culture Heals), that brings together Sonoma County leaders, partner organizations and community members to create many pathways to wellness. La Plaza will deploy partner agencies, staff and volunteers to provide up-to-date information about COVID-19, guidance about mitigation strategies, isolation and quarantine best practices and connection to health care providers. The effort will focus on the farmworker, laborer, and domestic worker populations.

“The disparate impact of COVID-19 on our Latinx community is the result of longstanding health and social inequities and it cannot be reversed by doing business as usual,” said Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase. “This collaboration represents important new partnerships between the County and innovative providers to deliver essential, culturally responsive services and support to those impacted by the virus. This work is vital to our ongoing response, to ensuring all those affected have the information and resources they need, and to building and supporting critical infrastructure for combating other health inequities.”

In May 2020, the Department of Health Services launched a Request for Proposals to address the underlying inequities and ultimately reduce the COVID-19 infection and transmission in the Latinx and indigenous language-speaking communities. On The Move’s proposal was selected, among several because of the group’s strong organizational capacity to deliver culturally responsive disaster services and its ability to develop high-impact collaborative partnerships.   

La Plaza is collaborating with Family Resource Centers, which in the past have helped mobilize families to successfully respond to challenges and improve the well-being of children, youth, families and communities. La Plaza will work with the Family Resource Centers, geographically distributed throughout Sonoma County, to offer case management and emergency financial assistance to vulnerable Latinx and indigenous language-speaking community members to reach outcomes including:   

  • Education and outreach to farmworkers, local laborers, and other Latinx and indigenous language-speaking communities related to the prevention of spread of COVID-19 and mitigation strategies for those diagnosed with the virus
  • Access to necessary personal protective equipment for farmworkers and other high-risk workers
  • Connecting individuals to a medical supportive services
  • COVID testing, supported by testing incentives

"The process used here is a powerful example of an equity design process. By engaging in meaningful conversations with service providers and community members about the needs and gaps in service coverage, the resulting project is a creative, full-range, holistic collaborative,” said Alegria De La Cruz, the director of the Sonoma County Office of Equity. “These partnerships create additional emergency response capacity within our local community-based organizations, and increased effectiveness of County services and information."   

Partner agencies that will be working with La Plaza include Leap Solutions, Humanidad, Botanical Bus, Lideres Campesinas, Nuestra Comunidad, Charla Project, Latino Service Providers, Undocufund, IsoCare, River to Coast Children’s Services, McDowell Family Resource Center, La Luz, Corazon Healdsburg, and Via Esperanza.

To learn more about this project contact Javi Cabrera-Rosales at javier@laplazancc.org, or call (707) 393-8700

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Contact Information

Paul Gullixson
Communications Manager
County Administrator's Office
County of Sonoma
Address
575 Administration Drive
Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.464665, -122.725235