project leader
Vanessa M
El Barrio
(El Barrio, NYC)
latest update rss
No updates yet.

the project

We are seeking to sustain our on-going mutual aid project aimed at supporting immigrants of our beloved El Barrio community who are sick with COVID-19. We also wish to expand this program with a vaccine education and accessibility campaign geared towards immigrants. Please give today to stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable members of our society.

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted our immigrant community in East Harlem and exacerbated the systemic health and social inequities we continuously fight. As a low-income, immigrant, community of color, we have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. We know of countless families and individuals who had to battle the virus at home, others who had to be hospitalized and placed on life saving ventilators, and those who have sadly passed away.

According to the NYC Department of Health, East Harlem’s 10035 zip code has the highest COVID death rate and our 10029 zip code has the highest COVID-related death count of any neighborhood in Manhattan, and the COVID crisis continues to rage on in our community.

In New York City, there are more than half a million undocumented immigrant essential workers and, according to a recent study, 52% of essential workers in NYC are immigrants. In the immigrant/Latinx enclave of East Harlem, thousands of working folks continuously risk their lives to report to work as laundry workers, domestic workers, supermarket workers, hospital cleaning crews, home health care aides, and countless other essential jobs that cannot be performed at home. Many of the industries our community labor in do not provide adequate safety precautions. When illness strikes, many of our community are not entitled to paid time off, sick leave, unemployment, or federal aid they’ve rightfully earned and paid into, due to their immigration status.

There are also thousands of East Harlem residents who have been laid off due to COVID, and are struggling to find stable employment. At least 41% of Latinx households in NYC report a job loss during the pandemic, according to a study by the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy. Restaurant employees and personal care service workers are just some of the jobs immigrant community members have been laid off from. As immigrants, many do not have access to unemployment benefits, federal stimulus checks, or other safety nets. Without social safety nets, residents face other hardships such as food and housing insecurity. A report from the New York Times concludes that landlords are filing evictions nearly four times more often in Black and Brown communities hardest hit by the pandemic. With New York's and the Federal eviction moratoriums ending soon, low-income tenants will once again be threatened with eviction and homelessness during a pandemic.

The development of the COVID-19 vaccine has brought hope to our exhausted community. But more infectious COVID variants are popping up in our city and are spreading throughout already hard hit communities like East Harlem. However, there are substantial barriers to vaccination in our neighborhood. Vaccination rates in NYC have highlighted disturbing, but familiar health inequities, with Black & Brown New Yorkers being vaccinated at a significantly lower rate that white residents. Furthermore, as of late March, only 19% of elderly East Harlem residents have gotten vaccine doses, the lowest in the area. These disparities are a result of various factors including systemic racism, accessibility, appointment scheduling systems, documentation requirements, linguistic barriers, and misinformation.

the steps

Our members, mostly immigrant women and mothers, deeply understand the needs of our neighbors and have developed a community-driven mutual aid approach to provide relief to immigrant families in need and to improve vaccination rates in our community. Yet, the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine has again highlighted the long-standing health and social disparities our community faces.

Communities such as ours experience the hardships of having no access to resources when the entire household becomes infected with COVID or the difficulties accessing information in their own language regarding their questions and concerns about the vaccine. These challenges need trusted community created and backed solutions in order to ensure equitable treatment for immigrant, low-income, Latinx & Black, women, elderly, children, and other residents who need and deserve support and resources. To disperse aid, provide support, and work toward getting our neighborhood vaccinated, our community has decided to expand our COVID-19 Program for Immigrants in El Barrio to include COVID-19 relief and vaccination accessibility as key program goals.

Strategies for our relief effort includes:

- Care boxes – Boxes include: disinfectant/cleaning supplies, sanitizers, gloves, masks, medical supplies, groceries, feminine hygiene products, household items, among other essential items.

- Free Prepared Meal Delivery – Affected households will receive hot delivered meals.

