San Diego Community Members Help Each Other During Coronavirus Pandemic
While the county continues to coordinate its response to the pandemic, neighbors in San Diego are reaching out and offering assistance to one another. It’s called mutual aid and it could save lives.
Through websites like Facebook or NextDoor, neighbors in San Diego began to reach out to one another this week. They were asking if people needed anything like food or sanitizer but couldn’t make it out to the store, or it wasn’t safe for them to do so.
One group coordinating this type of community response is We All We Got SD. Community organizer Kandi Custodio-Tan started the group earlier this month. She had watched as other cities began to form their own mutual aid groups and decided that San Diego needed something like this.
“What matters to our communities right now is showing up for each other, protecting one another, trying to meet folks' needs, and checking in with each other,” said Custodio-Tan.
Custodio-Tan says the goal is to connect people who can help to those who need it, without getting anyone exposed to the virus. They’ve gotten requests from people needing sanitary wipes, food, meat, and non-perishables. Dozens of people have already reached out to help connect people to resources that the county might already have available or they themselves could help provide.
The organizers behind the group say they’re not trying to reinvent the wheel — they want to spread information and make sure that people who need help can find help from either their neighbors or existing resources.
“We have no intention of trying to claim this work,” said fellow organizer Christina Griffin-Jones. “If you have an organization that has diapers, wipes, and your only challenge is getting those resources to people who need it, we want to connect them to you. We want to be able to show up in the most authentic, efficient and safest way for the people we’re helping.”
The group is holding an information session for volunteers and people that need assistance on Wednesday evening. If people would like to sign up to volunteer or need assistance, they can do so at weallwegotsd.com.