Connecting Fellow New Yorkers with Available Resources during the Pandemic

— by Urban Upbound Development Team

Image by Rawpixel Ltd via Flickr.

The Urban Upbound Resource Navigator Program (RNAV) began in June as a way to provide support to people in quarantine due to testing positive for COVID-19, or in need to isolate. As of November 10th, Urban Upbound’s team of 7 Navigators has made over 2,300 calls to connect these New Yorkers to key services.

For many people quarantining at home, for several days straight, means no work and no income. Some are scared, some are parents to small children. Without the means to have groceries, medical prescriptions and other basic goods delivered to them, these New Yorkers are among the most vulnerable. This is where Paul Sawyer, our Program Supervisor, and his team of Navigators step in.

Paul receives cases from the Test and Trace Corps and distributes them to his team of Navigators, who then contact the individuals by phone, everyone following all proper privacy guidelines to safeguard our clients’ information. During the call, the Navigator identifies the client’s needs and matches these to free services and other resources, such as New York City’s Get Food Program. Other than prepared meals, popular requests include baby formula, diapers, paper towels, and sanitizer. Navigators also coordinate the delivery of services such as dog walking and mental health support.

In the last few weeks, the Urban Upbound RNAV team has seen a steady increase in the number of cases received in Queens. Paul reports that there has been a 250% increase in just the last week alone and we currently receive 15 to 20 cases per hour. The Urban Upbound team of Resource Navigators works seven days a week, from 9 am to 9 pm on weekdays and until 6 pm on weekends. If you can afford it, please consider making a donation to support all of our Relief and Recovery Efforts.

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Urban Upbound NYC

A collection of stories around NYC’s public housing communities curated by Urban Upbound, a non-profit organization with a mission to break cycles of poverty.