- Community Outreach & Monitoring – Regular calls are made to our immigrant community members to check-in on the community’s health and inform them that we are a resource, including during these check-ins we provide educational information about the vaccine, explain or aid access to vaccination appointments, record those who have been vaccinated and those who have not, and overall track the wellness of our community.

- Movement’s COVID-19 Emergency Hotline – A bilingual emergency telephone hotline was established for East Harlem immigrant community residents to contact us at any time to inform us if they have symptoms or have tested positive for COVID to provide aid. They may also call if they have vaccine-related questions, to request appointment scheduling assistance, proof requirements, or other inquiries. 

- Mailings – Informational mailings in Spanish to community members are frequently sent about: evolving virus, best hygiene practices, testing sites, workers’ rights during COVID, mental wellness, information about the vaccine, vaccine effectiveness, how the vaccine stops the pandemic, vaccination appointment process, vaccine hotlines, vaccine locations, proof requirements, and other information.

- Informational & Support Resources – Provide aid in answering vaccination questions, help schedule appointments bridging the digital divide and linguistic barriers, and aid in obtaining proof requirements, and/or connect individuals with appropriate contacts (i.e. medical clinics), important information such as, how to best self-quarantine, instructions on how to access healthcare professionals/hospitals, etc.

- Community Support & Solidarity – Calls of support and solidarity will also be provided during this difficult time, especially for those in the length/lonely quarantine period.

- Distribute additional aid in the form of monthly MetroCards, grocery certificates to a local supermarket, and PPE.

- Host workshops virtually and in person (when safe) to educate our neighbors about the vaccine, dispel misinformation around the vaccine, listen to concerns, answer questions, amplify positive vaccination experiences by community members, to discuss workers’ rights during COVID, community centered healing, and tenant rights.

why we're doing it

As a community that is disproportionately impacted by the virus, experiences deep-rooted inequities, is vulnerable to misinformation, and has a significant digital divide, there is an urgent need for vaccination education and outreach in our community. For example, that the vaccine contains no active virus, does not alter DNA, and you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The option of online appointment scheduling is often difficult for our mostly digitally illiterate community, who may not own smart devices or do not have internet access. In a report by the city, East Harlem falls into an area that has considerably low home and mobile broadband internet service with between 34% to 54% of households having one or both services. Proof-of-eligibility requirements such as work IDs are difficult for immigrant workers to obtain where poor or exploitative relationships with their employers exist. Our community urgently needs trusted, bilingual resources explaining that the vaccine is safe and effective and to access required documentation. The systemic disadvantages experienced by communities of color, the elderly, and immigrants, require solutions and assistance from community groups rooted in these vulnerable communities.

Who we are:

Movement for Justice in El Barrio is a majority-women community organization that fights for housing justice, immigrant justice and gender justice and, following our unique model, consistently challenges multiple forms of oppression, including xenophobia, racism, sexism, transphobia, and homophobia in East Harlem, New York City.


Updated Budget (10.4.21)

Mailing materials & postage


TOTAL RAISED = $4,684.55
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $71.09


Original Budget:

Mailing materials and postage: $6,000

Disinfectant/Cleaning supplies (For example, soap, hand sanitizer, clorox): $4,000

Household supplies (For example, toiletries): $3,000

Food: $15,000

Personal care (For example, thermometers, masks, gloves): $15,000

Delivery service fees: $2,000

Transportation: $4,000

Internet: $1,000

Equipment (For example, laptops and printers for remote work): $2,000

Staff: $15,000

Total: $67,000

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.  


Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • ioby's COVID FUND
  • ioby's COVID FUND
  • Jen S.
  • Claire B.
  • Marina Martinez Cora
  • Eduardo T.
  • Dorca R.
  • Alex M.
  • Jocelyn G.
  • Marla Erlien
  • Sarah A Malachowsky
  • Jennifer F.
  • Jon W.
  • Jennie M.
  • Anonymous
  • Laura G.
  • Elayne Oliphant
  • Anonymous
  • Brooke S.
  • Olivia Espinoza
  • Wendy v.
  • Michael V.
  • Anonymous
  • Jill D.
  • Anonymous