Actor Sean Penn's Nonprofit Partners with LA, LAFD to Provide Free COVID-19 Testing


The city of Los Angeles continues to build up its partnership with nonprofits and others amid the coronavirus pandemic.

To that end, actor Sean Penn joined the LA Mayor during a daily briefing to the public Thursday.

Penn is the founder of Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), a global non-profit organization. His nonprofit has partnered with the Mayor's office and the LAFD to provide free, drive through testing for COVID-19 for high-risk people. There have been 70 staff helping run four of the city's different testing sites.

"That's to ensure the sites can operate and frees up valuable LAFD firefighters and paramedics to focus on their emergency response work," Garcetti said. "I'm so grateful that you are here, you have saved lives in the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast, and Puerto Rico and Haiti and now to do it here in your background, it means the world."

Penn said he wanted to thank the staff and volunteers that CORE in its partnership with the Mayor's office and the LAFD to help the community.

"This is a very unique situation for us, we started after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti we got our sea legs in the devastating cholera epidemic in Haiti and when we started to expand out into the Hurricane belt of the United States, and through all of those..." he said. 

He praised the Mayor's office and the LAFD.

"With their faith, we are able to mobilize very quickly, with their faith and their training," Penn said. "This is what I hope will be a model in terms of the governance and NGO community foundation partnerships that can be replicated not only in the city of Los Angeles and throughout California but throughout the country. And it's going to be part of our job to take lessons learned from the Mayor's Office and Los Angeles Fire Department and be able to elevate that message beyond." 

Penn added the nonprofit does operate on donations and the link to donate is

LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said when CORE first arrived on the scene the department was blown away by its professionalism and service and dedication.

Tune in tonight at 5:15pm PST for a remote press briefing on Los Angeles' response to the #COVID19 pandemic with Mayor Eric Garcetti @mayorofla, #LAFD Chief Ralph Terrzazas Program Director in the College of Medicine, Dr. Cynthia Davis, MPH, and CORE founder, #SeanPenn

— CORE (@CoreResponse) April 16, 2020

Earlier this month, CORE  partnered with the city of Malibu to provide free, COVID-19 testing in a drive-through setting at the City Hall for first responders, essential workers and the greater Malibu public. The testing service is carried out by COVID Clinic, a local partner organization of CORE.