Salt Lake County Mayor creates new team to help underserved communities

To serve immigrant and refugee populations
Posted at 10:26 AM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 12:26:49-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Jenny Wilson announced the formation of an Equity for Diverse and Underserved Communities team as part of Salt Lake County’s COVID-19 response organization.

In a Monday news release, Mayor Wilson outlined augmented services to diverse, immigrant, and refugee populations in response to needs related to the COVID-19 crisis.

Data now suggests that Hispanic populations are being hardest hit by COVID-19 in Salt Lake County, creating an urgency for a strong infusion of resources.

“I acknowledge there are gaps in serving the needs of populations experiencing inequities which is also causing disparities, and it is one of my top priorities to ensure we can work to close those gaps,” said Mayor Wilson. “The ability to staff up information and services during this crisis will allow us to develop more sophisticated systems and work practices to support these populations not only during this crisis, but for years to come.”

County teams will assist individuals with access to health resources, including testing; and will double down on efforts to assist ethnic-owned business owners in accessing economic stimulus and recovery resources.

Initial staffing for the team includes the additions of three new temporary diverse-community focused positions, a community liaison, a community communications specialist, and a community business liaison.

These new positions will work alongside with and enhance the efforts already being made by Salt Lake County’s Office for New Americans and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, to engage directly with diverse community leaders regarding COVID-19 needs.

Based on feedback from diverse community leaders, for COVID-19 response the Equity for Diverse and Underserved Populations team will primarily focus on:

• Language barriers and equitable access to health and economic information
• Equitable and inclusive testing access, including transportation to testing sites
• Support of ethnic-owned small business owners accessing stimulus and recovery funds
• Food security for diverse, immigrant, and refugee families and individuals