The nonprofit Sisters of Watts is made up of four sisters who’ve lived in Watts nearly their entire lives.
For the past five years, they’ve been serving the residents of that neighborhood, handing out free backpacks to kids and meals to senior citizens, giving haircuts to unhoused people, and more recently, helping people get vaccinated.
The organization has also been working with the city’s mobile vaccination unit to find local unvaccinated residents and convince them to show up.
“Some of them was worried listening to the news, listening to other people talk that did not get the vaccine,” says Robin Daniels, the co-founder and CEO of Sisters of Watts.
She received the vaccine in April, and says it helps persuade people when she talks about her own positive experience.
The LA Public Health Department reports that 51% of people in Watts have been vaccinated, which is a lower rate than nearby South Gate and Florence, and substantially lower than wealthier parts of LA.
While some people predict communities like Watts have hit their plateau when it comes to vaccination rates, Daniels says her organization is continuing to educate hesitant people and make the process more accessible.
“We’re still letting people know,” she says. “We had a big Juneteenth event, and we had someone out there doing vaccinations, and our local park is doing one right now, so we’re sending people over there.”