BOSTON BLACK COVID-19 COALITION - 1st Press Conference

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Read article by JOE DWINELL | joed@bostonherald.com | Boston

Boston Herald Coverage on Boston Black COVID-19 Coalition

Boston’s black community has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with a staggering 39% of the known COVID-19 cases in the city traced back to African Americans, health statistics show. Read more HERE

IN THE NEWS

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BEJI AWARDED BOSTON RESILIENCY FUNDING

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$3 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL GRANTS AWARDED THROUGH BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND


April 9, 2020

PUBLISHED BY:

MAYOR'S OFFICE

The Boston Resiliency Fund already distributed $5.4 million in emergency grants to eight organizations on March 25, 2020.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Resiliency Fund Steering Committee today announced the distribution of an additional $3 million in funds to support 29 organizations that provide essential services to front-line workers, health care providers and Boston families whose wellbeing is most immediately impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Boston Resiliency Fund already distributed $5.4 million in emergency grants to eight organizations on March 25, 2020.

"We are in the midst of a crisis that we haven't seen in our lifetimes. Many people are out of work, and many are dealing with illness in themselves or their family," said Mayor Walsh. "During this stressful time, people should not have to worry about accessing food and meeting their basic needs, and organizations should not have to worry about their ability to keep serving their communities. I am incredibly proud and thankful for everyone's generosity as we come together to support one another. We are confident these contributions will expand our capacity to move things forward together, using every available tool to help our most vulnerable residents."

The three initial priorities for the Boston Resiliency Fund are: ensuring Boston's children, families and seniors have access to food; supporting first responders, front-line workers, and health care workers to promote public health, and providing technology to Boston students for remote learning.

Since its creation on March 16, 2020, the Boston Resiliency Fund has raised over $22 million. The Fund will continue accepting donations from individuals, organizations and philanthropic partners who wish to contribute and offer their support, and 100 percent of donations will be awarded to local organizations, with the majority of future grants to be made throughout April and May. Organizations are encouraged to complete a statement of interest to be considered for future grants.

Today, 29 organizations will receive grants to expand their capacity or adjust their service model to meet the immediate needs of Boston residents during this public health emergency, targeting $1.8 million towards access to food and other basic needs and $1.2 million towards Boston's front-line workers and health care systems. 41 percent of the organizations receiving grants today are led by a person of color and 79 percent are women-led organizations.

"The YMCA of Greater Boston is moved beyond words by the Resiliency Fund's support of our work, and we thank those who made these critical funds available," said James Morton, President & CEO of YMCA of Greater Boston. "The Resiliency Fund is a perfect example of our community coming together, in a time of grave uncertainty and immense need, to make certain that no child or senior goes hungry and that we are providing care for the children of essential workers - to whom we are so deeply indebted. The YMCA's decision to feed children and provide emergency child care came at great risk to our resilience; however, we are uplifted by the Fund's support. We will continue to work, with our many partners, in service to others and will do so with greater confidence thanks to the Fund. On behalf of those we serve, we offer our deepest gratitude."

"On behalf of the Boston Immigrant Covid-19 Collaborative, a partnership of 11, diverse immigrant support groups, we are deeply grateful to the Boston Resiliency Fund for providing this emergency relief to our Boston immigrant neighbors," said Patricia Sobalvarro (Agencia ALPHA), Natalicia Tracy (Braziian Worker Center) and Ronnie Millar (Rian Immigrant Center). "Immigrants are especially vulnerable during this crisis as they work in frontline jobs in health care, food services, retail, tourism, construction, house cleaning, and many have lost their jobs, and income. Many are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits, or federal relief, and need immediate support to pay for basic needs. We are fully committed to making sure they have immediate access to this support."

