Community Health Workers Helping Families Impacted by Winter Storm

When San Antonio residents are in desperate need, the city can count on alumni from Northwest Vista College’s Community Health Worker program to roll up their sleeves and find a solution. They did just that for families impacted by the winter storm.

They raised $1,075 to go to 10 families or 40 individuals. Most of these families are headed by single moms or grandparents taking care of grandchildren. One family consisted of an 82-year-old grandmother raising her 4-year-old grandson with special needs. The families received the money on Feb. 22. One family expressed it was enough to help pay for rent.

Ludivina Hernandez, Cynthia De La Garza-Parker and Guadalupe Cornejo – all alumni of NVC’s Community Health Worker program, sprang into action with the help of the San Antonio Community Health Workers Association. Cynthia put out a grassroots call to friends and family on social media, Guadalupe emailed the CHW association members and Ludivina reached out to her church community.

They quickly identified families who needed the funds because of their connections with key community leaders from the Texas Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Ludivina is a member and advocate of the Raising Grandchildren support group and Guadalupe is a member of Sacred Heart Church. Together they were able to spread the word and in less than 24 hours they raised funds towards their goal of assisting 10 families.

“These are housekeepers and construction workers who don’t have paid leave or vacation time. If they don’t work, they don’t get paid,” said Guadalupe Cornejo, who is an NVC Community Health instructor and a liaison for the San Antonio Community Health Workers Association.

She added community health workers are able to work quickly to get families assistance instead of waiting in long lines at local nonprofits. Also, many of the families they identified are not considered legal guardians to their grandchildren so often don’t have the necessary paperwork to qualify for additional benefits.

Although Ludivina and Cynthia work as community health workers with other organizations, they live and work in the community and have built trust among residents, who will easily share their needs and concerns with them.

To learn more about donating to the San Antonio Community Health Worker Association, contact Guadalupe at mcornejo2@alamo.edu.

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