NBT’s Community Outreach Team Drives Engagement and Impact

This year, New Brunswick Tomorrow’s (NBT) Community Outreach Team added nine new members to lead engagement efforts, citywide.

The Community Outreach Team drives outreach and canvassing efforts; provides education and training; and, supports residents by navigating a myriad of services and resources available to them. Throughout the month of January, the new members of the team were trained on effective outreach strategies, advocacy, cultural competency, and equipped with the knowledge to share in the community.

Building trust in the community is critical to their success so, after their training, the Outreach Team began with door-knocking campaigns in the different neighborhoods to start building a rapport with residents.  Alongside long-time participants from the Esperanza Project and our Community Health Ambassadors, the Outreach Team set about introducing themselves and NBT’s various health, youth, and neighborhood programs; such as, the new down payment assistance program.

COVID-19 still remains a stressor for many families with its presence and impact felt by many in New Brunswick. Thus, providing education and information on safety measures and vaccines is a priority for the Community Outreach Team. Moreover, they share local vaccine resources, answer questions, and dispel any myths and misinformation that residents may have heard. Yadira Garcia’s story is evidence of how the Outreach Team helped inform her decision to get vaccinated. And, she is not alone. The impact of the Outreach Team is seen on a large scale by the strong participation at recent vaccination clinics. The Redshaw Elementary School Vaccine Clinic on February 12, organized by New Brunswick Public Schools, NJ Black Women Physician Association, and NBT, resulted in 237 people being vaccinated with first, second, and booster shots. And on February 16th, the clinic at Sacred Heart Church, organized by the Holy Family Parish, NJ Department of Health, and NBT, resulted in 67 people vaccinated. In addition to the outreach provided for the vaccine clinics, the Outreach Team also helped facilitate the clinics with registrations, crowd control, and general Q&A. 

In the short amount of time since the team has grown, thanks to funding from the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the impact of the current outreach campaigns has matched that growth. We look forward to seeing the continued development of this team. If you see one of our Community Ambassadors out in the neighborhood, reach out and say hello!

March 1, 2022

Contributors to this post

Below are some additional team members who contributed to this blog post:

Manuel Castaneda is Director of Community Health for New Brunswick Tomorrow. You can learn more about him here. Stay updated on Manny's work for New Brunswick on Twitter.