The grants range in size and will be awarded to the following organizations:

  • Black      Economic Justice Institute has already distributed      $20,000 in grocery gift cards to those in need. This grant will help      continue that work.
  • Black      Men's Engagement Network Foundation has helped      facilitate support for hundreds of people in Dorchester through      coordinating phone banking efforts. This grant will be used to help      deliver food, gas cards, and gift cards to additional residents in      need. 
  • Boston      Cares mobilizes and trains individual and corporate      volunteers who strengthen communities and improve the lives of people in      need. This grant will support volunteer recruitment and management for      food access and distribution at Boston Public Schools meal sites.
  • Boston Immigrants COVID-19 Collaborative brings      together 11 immigrant-serving organizations to provide direct emergency relief      and culturally competent food to over 1,200 families. Partners      include: Rian Immigrant Center (fiscal      sponsor), Agencia ALPHA, Boston      Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Brazilian      Worker Center, Centro      Presente, Immigrant      Family Services Institute, Dudley      Street Neighborhood Initiative, Center      for Collaborative Education (BINcA), Caribbean      Youth Club, Sociedad Latina, and  ICNA      Relief. 
  • Bridge      Over Troubled Waters is expanding capacity to      effectively and safely provide food, shelter, housing, physical and mental      health care, and safety to individuals experiencing homelessness during      the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Building      Audacity delivers breakfasts and lunches to Boston      residents each week. This grant will help provide additional groceries and      meals for families in need.
  • Cape Verdean Association of Boston provides      food from local restaurants, toiletries and essential needs to low-income      immigrant families and seniors. This grant will help continue that      work. 
  • Casa      Myrna provides direct support for food, medical      supplies, and emergency housing for survivors of domestic violence, and      members of their household. Domestic violence survivors forced to remain      with abusers due to the virus are at increased risk and need additional      supports. 


  

$3 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL GRANTS AWARDED THROUGH BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND CONTINUED





