A coalition of community based organizations, social justice groups, advocates, public officials and medical providers have come together to accomplish a big goal – to vaccinate ALL OF FAIR HAVEN.
After a motivational kickoff, a musical performance by Moviento Cultural, and a press conference at Fair Haven Community Health Care, organizers will dispatch over 100 volunteers to go door to door across the entire community to get people vaccinated on Saturday, March 13th. Armed with checklists, informational flyers on COVID in English and Spanish, free facemasks, and the offer of a free ride to the vaccination site run by the health center at Wilbur Cross High School, the coalition aims to schedule vaccinations for the entire Fair Haven community, and arrange to administer vaccine to those who are homebound.
The “Vaccinate/Vacúnate Fair Haven! campaign is based on a “Get Out the Vote” model which relies on volunteers to knock on doors to encourage people to vote. According to Kica Matos (one of the community leaders spearheading the efforts), “When the going gets tough, Fair Haveners get creative. We are knocking on every single door, giving appointments on the spot and getting people to the site (by offering free rides).”
Added Fair Haven Community Health Care CEO Suzanne Lagarde, “We won’t stop until we have knocked on every door and gotten a response one way or the other.” For those who are unable to physically travel to the site, arrangements will be made to provide vaccine in the home.
Fair Haven is a section of New Haven that is densely populated and predominately low income with significant numbers of essential workers and undocumented people. Fair Haveners are mostly people of color- and they’ve seen higher rates of COVID infection and death.
Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale professor and epidemiologist currently chairing President Biden’s coronavirus equity task force, said “This community-based patient-centered approach is exactly the kind of model we need to advance the level of vaccinations in underserved communities, particularly people of color, who’ve been disproportionately hit by the virus.”
Organizers are still accepting volunteers for this unique canvassing effort: http://bit.ly/vaccinatefairhavenvolunteers.