Middlesex County’s Community Health Team provides door-to-door information about county services

One New Jersey county is sending bilingual workers door to door, offering to help county residents get access to county health and other services.
Officials say that it is all about providing a human touch and a personal experience. They say it is especially important in a time when most are used to pulling out their phones and using links and apps to make appointments or learn about services.
The Community Health Team was out in Perth Amboy this week to break through that digital barrier.
The team members wear yellow vests and go knocking door to door. Resident Miriam Jimenez says that she was happy that they stopped by.
“It’s more informative and more personal,” she says.
Jimenez admits that she is not a fan of the internet. She says she always needs her son to help her log on. And she says that often her calls for questions to local government can be frustrating.
“Half the time when you call you don’t get [anywhere]. It’s ring, ring. Or they put you on hold and it’s over,” she says.
Middlesex County is offering access to services. There is telehealth so that people can speak with a doctor without leaving their home, information on COVID-19 booster shots and testing, rental assistance, food assistance and transportation needs.
Transportation is the one topic that resident Vince Mackiel wants to hear about. He was just returning home from a dermatologist appointment in Freehold. He says he has to take two buses and a train to get there.
“I’m an older guy, so answering the door is part of what I’ve always done,” he says.
And if people are concerned about answering their doors to strangers, county officials say that the Community Health Team will always be wearing yellow vests, and a mask and will have a proper ID so that they can be easily identified. Team members will only be out between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.