COVID-19 Response Work: First Step Family Support Center
Throughout the pandemic, First Step Family Support Center has continued to offer their existing services with safety modifications as well as expand to offer programs addressing the urgent and changing needs of families. First Step received $75,000 through Olympic Community of Health’s 2021 COVID-19 Response Fund. First Step's COVID-19 response projects are making a difference in Clallam County by addressing financial strain, improving vaccine equity, helping community members get connected with the appropriate services, and providing technology support.
Project Outreach— Outreach workers connect with families to assess needs and offer resources, referrals, and immediate access to concrete goods and services such as diapers, wipes, infant formula, clothing, grocery gift cards, phone and data minutes and fuel gift cards. To date this program has served over 600 families and has provided over $43,000 in goods and services to families in Clallam and Jefferson Counties including:
Over $30,500 in grocery gift cards
Over $5,400 in diapers
Over $2,000 in phone and data minutes
Family Stabilization Fund— These funds are available to families in Clallam and Jefferson Counties and provide low-barrier funding to help stabilize families. These grants have provided funding for items such as needed home appliances, vehicle repairs, clothing to access employment and other needed goods and services that will support family stabilization. To date this program has served 224 families and has funded over $47,000 in goods and services.
Vaccine Equity— This program partners with the county health department and other community organizations to support equitable vaccine access, address vaccine hesitancy and provide creative solutions to encourage vaccine acceptance.
Program Manager Elisia Anderson shared, “Our first vaccine pop-up event […] was the most successful pop-up event to date in Clallam County by double, according to the health department. In addition to the funds awarded to us by OCH, we have been able to secure funds from All In Washington to support vaccine equity work. We are connecting with various community partners to support vaccination efforts, pop up events, incentives, education and outreach.”
To date this program has directly provided 73 vaccines during one pop up vaccine event, with several more upcoming events planned.