We at the Regional Response Team are proud of how we have come together in true partnership to address regional need in the time of COVID-19 and beyond. Since March 2020, RRT has raised over $1 million, reached over 200 agencies through the Collaborative Action Network, and partnered with over 250 agencies on coordinated campaigns. Thank you to all of the partner organizations who have made these efforts possible. Check out the Comprehensive Report to learn about all of RRT’s initiatives and partnerships. Click here to read the report.
Response, Support, Learning and Growth Over the Years
When we founded the Regional Response Team (RRT) back in March of 2020 to mobilize against the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic, we had no idea the course the rest of the year would take. The COVID-19 pandemic was set to put stress on all aspects and levels of society, so the region’s response had to be poised to meet this challenge at every level.
Our first meeting was March 20 — three days before the City of St. Louis issued its first stay-at-home order. Over the course of the next few months, the Regional Response Team worked to assemble a collaboration of 80+ nonprofit, philanthropic and governmental partners across the five regional counties — St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, St. Claire County and Madison County — in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We worked with partners to survey the community to identify and address priorities, while working with members to distribute food and PPE to vulnerable groups.
Little did we know the start of the pandemic would only be a single moment in a year of flashpoints that would forever change the way we look at the world.
The murder of George Floyd in early summer ignited protests across the country. At the same time that the pandemic was shining a light on the frailty of our public health systems and the disproportionate effect on Black and Brown communities, these protests highlighted to the general public the prevalence of systemic racism and inequalities throughout the country. Having built up a network of assistance and sense of community through COVID-19 response efforts, the Regional Response Team expanded its mission to providing an equitable pandemic recovery in addition to addressing immediate needs.
By the fall, the region was facing a multitude of challenges: schools restarting, lockdown fatigue largely setting in, the holiday season leading to an uptick of gatherings, and so on. The work the Regional Response Team accomplished over its first six months was in jeopardy of being undone. RRT worked with its members and partners on continued COVID mitigation messaging to urge the region to take steps to stop the spread. We also continued surveying the communities to identify new priorities and pressing issues, such as eviction prevention.
After nearly three years of operation, the Regional Response Team has learned a lot about community needs and priority actions in the face of a crisis — and with the economy recovering and vaccines rolling out, it’s vital that these support systems, infrastructures, lessons learned and relationships stay in place, so that regional leadership will continue to build upon this momentum throughout the region.
With over 200 partners brought together, thousands of units of PPE and medical supplies distributed, millions of dollars raised in local resources, and a mass of invaluable data surveyed and analyzed, the Regional Response Team created a network of service and support for the St. Louis Metropolitan Area and its communities amid the worst public health crisis this country has experienced, and civil unrest and protests for justice unlike we’ve seen in decades.
To become a partner or member of the Regional Response team, reach out to us at info@C19RRT.org.