When COVID first hit the Twin Cities, Catholic Charites had to work quickly to ensure that our critical services could continue to feed and shelter the most vulnerable in our community. Jessica-Hancock Allen who at the time was leading our Recuperative Care team at Higher Ground Saint Paul brought a background as an epidemiologist for the CDC. Together with our frontline staff and directors, we quickly changed operations and established screening guidelines to prevent any major outbreaks in our sites.
We caught up with Jessica right before she left for maternity leave in September to talk about another concerning trend: the disparate effects COVID was having on populations of color and people living in poverty. As we now look at vaccine distribution and long-term effects of COVID, her insight and expertise is critical to ensuring we create a new community that serves all of us.