DALLAS — The State of Texas is reopening back to 100 percent this week. Meantime, coronavirus outreach and prevention efforts continue across some communities in North Texas.
”We’ve had about 10 people walk in today,” Dallas ISD Community Liaison Derrick Battie said as he discussed the South Oak Cliff High School Community Resources Center.
Administrators, staff and alumni from South Oak Cliff High School have been using the Resource Center to help educate and register residents for the COVID-19 vaccine.
”Here at our resource center, not only are we offering registration for vaccinations, but we also offer food. We’ve offered water. We’ve given away five pallets of water just this past Sunday with an organization called No More Violence. We gave out over 1,200 meals,” Battie said.
The Campus Resource Center began as a partnership with Frito-Lay about a year-and-a-half ago. The mission was to help the school with its homeless students. The coronavirus pandemic is allowing staff to address a greater community need through a variety of services.
”We’re able to see the people come in and say we really want to get this shot,” Battie said.
School and community leaders believe the resources the school is providing are significant.
South Oak Cliff High School sits in the middle of zip code 75216. That ZIP code has been a hot spot for COVID-19 in Dallas County. At least 6,424 cases have been reported from that area during the pandemic, according to data collected by PCCI.
District 3 Councilman Casey Thomas chairs the city’s COVID-19 Task Force. He described the coronavirus cases across 75216 as deadly serious. Thomas said addressing disparities in vulnerable communities, during a health crisis, must be top of mind.
”One of the things that is a stereotype is that people don’t want this vaccine who live in this ZIP code. That is completely untrue," Thomas added.
Proactive measures are a reason why the school’s principal, Willie Johnson, doesn’t want the efforts to stop at the campus.
“I think not only should we get them registered, this should be a site for vaccination. That’s what I’m pushing for,” Johnson explained.
The principal, and members of SOC Alumni Association are urging the City of Dallas to consider the campus as a neighborhood vaccine distribution site, as more doses become available.