Madras vaccination clinic doubles as block party and resource fair

To improve access to vaccines and community resources, Thrive Central Oregon, Jefferson County Public Health and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) recently held a Fiesta del Barrio – Community Block Party and Resource Fair – at an affordable housing property in Madras where many agricultural workers and their families live.

Thrive Central Oregon staffer Abigail Fate at the Madras Community Block Party and Resource Fair

The clinic, open to the greater Madras community, offered vaccinations for COVID-19 and the flu. It also had a festive atmosphere complete with free tacos and horchata, a deejay and a piñata. Members of the Latino Community Association and the Oregon Child Development Coalition were on hand to support community members and help distribute food boxes. “We appreciated being able to work with local businesses and organizations that helped make this event such a success,” said Sarah Mahnke, executive director of Thrive Central Oregon.

Earlier in the fall, Thrive joined forces with La Pine Veterans Outreach to offer a vaccination clinic at their resource fair. It was so popular, Thrive decided to create more opportunities to build community while helping people protect themselves from COVID-19 and the flu.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to bring vaccine information and resources to those we already have relationships with throughout Central Oregon,” said Mahnke. “These events give us another opportunity to meet with folks face-to-face, providing them with the resources and care – vaccinations! – they are seeking.”

Thrive was founded in 2015 and is based on the Social Worker in the Library model. This model allows Thrive to offer and promote their housing and resource services in public spaces – libraries, medical, housing and meal sites – to enable connection and hands-on assistance to those seeking stable housing, health care, employment and basic needs such as laundry, clothing, furniture and pet care. Thrive also provides support to those with disabilities and works with veterans to identify veteran-specific supports and services.

During the last fiscal year, Thrive met with 2,867 single adults and families in the communities they serve. They connected people with 6,723 applications, agencies, programs and resources to meet their needs.

Learn more about Thrive Central Oregon.