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Vol. 14 No. 2 (2023)

The Power of Community: The Role of Community-Based Organizations in Mitigating COVID-19-Related Impacts on Well-Being Among South Florida's Minoritized Populations

July 12, 2023


The rapid closure of schools and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact in South Florida, highlighting diverse challenges to community well-being. Community-based organizations (CBOs) have served as a source of support for community members, particularly in stressful times. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, and in collaboration with Breakthrough Miami, a CBO committed to addressing the educational opportunity gap in Miami-Dade County, we conducted a study to assess challenges to the well-being of systematically minoritized families during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study included longitudinal survey data collected via ecological momentary assessment and in-depth interviews with Breakthrough Miami families to gather richer and nuanced data regarding indicators of well-being and CBO engagement. Quantitative results indicated that as perceived stress increased over time, so too did emotional and informational support. Follow-up qualitative interviews indicated that 100% of families identified Breakthrough Miami as a source of academic support during the pandemic. Additionally, families cited the important role Breakthrough Miami played beyond their standard academic programs and services in coping with the most significant sources of stress reported through the pandemic: meeting basic needs and threats to socioemotional well-being. Implications for CBOs are addressed.