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Group sets up hotline during coronavirus to helps underserved DC neighborhoods

The D.C. Mutual Aid Network helps to create a rapid response to some of their community's most pressing needs during the coronavirus outbreak.

WASHINGTON — A group of volunteers is banding together to help people in some of D.C.'s most underserved communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Samantha Davis founded the Black Swan Academy. 

She said she asked herself, "How are people going to eat? How can people get health care? How are people going to get to work?"

Davis desperately worked to find answers to her questions the moment the coronavirus hit D.C.

She said local governments across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia are all doing something to address people’s concerns.

"However, it's never enough," Davis told WUSA9. "That's the role that I play along with other organizers and community folk throughout the city."

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A coalition of organizations and community members launched a hotline as a part of the D.C. Mutual Aid Network to help create a rapid response to some of their neighbors’ most pressing needs.

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"Recognizing that not everyone has access to grocery stores, not everyone has access to transportation and not everyone can even leave their house," Davis explained.

The group is operating citywide and in parts of Prince George's County but is primarily focused on those living in Wards 7 and 8.

Those communities East of the Anacostia River are areas where money, food, and resources are not always easy to come by.

The D.C. Mutual Aid Network has stations set up throughout neighborhoods and schools East of the Anacostia River where people in need can get food, toiletries, and hand sanitizer.

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There are also volunteers who will deliver items if people are not able to leave their homes or pick people up who do not have transportation.

"We rely on each other. If we share resources, if we're building relationships with one another, then that is how we're going to survive this," Davis said. "It is how we're going to keep each other safe."

If you need assistance, the D.C. Mutual Aid Network hotline number is 202-630-0336.

The Black Swan Academy is hosting drop-in stations outside of a few D.C. schools the weeks of March 16 and March 27.

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