The Fresno County Board of Supervisors announced contracts with the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) that are aimed at providing aid to the county in its ongoing effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 at a news conference Tuesday morning.
Money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Recovery Act (CARES) will be used to enhance education, outreach and case management in farming and African-American communities and improve the county’s ability to perform medical investigations, tests and contact tracing.
Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig said Fresno EOC was chosen for the contracts due to its financial strength and ability to reach disadvantaged groups.
“There are over 30 programs that Fresno EOC has within its umbrella, and so they are very-well positioned to meet the needs of the disadvantaged communities that are throughout Fresno County,” Magsig said. “We are excited to stand here today, recognizing the important partnership we have with Fresno EOC and we look forward to the success that is going to be happening immediately.”
A total of $1.6 million will be allocated to assist the county’s African-American community and approximately $3.9 million to assist with immigrant and refugee outreach efforts.
“The COVID pandemic has hit our most disadvantaged communities the hardest,” said Emilia Reyes, CEO of the Fresno EOC.
“This partnership with the counties and the CBO’s (community-based organizations) is a step in the right direction towards providing our community the education and resources needed to prevent furthering the spread.”
Reyes added that the potential distrust between immigrants and government agencies, namely the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is a significant factor in why EOC was awarded contracts with Fresno County.
“We want the community to feel trust that their information is not going to be shared; that ICE is not going to be coming to get them and that we provide the support that they need to be quarantined to keep their families safe,” Reyes said.