OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In the ongoing need for local community education, support and awareness around COVID-19 vaccination, the United States Department of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the awarding of a Covid Community Act grant to the Oakland, California based non-profit organization WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases), an affiliate organization of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).
As one of the 126 non-profit organizations across the country awarded a CCA grant, WORLD will receive over half a million dollars to expand and sustain community-based efforts to mobilize community outreach workers, community health workers, patient navigators, social support specialists and others to increase vaccinations. With these funds, the organization will hire six community workers, a support specialist and an outreach coordinator who are representative of the under-vaccinated populations of the local Oakland community. The WORLD team will help with connecting people to vaccine sites and educating them on vaccine opportunities and determining what other social needs they have, such as housing, employment and medical assistance. The organization will also use social media to educate the community on these same opportunities.
In July 2021, HRSA awarded $121 million in American Rescue Plan funding to support 127 awards to support trusted voices in local communities in sharing information about vaccines, building vaccine confidence, and addressing barriers to vaccination for individuals in underserved communities. These awards were in addition to $125 million awarded in June, to award recipients to focus on grassroots outreach to the specific populations and/or communities in the states they are serving.
Founded in April 1991 by a small group of healthcare advocates and HIV+ women, for over three decades, WORLD has been in the grassroots community improving the lives and health of women, girls, families and communities affected by HIV through peer-based education, wellness services, advocacy, and leadership development.
“We are so honored to be a recipient of this grant to assist in addressing the on-going critical needs of our community, given the real-life struggles of so many as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to ensure all are aware of access to vaccination,” stated Ingrid Floyd, WORLD executive director.
“We are facing another inflection point in this pandemic. We must make meaningful investments in getting everyone vaccinated—especially communities of color and medically underserved communities,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “I worked hard in Congress to invest in trusted messengers at the community level to build confidence in vaccines and COVID-19 prevention efforts, and this is a much-needed continuation of that work, and we’ll see over a million dollars of investment on the ground in our own East Bay community.
WORLD, envisions a world where women, girls, and families affected by HIV and AIDS have the tools, support and knowledge to live healthy and productive lives with dignity. Our vision is rooted in a commitment to human rights and wellness with the understanding that this includes freedom from violence; access to housing; quality healthcare; food security; physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing; education and economic justice.