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Oregon Latinx Leadership Network awarded the grant to assist Central Oregon Latino families

The Latino Community Association will use $75,000 in health equity funds to help Central Oregon families cope with disruptions to income, schooling and health status due to the coronavirus. Oregon Latinx Leadership Network, a statewide group that formed last spring, awarded the grant to LCA in late November.

Latino Community Association Executive Director Brad Porterfield said some of these funds will benefit Jefferson County families.

$5,000 is earmarked for COVID-19 testing, in partnership with Mosaic Medical and other providers. $10,000 will provide headsets for school kids from kindergarten through 12th grade to help minimize distractions and improve their online learning.

The grant will provide 50 headsets to Kids Club of Jefferson County for students to use for distance learning while at Kids Club.

"We have between 10 and 20 kids a day show up for distance learning without headsets on any given day. Headsets are needed so members can hear their teachers without distracting or being distracted by other members," said Kids Club Director Caren Pilkington. "The Latino Community Association was very generous."

The remaining funds will support LCA's ongoing aid to workers who lose income due to the pandemic or need to quarantine after exposure to the coronavirus. Currently, three LCA employees are trained to contact people who have been exposed and offer wraparound support such as delivering groceries to them and helping with their rent or mortgage.

Porterfield said some funds will replace financial assistance the Latino Community Association has already provided to families from LCA's own COVID-19 Immigrant Family Relief Fund. These OLLN grant funds must be dispersed by Dec. 30. A much smaller portion will cover organizational costs LCA has incurred to sustain their pandemic response services.

"Our funds are for culturally responsive community engagement, education, and wraparound support that help address the inequitable impacts of COVID-19 in Latinx and Indigenous populations in Oregon," wrote the OLLN funders. "We believe [Latino Community Association] is positioned to respond to the need to make our communities healthier and safer."


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