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Austin Community Foundation, St. David’s Foundation, and United Way for Greater Austin Award $415,000 to Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Rates in Central Texas

Funding will support vaccine confidence with equitable access

Published May 4, 2021

Austin Community Foundation, United Way for Greater Austin, and St. David’s Foundation announced today $415,000 in funding to 19 local organizations. These grants will support COVID-19 vaccine confidence and equitable access among Black, Latino, Indigenous, people of color and other groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Organizations receiving grants have deep connections in the community and a plan for increasing vaccination rates for underserved, unserved, disconnected, and rural populations in Central Texas counties (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson).

These local organizations were awarded grants:

  • African American Youth Harvest Foundation
  • Austin Asian Community Health Initiative
  • Austin Community College’s Student Advocacy Center
  • AVANCE-Austin, Inc.
  • Center for Survivors of Torture
  • Central Texas Allied Health Institute
  • Community Resilience Trust
  • Del Valle Community Coalition Non-Profit
  • Eikon Church
  • EIXSYS Healthcare System, Inc
  • El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission
  • The Housing Authority of the City of Austin
  • Latino HealthCare Forum
  • Mano Amiga SM
  • A New Entry, Inc.
  • Samaritan Health Ministries
  • Todos Juntos Learning Center
  • VaxTogetherAustin
  • Where We Thrive, Inc.

View the grant amounts and project descriptions here.

“Vaccines save lives,” said Stephanie Cerda, Vaccine Equity Program Manager at United Way for Greater Austin. “People of color and people with low income have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and these same communities now face challenges in accessing the vaccine due to barriers like language, technology, transportation, and more. We’re honored to partner with 19 community-based organizations to improve vaccine access, provide culturally relevant outreach to address hesitancy, and get our community closer to herd immunity.”

As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available, some communities face barriers to access, including fewer vaccination clinics located near populations most impacted by the pandemic, digital inequity, and language barriers among others. Additionally, some communities are hesitant to get vaccinated for varying reasons, such as lack of factual information, historical mistrust of the healthcare system, and politicization of the pandemic.

In an effort to address these issues, Austin Community Foundation and St. David’s Foundation created a pooled fund and partnered with United Way for Greater Austin to manage the grant administration process and distribution of funding.