$1.7 million in emergency grants awarded through Boston Resiliency Fund
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Resiliency Fund Steering Committee today announced the distribution of an additional $1.7 million in funds to support 20 organizations that provide critical services and support to residents, vulnerable populations, and Boston families whose wellbeing is most immediately impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. This round of funding is aimed at providing continued support for community health centers, individuals experiencing homelessness, persons with disabilities, community-based organizations in neighborhoods experiencing higher rates of COVID-19, and Boston's Muslim community during Ramadan, which begins this week. The funding will also support the personal protective equipment (PPE) needs of Boston's frontline and essential workers. To date, including this most recent funding award, the Boston Resiliency Fund has distributed $13.8 million in 76 emergency grants to 135 organizations.
"Through the Boston Resiliency Fund, we are harnessing the generosity of Boston's residents and businesses and we're making sure those resources go where they will make the biggest, most immediate impact for our residents," said Mayor Walsh. "I am incredibly proud and thankful for everyone's generosity as we come together to support one another during these difficult times."
Since its creation in March, the Boston Resiliency Fund has raised over $26 million from over 4,200 individual donors. 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 through the rest of April and May. Organizations are encouraged to complete a statement of interest to be considered for future grants.
Today, 21 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. 29 percent of the organizations receiving grants today are led by a person of color and 52 percent are women-led organizations.
"This second round of support from the Boston Resiliency Fund will be critical in helping to ensure continuity of care -- from testing to treatment -- for thousands of city residents during the COVID-19 crisis," said James W. Hunt, Jr., president and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. "We are grateful to Mayor Walsh and city health leaders for making these critical investments in some of Boston's most vulnerable communities."
"Eastie Farm is delighted to be part of an innovative solution that helps ensure food security in East Boston and Chinatown, while supporting our partners Bon Me Restaurant and Tawakal Halal Cafe in sustaining themselves through this economic crisis," said Kannan Thiruvengadam, director of Eastie Farm. "We thank Bon Me and Tawakal for providing much needed culturally sensitive meals at cost and with utmost attention to the health and safety of all involved, and we thank Mayor Walsh for this generous support for Eastie Farm's work in resiliency, and for his tireless and diligent leadership during this challenging time."
The grants range in size and will be awarded to the following organizations:
Continued support to community health centers and healthcare systems:
- Expanded COVID-19 Testing for Community Health Centers that will allow the Harvard Street and Dimock Community Health Centers increase neighborhood-based testing. So far, the Boston Resiliency Fund has supported nine community health centers in neighborhoods that are seeing higher incidences of COVID-19. To view a map of testing sites in the City of Boston, please visit here.
- Mass. League of Community Health Centers will pilot telehealth expansion with nine community health centers in Boston. This pilot will allow community health centers to screen for testing virtually and conduct follow up appointments at home with those who test positive. It will also give patients access to virtual visits and health monitoring devices for better management of chronic disease.
- Personal Protective Equipment that will protect Boston's frontline and essential workers at health centers, long-term care facilities, shelters, and other non-profit providers across the City. This additional funding from the Boston Resiliency Fund matches the $500,000 MAPFRE Foundation grant awarded to the City of Boston last week.
Ensuring Boston's children, families, and seniors have access to food and basic needs:
- African Community Economic Development of New England, in partnership with ISBCC's Ascia Foods, will provide Iftar (sunset) meals to Boston's Muslim community during Ramadan.
- Boston Public Market Association will work with the Market's local vendors to prepare and deliver nourishing, safe meals for various senior centers and meal sites and to homeless guests and residents at the Pine Street Inn.
- Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester will provide 'grab & go' bags of groceries and baby formula to low-income families with young children in Dorchester.
- Hope & Comfort supplies basic hygiene items to under-resourced youth and families via meal sites, including those run by the Boston Public Schools and the YMCA of Greater Boston.
- More Than Words will buy and deliver food and hygiene supplies to over 300 youth and young adults who are facing food insecurity.
Support for organizations doing work in East Boston, a neighborhood experiencing higher rates of COVID-19:
- Center for Cooperative Development and Solidarity will offer financial relief for East Boston families in need who are ineligible to receive support from other resources.
- East Boston Soup Kitchen will continue distributing grocery gift cards to families in need in the East Boston community.
- Eastie Farm will work with East Boston Mutual Aid, East Boston Soup Kitchen, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, and Chinese Progressive Association to identify families in need of food. Two local restaurants, Bon Me and Tawakal Halal Cafe, will then prepare and distribute safely prepared meals to families in East Boston and Chinatown.
- Maverick Landing Community Services, in partnership with The Harborside Community Center, Neighbors United for a Better East Boston, and Veronica Robles Cultural Center, will offer food, supplies and financial assistance to East Boston families who do not have access to stimulus dollars, unemployment assistance, or who do not qualify for public benefits.
- Salesian Boys and Girls Club distributes meals from the Club and provides home delivery of breakfast, lunch, hygiene products, and at-home art activities to children and families.
Support for Boston's most vulnerable populations, including those experiencing homelessness and persons with disabilities:
- Commonwealth Land Trust will support vulnerable residents with HIV/AIDS in their supportive housing programs by providing increased frequency and extent of cleaning and enhancing social distancing policies.
- Developmental Evaluation and Adjustment Facilities, Inc. will adapt their service delivery to provide deaf-accessible essential health information relating to COVID-19, how to access basic needs online, and more.
- Haley House will prepare 500 additional hot take-out meals and expand their food pantry services at their South End soup kitchen.
- Health Care Without Walls will staff screening stations at Rosie's Place to promote the health and safety of guests and will provide gift cards to vulnerable clients in need of basic supplies.
- Home for Little Wanderers will provide extra meals for children and youth living at their group homes and residential sites and grocery assistance to families and individuals identified by their clinicians.
- New England Paralyzed Veterans of America will continue transporting disabled veterans to the VA Boston Healthcare System, help veterans combat feelings of isolation and loneliness, and assist home-bound veterans with their food needs.
- Rosie's Place will continue to be a safe space where vulnerable and homeless women can access services such as medical screening, showers, both daytime and overnight shelter, prepared to-go meals and snacks, and groceries.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.