SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA — Twenty Santa Cruz County organizations have been awarded a total of $620,000 in federal funding to combat disparities among those sickened by the coronavirus.
Most of the money will go toward South County, where three in five Santa Cruz County COVID-19 patients have lived. Watsonville remains the epicenter of the county's outbreak, where more than half of all local patients have lived.
County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel said Latino residents continue to be disproportionately affected. Though Latino residents comprise a third of Santa Cruz County's population, two-thirds of COVID-19 patients are Latino, she said this week.
“Although the virus that causes COVID-19 does not discriminate, inequitable access to health and social resources can impact some communities more than others,” said Mimi Hall, Health Services Agency director, in a news release. “The effects of poverty, unemployment and inadequate access to affordable
housing and other basic needs makes it more difficult for communities to seek healthcare, stay home from work, quarantine when needed, and sustain resiliency for themselves and their families.”
The awards are representative of the areas impacted by COVID-19.
The funding was awarded to Santa Cruz County as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
Here are the organizations chosen to receive funding:
Cabrillo: Student Health Services
City of Watsonville: Watsonville Campesino Appreciation Caravan
Coastal Watershed Council: Watershed Rangers
Community Bridges: Elderday & Family Resource Collective
Dientes Community Dental Care: Integrated Dental Care for Our Community
Easterseals Central California
Encompass Community Services (PPE4CC)
Family Services Agency of the Central Coast
HOPE Services: Multiple programs
Pajaro Valley Prevention & Student Assistance, Inc.
Physicians for a Healthy Central Coast
Salud Para La Gente: Community Health Center
Santa Cruz Community Health Centers: Cradle-Career
Santa Cruz Community Ventures: Familias Con Mas: SEEDS
Second Harvest: Esperanza Community Farms
Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center: Community Programs/Diaspora
Project + Community Connection thru COVID
Teen Kitchen Project
Watsonville Law Center