Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu announced a program on Tuesday that will connect volunteers with homebound older residents to help them cope through the coronavirus pandemic.
Ryu's office is seeking volunteers interested in taking part in the Senior Outreach Program that will put them in touch with seniors in the Fourth Council District through an app managed by Mon Ami.
“We will only get through this crisis by working together and finding creative ways to help our most vulnerable,” Ryu said. “Our seniors are vulnerable not just to COVID-19, but to social isolation and difficulty getting their basic needs. Through our Senior Outreach Program, we are calling seniors across Council District Four directly and connecting them with volunteers who can pick up a prescription, buy groceries, or check in with a friendly conversation.”
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Mon Ami typically coordinates in-person visits to isolated seniors using its smartphone app. With in-person visits on hold during the pandemic, the app has been repurposed to enable volunteers to call isolated seniors for friendly check-ins and to coordinate errand runs for essentials, according to Ryu's office.
The direct outreach program is run in partnership with the LA Works program. Potential volunteers must fill out an online application and go through a background check to participate.
Since launching the first outreach program in partnership with LA Works two weeks ago, Ryu's office said staff and volunteers have sent 11,322 texts and made 1,719 calls to tenants and vulnerable residents across the Hollywood Hills and South San Fernando Valley council district.
People can sign up to volunteer for the outreach program at https://app.monami.io/phone-bank/welcome.