Signs of great progress made in our fight against COVID-19 are evident in the hustle and the bustle of everyday activity around us. However, community members who live and work in the hardest hit neighborhoods remain weary and on high alert. They have been disproportionately disadvantaged due to their socio-economic status and many fear getting and spreading COVID-19 to their loved ones. They comprise a large sector of the essential and frontline workforce, live in larger extended family units, are the least uninsured or underinsured, have the lowest levels of workplace protections and already suffered the greatest loss of life due to COVID-19. For these reasons and many more, Universidad Popular remains vigilant and immersed in the strategic COVID-19 response. We are providing direct services to community members and advocating for equitable recovery from the pandemic.
Below we are sharing several snapshots from our current work and are excited to tell you about new projects and initiatives.
Universidad Popular continues training promotores, deploying outreach teams and collaborating with resolute community partners to reach and educate community members. We are canvassing and talking to our neighbors door-to-door, delivering test kits, masks and other protective equipment to help our families stay safe and healthy from COVID-19. We are also cosponsoring vaccination events on a weekly basis in select neighborhoods with the lowest vaccination rates in San Marcos and Escondido.
Thank you to our collaborators including MAAC, SDSU’s Institute for Public Health’s Communities Fighting COVID! With Vaccines, San Marcos Unified School District, Escondido Union schools District, HHSA, Neighborhood Healthcare, Champions for Health, TrueCare, San Ysidro Health, Comite Civico del Valle, CA Office of Emergency Services, CA Department of Public Health and the Labor & Workforce Development Agency for ensuring COVID-19 vaccines and testing are accessible in the hardest hit communities. Together, we are helping to make the pandemic less deadly.
Promotores & Community Leaders Training
Universidad Popular returns with this project to strengthen community leaders, promotores, and community educators in order to cultivate community education and leadership. On Friday, June 24, we hosted a North County Promotores Training in Spanish facilitated by Dr. Arcela Nuñez. We discussed the importance of building sustainable leadership skills among community members to effectively advocate for needed resources in our communities. We also learned about the Medicine Wheel, a tool that builds on ancestral knowledge to nurture health and wellness at the individual and communal levels. Lastly, we participated in a brainstorming session with promotores to identify areas of need and concern. Promotores requested additional training in the areas of disaster and emergency preparedness, civil and human rights, financial literacy, healthy eating, and sexual health.
We have a lot of work to do and we want community leaders, promotores, and educators to know their roles and receive support and training to be successful in our work. Join our new course for promotores in Spanish starting July 20 from 6 pm to 8 pm at Universidad Popular.
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics
Our team is on the front lines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. During the month of June 2022, we talked to over 2,839 community members in North County. Our promotores discussed workers’ rights, COVID-19 Vaccines/boosters, flu shots, and COVID-19 testing locations. Additionally, we distributed over 11,022 at-home COVID-19 test-kits, masks and hand sanitizers. Lastly, we assisted 461 individuals to get vaccinated and 30 get PCR COVID-19 tests.
If you or someone you know still needs a COVID-19 vaccine/booster, join us at one of the upcoming vaccination clinics. Now children 6 months and older are eligible to get vaccinated.
On June 23rd we will be at San Marcos Elementary School (1 Tiger Way San Marcos, CA 92069) from 9 am to 3 pm. No appointment is required; however, you can schedule an appointment at MyTurn.ca.gov.
Every Sunday we are at the North Inland Live Well Center (649 W. Mission Ave, Escondido, CA 92025) from 10 am to 2 pm.
Universidad Popular continues to be committed to supporting workers in our region. We are part of the statewide, COVID-19 Workplace Outreach Program (CWOP), network of community-based organizations conducting outreach and education in working-class communities hardest hit by COVID-19. We are providing information and resources on COVID-19 safety guidance, COVID-19 vaccines and testing, and workers’ rights.
We look forward to collaborating with Employee Rights Center (ERC), California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc., City Heights Community Development Center, Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund, and Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California.
NEW! BORDER LISTOS
Universidad Popular, in collaboration with Comite Civico del Valle, is pleased to announce that we have been selected by the California Office of Emergency Services to join the statewide network of community-based organizations working on emergency and disaster preparedness.
We are going to create a U.S.-Mexico BORDER LISTOS regional hub with the purpose of coordinating targeted outreach and education to increase disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation capabilities among vulnerable, hardest-to-reach, Limited English Speaking and farmworker community members. Stay tuned for upcoming meetings and training.
Citizenship & Civic Education Classes
On May 17 we returned to our in-person Citizenship & Civic Education Classes with a dedicated group of students who were excited to return to their in-person studies. On June 14 we hosted a Naturalization Orientation with immigration attorney, Maricela Amezola. Every week we learn about a different topic and review related civics questions in English and Spanish.
The class is FREE and open to anyone interested in learning U.S. History and Civics. We meet every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm at 261 Autumn Drive Suite 115, San Marcos, CA, 92069.
Food insecurity continues to be a top issue of concern in our community. Therefore, Universidad Popular continues to advocate for increased access to health and culturally appropriate food choices.
Universidad Popular partners with Feeding San Diego to provide food to almost 200 families in Pauma Valley every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month from 12 pm to 1 pm. During the month of June 2022, we provided food to 400 families. Additionally, we distributed over 596 COVID-19 test kits, masks and hand sanitizers.
If you are interested in volunteering with us, please contact us at [email protected] to sign up to volunteer at our next food distribution on July 19.
NEW SUMMER FOOD DISTRIBUTION IN SAN MARCOS
Universidad Popular, in collaboration with Feeding San Diego and the San Marcos Unified School District, is pleased to announce a new food distribution happening during our ongoing vaccination events at San Marcos Elementary School (1 Tiger Way, San Marcos, CA 92069). The summer food distributions are taking place on July 23, August 13, and September 3 from 9am to 11am. We aim to make life a little easier for families who are struggling to feed their kids this summer. The distribution is open to the public.
Good news for undocumented seniors in California! On June 13, 2022, the State Legislature of California included in the budget an expansion to the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to include undocumented residents over the age of 55, expected to be rolled out during the 2025-26 fiscal year (CalMatters).
The expansion of benefits is a win for our community members and it was possible due to the collaborative advocacy led by many of our partners. Universidad Popular played a key role in this process and we will continue supporting the statewide efforts to ensure that ALL Californians have access to food.
On the news:
Co-Directors Arcela Nuñez & Maria Nuñez featured in North County Informador article - June 5, 2022.
Two of Universidad Popular's Co-Directors, Arcela Nuñez & Maria Nuñez were featured in the inaugural publication of the North County Informador highlighting their contributions to empowering immigrant communities in North County San Diego.
North County Informador is non-profit source for a bilingual eNews publication providing news, resources, and events serving North San Diego County. North County Informador is run by Empowering Latino Futures, a non-profit in Fallbrook.
Here's the link to the North County Informador and website post.
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