April 26, 2019
Sixteen Mass. Nonprofits Get $500K to Aid Hurricane Victims

July 21, 2018 — Sixteen nonprofits in Hampden, Suffolk, and Worcester Counties have been awarded $500,500 to assist thousands of people from Puerto Rico who were displaced to Massachusetts after Hurricane Maria devastated the island last year.

The distribution of funds, by Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico (Massachusetts Unido por Puerto Rico), a Boston-based partnership that supports organizations helping Puerto Ricans who have come to Massachusetts since Hurricane Maria, was announced this week.

“The work going on here in Massachusetts and on the island of Puerto Rico is remarkable and heroic,” said Aixa Beauchamp, co-chair of the Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico advisory committee. “It is also not nearly enough. While we continue our efforts to support recovery on the island, we call on government to step up and belatedly live up to its promise to care for American citizens on an island still vulnerable to future storms.”

Receiving the funds were the following:
  • Boston Medical Center, Boston: $25,000 to integrate their existing services and provide continued support for housing, as well as psychosocial support therapy for evacuees, and medication and transportation assistance to and from the hospital.

  • Career Point, Holyoke: $40,000 to support the emergency needs of displaced Puerto Ricans through the Hurricane Response Program

  • Casa Latina, Inc., Florence: $15,000 to support Puentes (Bridges for Latinos), an information and referral program that provides key services to Puerto Rican families on housing, public healthcare resources, and employment opportunities, as well as periodic one-time support to individuals.

  • Catholic Charities, Springfield: $50,000 to assist families in their efforts to secure stable housing and providing up to 12 months of rental assistance, including case management and workshops.

  • Catholic Charities, Worcester: $25,000 to provide Welcome Home Kits including items such as bedding, cooking, kitchen and bathroom items to displaced Puerto Rican families who have secured new housing.

  • Centro Las Americas, Fitchburg/Leominster: $33,000 to support continuing efforts to provide resources and ensure the housing, English language, job training and school enrollment needs of more than 300 evacuees are met.

  • Chelsea Collaborative, Chelsea: $20,000 to continue providing one-stop resource and referrals for newly-arriving families under the Chelsea United for Puerto Rico program.

  • Enlace de Familias Holyoke, Holyoke:$50,000 to the Holyoke Resettlement and Resource Center to support additional demand for services that will result as federal housing programs are withdrawn from families in need.

  • Friendly House, Inc., Worcester: $16,500 to provide access to summer programming for Puerto Rican youth in collaboration with the local Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and Teen Youth Program.

  • Gandara Center, Springfield Resource Center: $40,000 to provide rental supports and subsidies to relocating Puerto Rican families through the Springfield Family Resource Center.

  • Holyoke Health Center, Holyoke: $50,000 to implement new software that would allow the health center to connect to databases in Puerto Rico and ensure evacuees are receiving continuity of care while they are in Massachusetts and after they return to Puerto Rico.

  • Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, Boston: $30,000 to provide moving assistance, furniture and other needs to displaced families being settled at Villa Victoria, and support a disaster relief liaison and resident service program.

  • Latino Education Institute at Worcester State University, Worcester: $20,000 to support Club Educación, which includes tutoring for K-12 students, ESL instruction for adults, and job assistance for Puerto Rican educators in the evacuee community.

  • New North Citizens Council, Springfield: $35,000 to support the Welcome Center Housing Resource Program, focused specifically on meeting the ongoing housing and health needs of the evacuee community.

  • SER-Jobs, Fall River: $25,000 to provide ESL courses and related educational supports targeting the needs of Puerto Rico evacuees seeking jobs in southeastern Massachusetts.

  • Spanish American Center, Leominster: $26,000 to support the Bienvenidos Partnership, working with the Montachusett Opportunity Council through the Fitchburg Family Resource Center to secure housing for evacuees.

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