By Rucha Chitnis

When Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida in October 2018, June Barrett, a Black Jamaican home care worker, rushed to take care of their elderly patients in Miami. Barrett, had worked as a care worker for two decades, and knew that the safety of their patients was in their hands. “The generator broke down, and we stayed up all night making sure our clients were safe.”

Barrett is also a grassroots leader at We Dream in Black, a project of National Domestic Workers Alliance and the political home of Black domestic workers in the U.S., and the Miami Workers Center. “When hurricanes hit, we leave our homes and families behind and are asked to shelter in place with our clients,” Barrett says. “Home care workers are often the first responders in a climate emergency, and yet, we rarely get the recognition or resources we deserve for our labor and efforts. As we experienced this past year with COVID, it is care workers who hold up the economy in a crisis.”

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