Oregon's Latino population continues to be disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. Latinos, about half of those screened for the coronavirus in Oregon, are 20 times more likely than other patients to have the virus (New York Times, 6/26/2020).
According to Dawn Mautner, senior health adviser at the Oregon Health Authority, “The structural racism and systemic disparities that lead to financial insecurity, substandard housing, jobs that can’t be done remotely, jobs that don’t offer health insurance and potentially limited access to healthcare, have chronically lead to underlying conditions that put people at greater risk for COVID-19.”
For 17 years, Easterseals Oregon has worked closely with individuals with disabilities who are Spanish-Speaking through our Connecting Communities Program. We have a robust employment program for Latino/a/x community members who have disabilities. But due to COVID-19, many of the people we serve have lost their jobs or been furloughed, putting them at serious additional risk for financial insecurity, eviction, homelessness and hunger.
Thanks to a new partnership with The Oregon Latinx Leadership Network, Easterseals Oregon was awarded a grant of $74,000 to provide immediate resources to Latinx individuals in our programs who have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Their generosity means that we can provide COVID-19 preparedness classes for 50 families. It also means that those who lose their jobs will have immediate help with rental assistance, utility payments, and other vital needs until they can find a new job through our employment program. They will also gain the opportunity to participate in new technological classes to learn how to use Zoom and other platforms for job interviews, training and searches, and they will gain the opportunity to use Chromebooks and hotspots if they do not have computers or Wifi access at home.
Easterseals Oregon extends our deepest appreciation to The Oregon Latinx Network for its outstanding support and partnership. Additionally, we'd like to thank all who give to help the most vulnerable and underserved in our state gain the support and vital resources they need to stay well and find employment, even during this horrific pandemic.
Please donate now to Easterseals Oregon to help more Latino/a/x individuals and families with disabilities gain the resources and support they need to be 100% included and 100% empowered to live, learn, work and play in Oregon, especially during this pandemic.