COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Initiative: Focused grassroots outreach

A local team of trained community residents are helping increase trust in the vaccine, awareness of how, when and where to get a vaccine, and improve vaccine access by gathering information from community members through one-to-one conversations and providing referrals to vaccine services.

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This initiative aims to help increase trust in vaccine safety and efficacy; increase awareness of how, when and where to get a vaccine; and improve vaccine access. Teams work with trusted community leaders to deliver tailored messages and materials through door-to-door canvassing, traditional and social media, business walks, visibility events, and culturally and linguistically adapted education materials.

ASG, HCFA and 33 community organizations receive funding under this component of the Vaccine Equity Initiative from April 2021 through September 2021. A total of 284 locally-hired staff and individuals from these community organizations work in partnership to implement hyper-local grassroots efforts in all 20 priority communities. Some of these organizations work across multiple communities, and some may be funded under more than one component of the Vaccine Equity Initiative. See below for details about the organizations.

Specific efforts

Activity Type Completed Week Ending September 26th Cumulative Since Activities Began
Number of Doors Knocked 24,539 889,572
Number of Phone Calls Made 4,219 199,606
Number of One-On-One Conversations 5,622 258,480
% of conversations with unvaccinated  19.0% 40.8%
Number of Visibility & Outreach Events 162 4,102
Number of Materials Disseminated 7,070 166,449

The initiative provides the following services to prioritized communities:

  • Door-to-door canvassing by local residents hired as outreach workers to gather information about vaccine hesitancy and access barriers, dispel myths, and facilitate access to services; over 250 organizers hired
  • Conduct events like information booths and standouts in high traffic locations to gather information about vaccine hesitancy and access barriers, dispel myths, and facilitate access to services. These are called visibility events.
  • Promote vaccine clinics in the municipalities and support people to get to those clinics.
  • Support online town halls and community forums by advertising events and providing simultaneous translation in multiple languages
  • Develop content for earned and paid media on traditional and social media outlets that promotes vaccine uptake, dispels myths and provides information about access, with a special focus on local media and ethnic media
  • Engage community leaders and influencers for media content development
  • Develop linguistically and culturally appropriate education materials
  • Phone-banking and SMS texting
Amount $4.7M
Led by Archipelago Strategies Group (ASG) and Health Care for All (HCFA)
Timing Grass roots outreach efforts will take place from April 5th until June 30th
Communities reached by ASG Boston (Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale, East Boston, Jamaica Plain) Chelsea, Everett, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Methuen, Revere, Springfield, Worcester
Communities reached by HCFA Boston (Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, South End) Brockton, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Leominster, Malden, New Bedford, Randolph

Local Community Partners

Archipelago Strategies Group (ASG) holds the $4.7 million contract to conduct a variety of activities in the 20 equity communities and provides focused support to 11 of them. Health Care for All (HCFA) does so for 8 communities. Both organizations share Boston.

ASG and HCFA conduct grassroots outreach efforts which leverage local residents and community-based organizations as trusted voices to increase acceptance and access to the vaccine. The equity initiative activities are consistent across all 20 communities. When it comes to the hyper-local grassroots outreach, ASG and HCFA conduct these services with slight variations in how this is carried out across the 20 communities.

In addition to hiring or contracting with individual residents, ASG provides funding to 9 organizations across 4 communities for a total of $471,054. HCFA provides funding to 24 organizations across 9 communities for a total of $320,000.

ASG grassroots outreach

Communities: ASG works in Boston (Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale, East Boston, Jamaica Plain), Chelsea, Everett, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Methuen, Revere, Springfield and Worcester.

Staffing: ASG uses both ASG staff and community resident contractors for grassroots outreach (neighborhood and business canvassing) in 8 communities. ASG uses community-based organizations as sub-contractors to conduct outreach activities in 4 communities. In Springfield ASG is both using staff/contracts and sub-contracted CBOs for grassroots outreach.

Funding determination: Funding and staffing level are based on population and geographic size which determine the number of team members and hours needed to reach appropriate numbers of community members. CBO funding: 8 organizations across 4 communities, $522,977.

ASG funded organizations

Community Organization Amount
Chelsea Chelsea Collaborative $58,305
Chelsea Green Roots $53,906
Revere Women Encouraging Empowerment $111,437
Springfield Church of God in Christ (COGIC) $81,506
Springfield Springfield Black COVID Coalition $51,923
Worcester Latino Education Institute $49,463
Worcester Southeast Asian Coalition $53,044
Worcester Worcester Interfaith $63,394

HCFA grassroots outreach

Communities: Boston (Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, South End), Brockton, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Leominster, Malden, New Bedford, Randolph

Staffing: HCFA uses both its staff and resident contractors to conduct neighborhood and business canvassing. HCFA is providing stipends to organizations to conduct in-person and virtual education events in all their communities. HCFA also encourages funded CBOs to support vaccination clinics as needed.

Funding determination: Funding for CBOs is based on a budget of $320,000. Each organization received $12,000 if serving a single community. Organizations received $10,000 per community served if serving more than one community. Included in that figure are 3 CBOs that serve people with disabilities (Boston Center for Independent Living; Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired; The Learning Center for the Deaf). Those CBOs each receive $12,000 and work across the HCFA communities. They provide Visibility Events, Business Canvassing, and Clinic Support for people with disabilities. CBO funding: 24 organizations across 9 communities, $320,000.

HCFA funded organizations:

Community Organization Amount
Boston African Community Economic Development of New England $12,000
Boston & Brockton Authentic Caribbean Foundation $20,000
Disability Groups Boston Center for Independent Living $12,000
Framingham Brazilian American Center $12,000
Brockton Cape Verdean Association of Brockton $12,000
Leominster Catholic Charities $12,000
New Bedford Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores $12,000
New Bedford Community Economic Development Center $12,000
Malden Everett Haitian Community Center $12,000
Fall River Family Service Association $12,000
Framingham Greater Framingham Community Church $12,000
Malden Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition $12,000
Fall River & New Bedford Immigrant Assistance Center $20,000
Fitchburg Making Opportunity Count $12,000
Disability Groups Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired $12,000
Randolph Motivation Church $12,000
Fitchburg & Leominster NewVue Communities $20,000
Framingham Pelham Lifelong Learning Center $12,000
Randolph Quincy Asian Resources $12,000
Fall River SER – Jobs for Progress  
Leominster Spanish American Center $12,000
Brockton The Brockton Workers Alliance $12,000
Disability Groups The Learning Center for the Deaf $12,000
Boston & Randolph True Alliance Center $20,000
Boston Vietnamese American Initiative for Development $12,000