Hotline helps link Calgary’s cultural communities with COVID resources
INQUIRER.NET U.S. Bureau
January 12, 2021 at 11:34 am
Edwin Chavez is among facilitators that connect those in need with help in their own language. SCREENSHOT CBC

Edwin Chavez is among facilitators that connect those in need with help in their own language. SCREENSHOT CBC

A team operating in Calgary’s northeast has started a rapid response hotline to help cultural communities with COVID-19-related support in 20 languages, from Tagalog to Tigrinya, and includes advice on workplace rights and more.

The Calgary East Zone Newcomers Collaborative, which includes 16 different agencies, connects people of various backgrounds to someone who understands their language and culture, according to a CBC report.

The pandemic has hit this zone severely, and provincial authorities have sent in teams to go door-to-door with food supplies and information for residents.

Edwin Chavez is a team member who links people to resources including food, financial, and mental health support.

“I do community outreach so that members of our communities will be informed about this emergency and rapid support for families who are negatively affected by this pandemic,” he told CBC. Speaking the same language helps put people at ease to get resources they didn’t know they had, he explained.

Jun Naraval, policy and program manager with Action Dignity, one of the groups in the collaboration, told CBC that the program is helping to flatten the pandemic curve.

Those who need help, or more information, can call 1-833-217-6614 in order to be connected to someone who can help. All calls are free and confidential. 

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