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What Works: Grassroots Solutions Around The Bay

During the past year, COVID-19 hit some Bay Area communities harder than others. The neighborhoods that suffered the most have long faced racial and health inequities. This series presents stories of trailblazing leaders and groups who banded together to lift people up during the most difficult of times.

Support for this series comes from Renaissance Journalism's Equity and Health Reporting Initiative, with funding from The California Endowment.

  • As California emerges from the pandemic, we’re going to introduce you to people and community groups who are innovating solutions around the Bay Area. Join us as we visit an organization that feeds and houses San Francisco Bayview residents, an East Palo Alto youth center that gives students a sense of community, and much more. Stay tuned for these stories of people bringing about positive change in their own neighborhoods.
  • Mother Brown’s Dining Room has deep roots in San Francisco's Bayview neighborhood. It has long provided hot meals to anyone in need, but when COVID-19 made it impossible to serve people inside, Mother Brown's came up with a lively approach to feeding people through the pandemic. In this story, we tag along with a food delivery truck making its way door-to-door through Bayview.
  • The word Umoja means "unity" in Swahili, and it's the inspiration for a network of about 30 Bay Area groups called Umoja Health. Their effort to understand the culture of local neighborhoods has helped ramp up COVID-19 testing and vaccination rates in the Bay Area's Black communities.
  • Food insecurity was already a problem in the United States before the Coronavirus pandemic made it even worse. According to one projection, one in eight people in the U.S. will experience food insecurity in 2021. A network of volunteers in Solano County is turning to its neighbors to help address this problem. More specifically, they are turning to their neighbor’s yards, and the fruit trees in them.
  • In this episode of What Works, we look at how Fairfield residents and the city have worked to inform the public and put a spotlight on community groups that stepped up during the pandemic.
  • In this episode of What Works, we're going to Richmond to hear about a garden project that brings nourishment to a community that lives in a food desert and we'll visit a bike program that helps kids get their own wheels.
  • Today, we're going to meet people in East Palo Alto who have been providing people in their communities with everything from food they need to child care.
  • In the past year, neighbors all over the country have banded together to help their communities: delivering groceries, sharing information about where to get COVID tests, handing out masks, or calling isolated seniors. In the Latinx community, this type of grassroots outreach has strong and honored roots. Promotoras de salud, or promotoras, are community health workers. When the pandemic hit, promotoras acted as a lifeline for people often overlooked by more traditional types of care.