DALLAS — As residents across North Texas continue seeking doses of the monkeypox vaccine, there are some community groups working to take their public health and advocacy efforts a step further.
“We make sure that we are providing these services in the heart of where people are located,” said Kirk Myers-Hill, CEO of Abounding Prosperity, Incorporated in South Dallas.
Abounding Prosperity, Inc. and H.O.P.E. Health & Wellness Center announced on Wednesday efforts to establish a Monkeypox Relief Assistance Fund. The proceeds will provide emergency financial assistance and resources to Dallas County residents recovering from the monkeypox virus.
“Most of them don’t have the 21 days to be off work. We’ve actually had clients who’ve said, hey, I can’t take off work. And we’ve had to educate them around it,” Myers-Hill explained.
Abounding Prosperity, Inc. and H.O.P.E. Health are among some of the first community-based clinics in Dallas County to offer the monkeypox vaccine. Myers-Hill said it was about equity and reducing stigma.
However, even with doses being offered daily, staff said enough people aren’t getting the medicine.
“With monkeypox, people have to isolate anywhere from three to four weeks,” Dallas Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Omar Narvaez explained.
The most recent data from Dallas County Health and Human Services shows 689 residents have confirmed monkeypox cases. The majority of them are men ages 30 to 39. The largest number of reported cases, by race, are among Black and Hispanic groups.
“This community is constantly being bombarded, so we are definitely paying attention to how we can be more responsive,” Myers-Hill added.
The Monkeypox Relief Fund will help support recovering residents with hot meals, rent and bill assistance, prevention kits, cleaning supplies, and mental health resources among other things.
Atmos Energy helped the effort with a $2,500 donation.
Abounding Prosperity, Inc. is urging other community members to consider donating to the Monkeypox Relief Assistance Fund by visiting an online fundraising page.