A team of volunteers including students at the University of Georgia has created a global COVID-19 Community Resource Map designed to help people find essential services that may help ease the burden created by the coronavirus pandemic.
The online map pinpoints the locations of testing sites, meal relief, unemployment support, homeless shelters and community networks throughout the U.S. It was created by GroundBreakers, a global network of community leaders operating in 51 countries with an emphasis on local, grassroots efforts. GroundBreakers was co-founded in 2017 by Sebastian de Beurs and UGA alumna Rara Reines.
“Whether you are an elementary school student in need of meal relief or a recently unemployed adult, we want to increase awareness of the resources that are available,” said Reines.
GroundBreakers volunteers began work on the project in March with core teams of students from UGA and the University of Texas at Austin leading the development of the map.
Within the first three weeks of the effort, volunteers mapped more than 12,000 resources in the U.S.
“We saw community efforts popping up around the country, and they seemed very disconnected,” said Reines. “Our goal was to make these services as visible and accessible as possible.”
The resource map is now being used and shared by thousands of community leaders nationwide in their response efforts to COVID-19, and volunteers continue to update the map as they learn of new resources. The map has recently been featured by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and on the Vital Voices of Resilience podcast series.
“A simple click on the map’s ‘Find My Location’ button directs users to the resources available in their communities,” said Christopher Rosselot, a UGA student volunteer who joined shortly after his university classes moved online.
Volunteers for GroundBreakers are calling on Georgians and people nationwide to add their resources to the map and support the effort.
“If you are aware of or leading coronavirus response resources, please share that location so the effort can aid those in need,” said Reines.
The team is also expanding efforts to include interactive resource maps in Europe, Latin America and Africa.
The map is available online at bit.ly/COVID19resourcemapping