Image by Karen Smul via unionsettlement.org.
According to the New York State Department of Labor, private sector jobs in New York City fell by 583,800 in 2020 to 3,478,800 in September 2020. Losses were widespread and occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, trade, transportation, and utilities, and educational and health services (among others).
Since 1895, Union Settlement has created opportunities in East Harlem by offering comprehensive programs that help underserved residents improve their skills and build better lives for themselves and their families. At a time when families are hard-hit by job losses, their services assisting in job training, public housing, and community building are as important as ever.
We recently interviewed the organization’s Director of Community Outreach, Ingrid Sotelo and spoke about Union Settlement’s efforts during the pandemic, their projects, and the power of building community.
How were Union Settlement and East Harlem affected by the coronavirus pandemic?
Union Settlement and East Harlem families have been facing many challenges during the coronavirus pandemic - some of the ways they continue to be affected is lack of food security, no technology devices (tablets, phones, or laptops), no internet access, family members facing unemployment.
What is the power of building community during a global crisis, and working to make improvements on issues like public health and racism?
The power of building community during a global crisis is the ability to have access to a support system. It gives the ability to share resources across your community and an opportunity to come together to combat an issue or issues together. This is particularly important in a community that is primarily low-income and diverse.
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