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September 24, 2020
Cambridge Comm. Foundation Awards $230K to Nine Nonprofits
Cambridge Community Foundation

July 30, 2020 — The Cambridge Community Foundation, based in Cambridge, this week announced it granted $230,000 in new grants to nine nonprofits providing COVID-19 emergency relief, with a particular focus on supporting the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless in Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford. 

“Despite the recent housing eviction moratorium, a housing crisis is looming large as households run out of savings and unemployment insurance. It is of particular concern in high-cost cities such as Cambridge and surrounding communities, with sizeable Black and Brown and immigrant populations that are housing cost-burdened,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF). “Solutions that range from immediate relief to longer term strategies that can keep people housed are urgently needed.”

The latest grants were funded by the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, which supports people most impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, focusing on essential frontline workers and vulnerable populations including the homeless, immigrant populations, people with disabilities, and those facing food insecurity.  

Receiving the funds were the following:

  • Action for Boston Community Development: $25,000 to support food security needs of 220 Medford residents experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • CASPAR (Cambridge And Somerville Programs for Addiction Recovery): $20,000 to promote the health and wellbeing of Cambridge’s homeless neighbors by providing essential food, clothing, and basic toiletries for unhoused people.
  • HomeStart: $50,000 to provide emergency assistance to households who would remain homeless or otherwise would become homeless.

  • Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers: $25,000 to help low-income Portuguese-speaking immigrant households/families pay urgently needed rent or utilities for one month each.

  • Metro Housing | Boston: $50,000 to prevent evictions by supplementing state emergency assistance funds with grant funds for 25 families in Cambridge.

  • Somerville Community Corporation: $20,000 to provide rental assistance to low-income and vulnerable residents of Medford and Somerville.

  • Somerville Hispanic Association for Community Development: $10,000 to support basic food needs of people who had lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Project SOUP (at Somerville Homeless Coalition): $10,000 to support the basic needs of Somerville families facing food insecurity.
  • Transition House: $20,000 to support housing and the immediate basic needs of families who are escaping domestic violence.

CCF noted that CASPAR was an early partner in the City of Cambridge’s effort to create temporary emergency shelter while maintaining social distancing and other recommended safety measures, and doubled the number of people they supported through its street outreach program, efforts which helped stem a widespread outbreak of COVID-19 within the homeless population of Cambridge.

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