Sistas Van delivers supplies, service to women in New York
The Black Women’s Blueprint was looking for a way to directly access community members and offer services and items. That idea turned into the Sistas Van which now helps New Yorkers, especially women across the boroughs.
Associate Executive Director Sevonna Brown says they were motivated to help after noticing alarming increases in maternal health issues.
Now, they say they hope their services can counteract that.
“Childbirth education, doulas, midwives, crisis intervention, so we travel with a crisis intervention team that works on trauma and that can also offer counseling on-site,” said Brown.
Every Tuesday, the staff delivers much-needed items that the community asks them for.
"Basic stuff like bottled water, basic things like diapers, pads, tampons, we also offer emergency contraception, we have condoms, we have Plan B," said Brown.
They say there’s a noticeable spike in demand during the coronavirus pandemic and that staff selects each neighborhood they visit through a number of factors.
"We look at where increases in the COVID crisis are but we also look where there are food deserts, where there is food apartheid throughout the community,” said Brown.
The group says it is serving about 1,000 people a week and has even traveled out of state and that now workers want to focus on their own backyard.
“It's really right here at home, right people need things. like yes we want to do national work with the van but we also want to be able to support borough by borough,” said Brown.