Dear Brooklyn Readers,

I’m happy to share some news of a collective BK Reader has joined called the “Coronavirus Community Solutions” team. 

It is a coalition of everyday residents, community leaders, business owners, principals from Central Brooklyn, all of whom are pooling resources and connections to build a directory of services for residents in need of relief during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The group formed in mid-March, started by Atim Annette Oton, who runs the Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn Facebook Page and Sonya Magett, a busy parent, content creator and concerned citizen. Together, they quickly gathered a team of other residents, activists, principals, doctors to form a collective of Brooklynites interested in establishing a hyperlocal hub for community resources– quick links to address the needs and concerns of Central Brooklyn residents, as we work to stay healthy and manage our lives through this pandemic.

For BK Reader’s part, we’ll be featuring this “living directory” of resources on our site! You’ll find the directories in the menu bar under “Covid-19.” This new category features all of BK Reader’s coronavirus news coverage and the four directories for resources surrounding youth services, small businesses, health and wellness, food and critical supplies.

Some of the very important stories we’ve covered so far include: 

In our directories, for example, under “Youth Services and Education,” we provide a list of online learning aids and websites by grade levels for parents to keep their children’s minds active and engaged during homeschooling; the “Health and Wellness” directory includes a list of SAFETY PROTOCOLS FOR BED STUY COVID19 RESPONSE, and a guide that outlines ways to navigate through a pandemic. 

Image: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

And in our “Business and Employment” section, for example, there’s information on Yelp’s COVID-19 Response and Support for Local Businesses which provides $25 million in relief for independent local restaurant and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees, and free advertising, products and services.

Again, these are “living directories,” meaning they are still growing and will continue to grow throughout the crisis. We will be constantly updating them weekly with new links and information. 

Our goal is to be helpful. So, we’re asking you to do two things:

  1. Use these directories and share them with your neighbors and friends; and
  2. Send any new links or information you think would be helpful to covid19@bkreader.com

And finally, please, join our team! We hold weekly calls during which time we just listen to the community and hear out their concerns: we discuss emerging news; we share new resources;  and answer any questions we can. On the call just this past week, we had a special invited guest from the mayor’s office answering questions around unemployment benefits and rent relief. 

Already, we’re witnessing a positive outgrowth from this devastating crisis: we’re coming together. So many everyday residents are jumping in and volunteering in a variety of ways, donating their time or talent or knowledge or financial resources.

We are learning more and more each day that sometimes the best response and the best form of relief will not always come from our government, but from each other! 

On behalf of the Coronavirus Community Solutions team, thank you, Brooklyn! 

Now, let’s stay sheltered, healthy and united!

Sincerely, 

C. Zawadi Morris, Publisher, BK Reader

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C. Zawadi Morris

C. Zawadi Morris is an award-winning journalist and a Chicago native who moved to Brooklyn in 1997. Ms. Morris holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration (and a minor in Spanish) from...

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