Black-presenting individual with mask assists another at a table with a chalkboard that reads "Skyway Resource Center."

Skyway Event Provides Vaccinations, Health Insurance Enrollment, Other Resources

by Elizabeth Turnbull

On Thursday, April 29, and Thursday, May 27, community members in the Skyway and West Hill areas can access COVID-19 vaccine doses, health insurance enrollment help, metro fare aid, and other resources at the Grocery Outlet in Skyway.

While other areas in South Seattle, such as Rainier Beach and Renton, have better access to the COVID-19 vaccine, this event is an effort to increase access for residents living in the Skyway and West Hill areas 

“The community partners in Skyway know what works for their residents and we’re working with them to develop sustainable resources,” said Daphne Pie, health services administrator at Public Health — Seattle and King County. “In recent months as we’ve been working with the Skyway community, we clearly heard that services need to be brought to Skyway.”

The event, held at 11656 68th Avenue South and presented by the Alajawan’s Hands Foundation, is set to offer important resources while also honoring the life of Alajawan Brown, a Skyway resident who was murdered in 2010 at the age of 12. At 6:01 p.m. attendees will honor Brown with a moment of silence.

Vaccine doses will be given via appointments that can be scheduled at 1-800-756-5437, but attendees are not limited to getting vaccines, and organizers encourage anyone who is uninsured, in need of transportation aid with ORCA Lift, pregnant mothers or parents who are looking for food resources from Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and people looking for counseling and community resources to attend.

The Skyway-West Hill area has the highest percentage of African American residents of any community in Washington state, and in 2017, 75% of residents were People of Color. Overall, community organizers are working hard to provide for their communities during a pandemic that has hit People of Color the hardest. 

Various groups are sponsoring the event including Childhaven, Cierra Sisters, Renton Innovation Zone Partnership, African American Health Board, African Americans Reach and Teach Health Ministry, Fire District 20, Harborview Medical Center, Public Health — Seattle and King County, UW Medicine, and Grocery Outlet, and Thursday’s event will offer various resources for community members.

“We’ve heard the feedback from Skyway residents and we’re bringing these services to you,” Pie said. “If you’re uninsured, please come and understand your health insurance options.  Need help eliminating transportation barriers? Find out if you’re eligible for ORCA Lift and get enrolled into insurance. Pregnant and parenting mothers, we have options for you too with the WIC program.”

Elizabeth Turnbull is a journalist with reporting experience in the U.S. and the Middle East. She has a passion for covering human-centric issues and doing so consistently.

📸 Featured Image: A Skyway Resource Center event held Oct, 17, 2020. (Photo: Susan Fried)

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