Legislators, Community-Based Groups Urge Pritzker to Renew COVID AID Funding

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

In parts of the city most ravaged by COVID-19, Black and Brown residents live on the margins, easy to forget by those who can hunker down, maintaining a decent income by working from home and staying safe by getting groceries and other necessities and amenities delivered to their door. But the virus finds easier inroads in Pilsen, Hermosa, Little Village, Auburn Gresham, Englewood and Back of the Yards and with it has come hunger, homelessness, domestic strife and more than an equitable share of the deaths. In Cook County, 70 percent of all COVID-19 deaths are people of color. Chicago Latinos have a COVID-19 positivity rate 2.5 times higher than the city’s average.

The Critical Health Network, supported by a $1.7 million state grant for 2020 with implementation work from the Alternative Schools Network and Healthy Hood Chicago, has had a crucial role to play in mitigating those circumstances. Now those delivering CHN-provided services, those who have participated in the program and state legislators who represent the covered communities are issuing are calling on the governor to allocate the same amount for this year. “COVID-19 has had an awful, disproportionate impact on minority communities,” state Sen. Tony Munoz, D-1 said. “By working with community groups, CHN has been able to help many families cope with this ongoing crisis. But we still need this funding. I know the governor has a lot on his plate, but I urge him to step up and renew this funding. The need here is greater than ever right now.” A direct response to the pandemic has been an indispensable feature of the network, which has made COVID-19 testing more accessible to the communities.

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