FY21 Health and Human Services Priorities
In FY21, the Health and Human Services Cabinet continues to build upon its existing services to meet the wide needs of the community. This year's budget includes significant investments in the Public Health Commission, a targeted Violence Prevention Strategy led by the Office of Health and Human Services, key supports for immigrant communities, and a financial security initiative at the Age Strong Commission.
Boston Public Health Commission
The Public Health Commission serves as the City's health department and provides emergency medical services (EMS), infectious disease surveillance, substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, community health programming, shelter and advocacy for homeless individuals, and home and school based health services for children and families. The FY21 budget has a 14% increase, ensuring these important services are well funded.
As part of a reallocation of city resources to equity and inclusion efforts, the Public Health Commission received $3 million to implement the Racism as a Public Health Crisis executive order. An additional $1 million in funding will help support and expand capacity for trauma teams and other counseling services at the Commission.
The Commission will focus resources on violence prevention capacity building through its Division of Violence Prevention and Neighborhood Trauma Team Network and will also enhance training as part of a larger city initiative. PHC is also investing in the collection of Health of Boston population-level data to meet the needs of various stakeholders across the city.
Targeting Violence Prevention Efforts
Building on 2019's summer violence prevention plan, Health and Human Services is leading a $1,500,000 citywide campaign to target specific populations with opportunity oriented programming. This plan includes:
- $1,000,000 in opportunity focused grant programming;
- $100,000 for BCYF to develop career pathways for SOAR participants;
- $75,000 for Youth Engagement & Employment to provide at risk or gang involved youth with employment opportunities;
- And additional programming funded in Public Health Commission, Public Safety and the Office of Returning Citizens.
The Mayor's Office of Immigrant Advancement is making strategic investments to increase awareness of City Hall resources available to immigrants across all of our neighborhoods. The Office will provide additional support for both the City’s Annual Citizenship Day event, which connects Boston residents with free U.S. citizenship applications, and the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund. This Fund allows for free legal representation for those involved in immigration and asylum cases while also carrying out informative Know Your Rights programming across Boston.
The Age Strong Commission is working to improve financial security for older Bostonians. New funds will allow the Commission to expand multimedia advertising and outreach efforts to reach a diverse aging population as well as assist with critical benefits enrollment and retention.