COVID-19 Response and Recovery

The 4 R's of COVID-19 Recovery

An Equitable Recovery for the Bay Area

Some have referred to COVID-19 as the great equalizer because viruses don’t discriminate. But while viruses don’t discriminate, people and policies can and do. In the few short months that COVID has disrupted our nation, more people have died from COVID than have died in the Vietnam, Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars; the S&P 500 plummeted from an all-time high; thousands of businesses have closed; and unemployment—particularly among low income workers—has skyrocketed to a level not seen since the Great Depression.

The cost of this outbreak has been disproportionately borne by communities of color. Black and brown workers make up the majority of essential personnel, and are more likely to be locked into expensive, unstable housing thanks to exclusionary rental and lending practices. This has left a significant percentage of the country unable to shelter in place, forced to continue working and risking infection and transmission lest their landlords evict them for missing rent. Unhoused Americans and imprisoned people, who are also disproportionately people of color, are likewise unable to self-quarantine, and are further deprived of access to sanitation, family, and resources as the rest of society shuts down.

This dare not become, and should not be, the future’s new normal. Now, more than ever, public health must rise together to leverage their present power to correct the injustices of the past, and create a future that is equitable and just.

What is a Rolling Recovery?

Public health professionals have warned that the COVID-19 Pandemic and the accompanying financial strains of a recession will require an agile response. COVID-19 response and recovery are occurring simultaneously. This plan is designed to use early warning indications from its core team, BARHII and Rise Together members, and real time data to adjust our recovery strategy. The documents below highlight pivot points of change in the recovery process that we are anticipating to ensure needs responsiveness over the next 18-24 months. Equity needs to happen in the decision-making process, not just the outcomes.

Core Team

BARHII has invited a core team of partners to serve as the “Early warning system” of needs related to recovery and to identify leverage points to advance platform priorities. If you are interested in joining this core team, please contact Melissa Jones at

Over the past several months, BARHII/Rise Together has been working diligently to compile resources and respond to the COVID-19 crisis. We greatly appreciate the hard work of our members and partners during this time and want to make the resources we’ve compiled from that work available to better work toward a comprehensive public health and economic response.


Efforts to respond to COVID-19 are increasing rapidly in the Bay Area, and it’s critical to protect housing equity and economic stability for families in that response. Not only can housing insecurity disrupt a family's ability to shelter in place and practice social distancing, but it forces unhealthy trade-offs between paying for housing and investing in medical care, nutrition, and other basic needs. The lack of certainty and threat to financial stability can lead to mental health impacts including higher rates of depression and other impacts to overall health.


Below, please find resources compiled over the last several months of BARHII events and trainings. This page will be updated with additional resources as they become available.

This updating document identifies opportunities to provide immediate relief to families and small businesses during the pandemic and bolster longstanding equity and resilience efforts.

This brief outlines the physical and mental health benefits of open space and explores the equity implications of the significant decrease in recreational space across the region.

This document features model language detailing how housing stability is essential to protect the health of Bay Area residents during the pandemic.

This document provides key recommendations and resources from our April 8th webinar on mental health needs and resources for vulnerable communities in light of COVID-19.

This document provides sample regional and statewide response efforts to COVID-19 that may serve as models for enacting similar ordinances and strategic plans.

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Messaging Resources

Shaping the News

The media has reported on some of our recent victories, including the adoption of eviction moratoria in Contra CostaAlameda, and Solano counties. We've also assisted partners to craft compelling op-eds and other media materials, including the following:

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March 20th General Membership Meeting - Health Equity and Economic Opportunity Responses to COVID-19

April 17th General Membership Meeting - Eviction Moratoria, Health Equity, Economic Stability, and Impacts on Immigrant Communities During COVID-19

May 15th General Membership Meeting - Reversing Racial Disparities in COVID-19

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As we continue to respond to this crisis, it’s important that we’re able to provide you the resources and support you need for your own response. Our team is available to provide technical assistance, including help in gathering information and developing op-eds.


Please reach out to Melanie Newcomb at with any questions or requests.

Copyright © 2020 BARHII

Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII)

555 12th St., 5th Floor

Oakland, CA 94607