What We Do
Block Champions Respond to the Needs of Miraloma Park Seniors Sheltering In Place During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Block Champions and NERTS quickly sprang into action in mid March where they helped deliver COVID-19 information flyers and door-hangers throughout Miraloma Park while at the same time checking in on our vulnerable, elderly and disabled shut-ins on their blocks. Our Block Champions are an integral part of supporting our mission to protect the health and well-being of residents, especially the vulnerable, during times of stress.
More recently, our Block Champions, NERTS and other volunteers have been actively working with our Miraloma Senior Community Connectors Program with the objective of creating a safer, more connected Miraloma Park community during this time of crisis. Darlene Ramlose, coordinator of our Miraloma Community Connectors Program, immediately began making wellness calls to over 160 seniors registered in the program. Did any of these seniors need help in acquiring groceries? Did they need a medication pick up at the local pharmacy? Did they need regular wellness calls just to make sure they were ok? It is good to know that most seniors are managing well with the help of family and/or neighbors. However, Block Champions Mike D. and Celia K. as well as other volunteers have steadfastly delivered groceries to the seniors that did need them.
In mid-April Supervisor Norman Yee initiated his new Senior Outreach Society (SOS) program. Supervisor Yee was able to access the senior voter rolls to provide contact information for over 5000 seniors in District 7, including 835 seniors in Miraloma Park. The SOS program is a semi-automated way of personally contacting all of these seniors with automatic dialing and asking a preset series of questions.
The MPIC coordinated with Supervisor Yee’s office to have our Block Champions, NERTS and other volunteers trained to make the SOS calls and then exclusively completed making calls to 835 Miraloma Park seniors within two weeks. Any needs, such as groceries and medication pickups requested by Miraloma Park seniors through these SOS calls were forwarded to our Community Connectors team for follow up and volunteers deployed to complete the requests. Many of our volunteers have continued to make SOS calls to other seniors throughout District 7.
Block Champions and NERTs have an on-going, incredible presence, in keeping Miraloma Park safe and well informed about the hyperlocal effects of COVID-19. We have, in fact, become a model response team for the City.
Meet Your New Miraloma Park Block Champions!
The MPIC is proud to announce that our community now has 32 new Block Champions who have recently completed all of their training. Our Block Champions will now be introducing themselves to their immediate neighbors in the near future- so please welcome them.
We are proud that our community is the first in the City to launch a Block Champion program- thanks to funding from Supervisor Yee’s Participatory Budget program.
Here are the streets where our Block Champions are located:
Agua Way -1
Bella Vista Way -1
Coventry Court -2
Del Vale -1
Detroit St -1
El Sereno Court -1
Encline Court -1
Foerster St -4
Gaviota Way -1
Los Palmos Drive -2
Marietta Drive -2
Melrose Ave -1
Molimo Drive -1
Myra Way -1
Portola Drive -1
Rockdale Drive -1
Sequoia Way -1
Teresita Blvd -8
What’s next for our Block Champions?
The Block Champions will utilize their tools, resources and trainings to assemble a team that is charged with preparing the residents on their block for a disaster as well as the capacity to activate and support their neighbors’ health and well-being needs, especially the vulnerable, during times of stress.
In preparation for any stressful event, our Block Champions will be:
- Creating ways for neighbors to meet each other and build connections. Whether it be a block party or a simple open house, creating ways for neighbors to come together to strengthen existing relationships, or create new ones, is an essential step for increasing the overall resilience.
- Inventorying who and what is on their block. Every day, our Block Champions have the opportunity to collect valuable information about what resources are on their block and who are their neighbors. This data could be invaluable during times of stress and increase the likelihood of meeting the needs of all their neighbors when they’ll need the help of Block Champions the most.
- Designing their Block Support Center and secure the supplies they will need to run it. The Block Support Center is an essential component to support the needs of the folks on their block.
After a stressful event, our Block Champions may be charged with a variety of tasks, including
- Checking on the status of their neighbors. Regardless of a heatwave, power outage or earthquake- someone on the block may need help. The Block Champions and their teams have the opportunity to monitor neighbors’ condition so they can protect their health or get the help they need to restore it.
- Assemble their team and activate the Block Support Center.
- Create a plan on how the team will help those in need.
- Set up aid stations to meet their neighbors’ needs. This could include Care and Shelter, First Aid, Feeding and Comfort. During a serious event, especially if utilities are off, people may need help with the basics.
If you have any questions regarding the Block Champion Program, please contact Block Champion Program Lead Guido Van Rijn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help us build a stronger Miraloma Park from the Ground Up!