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    Protecting communities from COVID-19 with CORE

    Airbnb.org works with partners like CORE to support equitable vaccine access.
    By Airbnb on Mar 23, 2021
    3 min read
    Updated Apr 7, 2021

    Highlights

    • It’s been one year since Airbnb launched the Frontline stays program.

    • Now, Airbnb.org is partnering with organizations like CORE to offer stays for frontline workers.

    • CORE provides safe and equitable access to free COVID-19 testing, essential services, and vaccine distribution.

    It’s been one year since Airbnb launched the Frontline stays program. Now Airbnb.org is continuing this work, and partnering with CORE to offer stays to their frontline workers. Since the beginning of the pandemic, CORE has provided safe and equitable access to free COVID-19 testing, and essential resources, with a focus on serving people who are marginalized, low-income, or from communities of color. They’re currently applying that same equity-focused approach to vaccine distribution. Meet two CORE employees who are on the ground, helping to protect hard hit and vulnerable communities from COVID-19.

    Zack and Crista

    “If you look at a map of Los Angeles, you’ll see most of the test sites and health resources and vaccine sites now are located in the wealthier, more affluent areas. That also goes for most places around the United States,” says Zack Oser, a Los Angeles County Area Manager for CORE. “The whole underlying ethos and model for how we decide where we work, where we actually provide resources, is trying to get those resources to areas that have been long left behind due to public health and health access disparities in this country.”

    CORE is currently providing free COVID-19 testing in cities across the country, as well as distributing the vaccine in Atlanta and Los Angeles. They’re part of one of the largest mass vaccination sites in the nation at Dodger Stadium, which can administer 12,000 vaccines per day. CORE partners with local governments and community organizations, and they focus on hiring people who live in the community. “We hire staff from these areas to work at our test sites and at our vaccine sites, who speak the local languages, who are trusted figures in the community, who have a good network and understanding of the community,” says Zack.

    Crista Campos, community mobilizer and outreach manager for CORE, originally began working with the organization as a volunteer. She reached out to CORE after seeing how few people were in line at her neighborhood COVID-19 testing site in Los Angeles. Testing is free to the public, and doesn’t require health insurance or documentation. But Crista realized that layers of equity issues could be preventing people from accessing tests.

    “When I started, there was a [COVID-19] outbreak in a low income housing building in Chinatown, and they didn’t even know that there was testing available to them at Dodger Stadium,” says Crista. “Dodger Stadium is on top of a hill. They would have to make an appointment, and if they don’t have a car they would have to use a Lyft. And what if they don’t have a Lyft because they don’t have a phone?”

    CORE partnered with local organizations and built a mobile testing site in Chinatown, so that members of the community had easy access to testing in their neighborhood. They also began distributing information on paper, to help people who may not have access to the internet. Organizers made sure to share details that were relevant to the community. “We had to let them know that this information was not going to be shared with ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement],” says Crista. “Your medical history is right there, and they fear someone is going to come after them.”

    Crista and Zack’s days are a mix of mobile testing and vaccine distribution in communities, coordinating with local organizations, and offering free essential resources like food distribution and mask giveaways. “The community mobilizing team at CORE, we’re all coming together because of our incredible stories and how passionate we are to save our community,” says Crista.

    As one of Airbnb.org’s partners, CORE employees like Zack who are traveling to the area to help set up sites and hire staff can use Frontline stays for their housing. “We work long days,” says Zack. “Just having a place to come back, drop my things, and have some clear head space so that when I leave here I can just focus on work and focus on getting the job done, it makes it really seamless.”

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    Highlights

    • It’s been one year since Airbnb launched the Frontline stays program.

    • Now, Airbnb.org is partnering with organizations like CORE to offer stays for frontline workers.

    • CORE provides safe and equitable access to free COVID-19 testing, essential services, and vaccine distribution.

    Airbnb
    Mar 23, 2021
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