Brooklyn Park Nonprofit Helps Connect Immigrants to COVID-19 Testing, Resources
Minnesota continues to see a jump in COVID-19 cases. On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 7,444 new cases. It’s the third consecutive day of more than 7,000 cases.
All the cases have made the Brooklyn Park saliva testing site, located in the former Office Max on Brooklyn Boulevard, a very busy place. A line of people waiting to get tested wrapped around the parking lot on Monday.
“The Brooklyns have been hit very hard,” said Brooklyn Park City Council member Wynfred Russell. “We have a lot of staff and city staff to have come down with the virus.”
COVID-19 Hotline for African Immigrants
Russell is the founder of the Brooklyn Park nonprofit African Career, Education and Resource, Inc. or ACER. The nonprofit, which serves African immigrants, is participating in the Minnesota Department of Health’s COVID Community Coordinators program. Eight staff members from ACER are helping to operate a virtual hotline that connects people to free testing locations and other services.
“Transportation services, food assistance, mortgage assistance,” explained Russell.
ACER is targeting people of color and immigrants, who have been disproportionately hit hard by the virus.
“We live in a very close-knit community. It doesn’t surprise me to see how high the numbers are going up,” Russell said.
The goal is to get the word about free testing and other resources to communities who may have a language or economic barrier preventing them from accessing services. The ACER hotline operates Monday through Friday from 8-5 pm. That number is 763-307-4731.