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Toledo's Hispanic/Latino community voices their fears with the state reopening

Sabina Serratos, the executive director for Adelante, says the Hispanic/Latino community is having a hard time accessing all the essentials to protect themselves.

Fear is growing for a large portion of the community concerned over the state opening too soon.

Adelante, which in Spanish means 'to move ahead', is also the name of a Latino community resource center, that says Hispanics may not have the resources to move forward safely.

"Well I feel fear that there will be more people infected because of these reopenings that seem too soon to me," said Irene in Spanish. 

Irene, who wants to be identified as a Toledo Hispanic woman and retiree, says her age puts her in the 'at risk' group for contracting the coronavirus.

Those fears are a growing trend that leaders with Adelante say they are experiencing right now within the 300 hundred families they usually help.

"The communities of color are not equipped yet to take care of themselves. And only because we don't have the access and so that's my fear, that's my concern that we're opening up prematurely," said Sabina Serratos, the executive director with Adelante

Those items include things such as masks, disinfectant and thermometers, which some people can't afford.

Serratos says many clients just don't have access to these items, mostly because the economic hit that has impacted so many who have already lost their jobs.  

She also says a lot of Latinos don't qualify for unemployment or the stimulus check. 

"They prefer to spend money on food rather than on things to disinfect or simply masks or all that," said Irene. 

Serratos believes the lack of supplies can become an issue not just for Latinos, but for all of us.

"With stores opening up, beauty salons, all of that stuff, people are gonna wanna go out and if they don't have these things, the basics to protect themselves. Then it's just gonna add a layer of anxiety to them. Or they're gonna develop a callus feeling of 'I'm just gonna go anyways'," said Serratos. 

Serratos says it could create a domino effect.

This is why Adelante is working on creating care kits for about 100 families while they get back on their feet and wait on more testing.

The kits will include masks, disinfectant and thermometers. 

Meanwhile, Irene plans on staying indoors while she pleads with her community to do the same.

"Think about your kids and protect them. Think about them and for them, try. The fun can wait for better times. For them to try not to gather in crowds. To follow the rules they are telling us to follow," said Irene. 

You can donate to Adelante by going to their website

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