SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom announced the “Stay Home – Save Lives – Check In” campaign on Tuesday urging Californians to help combat social isolation and food insecurity among California’s seniors older than 65 – a community that is uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19.
During California’s stay at home order, older Californians may need friends and neighbors to help them obtain basic necessities like groceries and prescriptions.
“The most important way for older Californians to stay safe is to stay at home,” Newsom said. “No older Californian should be forced to go outside to get groceries or their medication. It’s on all of us across the state to check in on the older adults in our lives – our friends, family and neighbors – to help them during this outbreak. Each and every one of us must reach out in a safe way to make sure our older neighbors have someone to talk to and have enough food to eat during these difficult times.”
The campaign urges all Californians to check in on their older neighbors with a call, text or physically distanced door knock to make sure they’re OK. In addition, the state is urging local non-profits and faith-based organizations to call to check in on all of the older Californians in their networks.
The governor also announced the creation of a statewide hotline — 833-544-2374 — in coordination with the non-profit local 2-1-1 systems, so that Californians have a one-stop-shop to answer their questions and get assistance during this crisis. For example, the 2-1-1 system is able to help older Californians access grocery and medication delivery while staying at home.
The state, in partnership with AARP, will also send a mailer to older residents, 65 and older, with useful resources and information to help adapt to the stay at home order.
“Social isolation can be difficult for older Californians even in the best of times,” said Kim McCoy Wade, director of the California Department of Aging. “We have to help aging Californians feel connected – and we must ensure we all have access to any needed services right now. This work will save lives.”
The campaign builds on existing efforts by California Volunteers and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) to help older Californians and those who need food assistance.
California Volunteers has launched their Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign, which calls on neighbors to be the first line of support for California’s most vulnerable residents who have been advised to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign is focused on older adults and promotes ways to safely check on your neighbors, family and friends.
To make the most vulnerable Californians more resilient to disasters, Listos California has pivoted to helping these communities stay safe during the pandemic. Leading the charge statewide are Community Emergency Response Teams comprised of volunteers with at least 20 hours of FEMA preparedness training.
These teams are conducting welfare checks on seniors, as well as distributing essential food and supplies in Sacramento, San Diego, San Bernardino, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Napa counties to help them through the pandemic.
Listos California has also partnered with trusted community-based organizations across the state and programs like Meals on Wheels and other local senior-serving non-profits to deliver services and preparedness resources.