EPIC Partner Exclusive: Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE)
Emergency Partners Information Connection (EPIC) works with dozens of organizations across the United States to exchange information that helps people stay safer and healthier during a public health emergency. One of these organizations is Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), which saves lives and strengthens communities impacted by or vulnerable to crisis.
What is the mission of your organization?
CORE’s mission is to empower communities in and beyond crisis.
What is the role of your organization during a public health emergency?
During a public health emergency, CORE works closely with local community-based organizations, government, and other key partners to identify and support the most vulnerable groups. CORE’s grassroots approach enables us to connect and receive first-hand knowledge of communities’ immediate needs and how we can maximize resources to best assist in relief and recovery efforts. For example, during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, CORE partnered with the Los Angeles Fire Department, City of Los Angeles, and medical partners to set up and operate one of the largest mass testing sites in the United States at Dodger Stadium. This high-impact site was later quickly transformed into one of the nation’s largest vaccination sites in January 2021 when vaccines came online. CORE’s success in Los Angeles provided us the opportunity to scale our programming across other major cities in the United States, and internationally to Brazil, India, and Uganda. To date, CORE has administered over 6.3 million free COVID-19 tests and 2.7 million vaccines.
How do you plan for emergencies?
CORE continues to support and build the capacity of local organizations during and after an emergency to strengthen resiliency and promote sustainability. We hire staff locally in the places we work because we understand the value of community development. We also ensure that the communities we support have the tools and resources to recover by connecting them with available social support services and programs.
What is one experience or lesson-learned that you have from an emergency response?
Do not be afraid to try something new and different and always partner with local community groups to make sure the response is inclusive and sustainable.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to other organizations planning for public health emergencies?
Knowledge and information sharing is critical during an emergency to avoid duplication of efforts and maximize the limited resources available. Organizations should participate in open forums and coordination meetings to share lessons learned and build relationships with each other.