HOUSTON, TX (March 4, 2022) — The Houston Area Urban League will be able to hire 20 new Community Health Navigators after being awarded funding with five other National Urban League affiliates to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among the hardest-hit and highest-risk communities. Other affiliates that received funds are in Knoxville, Tennessee; Jackson, Mississippi; Kansas City, Missouri; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and St. Louis, Missouri.
The Houston affiliate, which will receive over $1.3 Million from the National Urban League, will hire, train and support the health navigators, conduct outreach and engagement activities in the Greater Houston community and assist residents in getting vaccinated and boosted. The National Urban League received $11.125 million from the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) to fund the initiative.
“It’s truly about job creation and investing back in our local community,” states Eric Goodie, Area VP of the Houston Area Urban League. “We desire to help the community overcome this pandemic that’s ravaged disadvantaged communities and at the same time create jobs with livable wages for those that are in need.”
A recent study reported that at least 5.2 million children globally had lost a parent, grandparent, or family member who helped care for them to COVID-19. This sad and shocking statistic recently published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health Journal brings to light the vast need for additional education and outreach in communities of color.
“We all know that life without a parent or caregiver can be a challenge for anyone, especially in specific populations. We want to do our part to change the narrative and the outcomes these studies suggest. We can only do it by balancing our efforts in the community with quality vaccine information, access, and outreach,” says HAUL President & CEO Judson Robinson, III. “The addition of Community Health Navigators will allow us to continue caring for our citizens so that we can make significant progress to end this pandemic.”
“One lesson we’ve learned through the COVID-19 pandemic is that trusted voices within communities, such as our affiliate presidents and CEOs, are the best way to overcome vaccine hesitancy, combat misinformation and connect people with health care providers,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “With the support of the HRSA, our affiliates can expand their reach by hiring a local Community Health Navigator workforce to help keep our communities informed, safe, and healthy.”
The National Urban League is one of 51 community-based organizations that received a combined $250 million in American Rescue Plan funding to increase vaccine access for the hardest-hit and most vulnerable communities.
Since 1968, the Houston Area Urban League has advocated for and provides social services to disadvantaged people of all races, gender, age groups, and/or disabilities. HAUL operates the following six (6) programs targeting residents in economically disadvantaged geographic areas in the Greater Houston area: Education and Youth Development; Workforce and Economic Development; Workforce Training; Housing; Social Justice; and Health and Wellness Initiatives. These programs impact the lives of over 10,000 people each year. For more information or to apply for a Community Health Navigator position, please call 713-393-8700 or visit haul.org.