  • Catholic      Charities of Boston has two food pantries that      serve 180 to 200 people daily and provide food bags for partners to      distribute to clients. This grant will help provide food, emergency      essential supplies and food pantry program supplies.
  • Catie's      Closet provides access to basic necessities, such as      toiletries and feminine products, to students and families in      collaboration with Boston Public Schools' meal sites. 
  • Chinese      Progressive Association will work with partners to      staff City meal sites and deliver food straight to the homes of families      in need. Staffing efforts will be focused on residents who have been laid      off because of COVID-19 and who represent the diverse languages and      cultures of Boston. In addition, this grant will support the Asian      Community Relief Fund, launched in partnership with the Asian Community      Development Corporation, AAARW, GBLS Asian Outreach Unit and VietAID.
  • City      Mission will utilize this grant to      increase food security for low-income single mothers in Boston through the      purchase of gift cards.
  • CommonWealth      Kitchen will meet the growing need for prepared foods for      seniors, low-income families, and other frontline workers by engaging      member businesses to help with meal production and distribution. 
  • Dominican      Development Center will use this grant to      provide essential needs to domestic workers and immigrant mothers in need      of food and other supplies. 
  • East      Boston Neighborhood Health Center provides      COVID-19 testing services for first responders at a drive-through clinic      at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, in coordination with the City, State and      EMS agencies. This grant will support the staffing and supplies needed to      operate the testing site. 
  • Emergency Child Care Program Relief (Boston      Opportunity Agenda) will      support current family child care and center-based emergency child care      providers for essential workers. This grant will help close the gap      between state funding and operational costs to ensure the continuity of      emergency child care operations through May 4th. Partners include: 20      family child care programs, 9 YMCA programs, Whittier      Street Health Center, Nurtury and Wee Care JP. EMS Wellness Screening Automated Texting Tool      (LivableStreets Alliance) will allow central EMS staff      to connect, interact with and monitor the health of front-line EMS staff      through a new mobile automated texting tool. 
  • Elizabeth      Stone House will provide food, medicine      and hygiene products to low-income and/or homeless domestic violence      survivors, who are unable to openly travel to established food pick-up      sites.
  • Heading      Home currently serves over 500 households through      shelter and housing programs. This grant will provide food, water, baby      formula and the logistics support needed to deliver to Heading Home's      Boston families.
  • International      Institute of New England will provide Boston      refugees, unaccompanied minors, and undocumented immigrants in their care      with emergency food. 
  • John      F. Kennedy Family Service Center will      provide low-income families and seniors in Charlestown with additional      needed emergency food relief.
  • Lovin'      Spoonfuls rescues food from grocery      stores and produce wholesalers and delivers it directly to over 60      Boston-based nonprofit partners each week. This grant will rescue      approximately 120,000 lbs of food, creating more than 96,000 meals over      the next month.
  • Massachusetts      Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is      continuing to deliver services via telehealth to its clients, including      teen parents, grandparents raising grandchildren, and children with      behavioral health needs. This grant will support the purchase of food,      diapers, formula, and medicine.
  • Off      Their Plate collaborates with Boston      restaurant owners to restore food industry jobs while safely preparing and      delivering meals to Boston hospitals and health care facilities.
  • Smart      from the Start provides home deliveries of      food and supplies and are currently delivering over 300 meals per week.      This grant will help provide additional home deliveries of food and      emergency care packages.
  • Vietnamese      American Initiative for Development (VietAID) provides      meal packages and hot meal delivery to older adults and families in      Dorchester. This grant will help expand the capacity to additional      households in need.
  • Women's      Lunch Place will provide boxed breakfast      and lunch for take-out, COVID-19 educational materials, toiletries, and      feminine products for women experiencing homelessness. 
  • WORK      Inc. operates a Family Support Center for individuals      with developmental disabilities and their families. This grant will      support the delivery of food, toiletries and supplies to the families at      the center.
  • YMCA      of Greater Boston strives to meet the needs of      low-income Boston families through the activation of food sites and      emergency child care centers throughout the city.This grant will support      additional staffing costs, food supplies, and meal delivery. Since its formation, the Fund has raised more than $22 million from over 2,800 individual donors, with commitments of $1 million or above from Berkshire Partners, Michelle and Bob Atchinson, Bain Capital, Bank of America, Paul and Sandy Edgerly, John & Cyndy Fish / Suffolk, Gross Family Foundation, John Hancock, Liberty Mutual, Partners HealthCare, and the Vertex Foundation. Over 70 percent of donors to the Boston Resiliency Fund have contributed under $100.

A Steering Committee was established after the Fund's formation to provide direct oversight and funding recommendations based on statement of interests received. The three-member committee includes Jack Connors, Jr., Anne Klibanski, MD, President and CEO of Partners HealthCare, and Jeffrey Leiden, MD, PhD, Executive Chairman of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Goodwin Law serves as pro bono legal counsel to the Fund. The review committee, which reviews applications and provides recommendations to the Steering Committee, is composed of more than 25 representatives from City departments.

"We know that we are entering the most challenging phase of this pandemic. Since we started planning for this last month, the Boston Resiliency Fund has awarded and continues to support the immediate needs of our community with access to healthy food, support for our health care workers, and mechanisms for meeting other needs created by this pandemic," said Anne Klibanski, MD, President and CEO of Partners HealthCare.

As the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are quickly evolving and potentially long-lasting, the City and the Steering Committee will work closely with non-profit partners and service providers to understand how their needs will change. As a result, the priorities of the fund may change as the needs of Boston residents evolve.

The Boston Resiliency Fund exists within the Boston Charitable Trust, an existing 501(c)(3) designated trust fund managed by the City of Boston's Treasury Department. For more information on how to make a donation, please visit: boston.gov/resiliency-fund. For general inquiries, please email brf@boston.gov.

To learn more about other funds serving Boston nonprofits, please visit Philanthropy Massachusetts' resource page. In addition, the COVID-19 Response Fund at The Boston Foundation and the COVID-19 Family Support Fund at the United Way are working to rapidly distribute resources to organizations and individuals in Greater Boston that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

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