As the coronavirus pandemic produced its devastating effects around the world, a handful of neighbors in Fresno, California, decided to bring hope and love to their neighborhood. The Jackson Neighborhood of Fresno is eight blocks by twelve blocks and includes 923 homes; it sits right on the border of downtown. It’s a neighborhood with a stark dichotomy: it is home to both the wealthiest and the poorest residents of Fresno. Lawyers and federal judges live across alleys from undocumented farm workers and those who are a paycheck away from homelessness.
Yet, despite income inequality and ethnic divisions, the pandemic has acted as an equalizer in Jackson—it’s affected everybody. It’s a common denominator. But as COVID-19 cases rose in Fresno County, so also did domestic violence, crime, and mental health crises. Then, Jackson neighbors began getting sick.