Residents of Apalachicola have been struggling prior to the pandemic from hurricanes, the oil spill, Georgia/Florida water wars, and over harvesting of the Apalachicola oysters. Without having time to recover from a single issue, the residents endure hardship after hardship. Now with the pandemic to tackle, residents must find a new normal. With the unfortunate tasks of finding basic necessities like affordable housing, safe reliable jobs, child care, and food---mutual aid and having access to resources has been one of the keys to keeping people afloat.
Our main concern:
How do we go about getting mutual aid and resources to a small rural seafood town in the mist of a pandemic. How do we help make sure basic needs are met when the poor are already struggling and then have new hurdles to tackle.
Obstacles and supporting information:
As someone who has needed mutual aid this year, most of the obstacles are those that I have personally faced both as someone who has received mutual aid and as well as someone who has helped to give mutual aid.
- Out-dated resources
- Lack of funding
- Barriers getting the resources to the need
- Not having enough capacity to support the need
- Giving resources without actually addressing the issue
Right now there are lots of mutual aid resources that are outdated or that no longer have the funding or capacity, how do we update these resources to ensure the residents have up-to-date information and don't enter roadblocks as they look for the resources they need.
After creating my own mutual aid guide I realized many folks that need this information the most may not have access to it. This could be because they don't have the technology needed to view the guide and also because they don't know what mutual aid is and don't know where they can go to safely ask for help.
Who is engaged in this concern?
Here is additional information on mutual aid including some history on mutual aid and other resource guides and organizers who have started this type of work that can be used as a starting point:
What are the initial questions?
How do we get mutual aid resources to the community?
How do we make sure the list of resources are not out-dated?
What community groups need to be a part of this effort?
How can mutual aid and funding from the government/public assistance go hand in hand?