Joint effort by City of Somerville and United Way to support urgent, basic needs of Somerville Community impacted by COVID-19 pandemic
SOMERVILLE, MA – Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley announce the launch of the Somerville Cares Fund to support the essential needs of Somerville community members most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund, created in partnership with the United Way, will provide emergency funding to all Somerville residents, regardless of immigration status, as well as all Somerville workers, including those recently laid off from their jobs.
“When times are tough in Somerville, we see just how supportive and resilient our community really is,” says Mayor Curtatone. “During the extraordinary challenges brought on by this pandemic, we have witnessed the incredibly hard work of essential workers and healthcare providers. We have also seen tremendous acts of kindness and generosity on the part of the general public. It is in the spirit of coming together as a community so no individual is left behind that we launch the Somerville Cares COVID-19 Relief Fund.”
Through the fund, support will be made available to help individuals and families with the greatest need: people who have lost their jobs, for example, and are struggling to cover basic needs like food, utilities, rent/mortgage, healthcare, or child care. The fund will be hosted by the United Way and administered by the Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS).
“United Way is proud to stand with Mayor Curtatone along with the residents, businesses, nonprofits and community leaders in Somerville to help those who are most in need access critical resources during this unprecedented crisis,” said Michael K. Durkin, President and Chief Executive Officer at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “It will take all of us working together to ensure those who were the most vulnerable before the pandemic do not also experience the deepest impact.’
The Somerville Cares COVID-19 Relief Fund aims to support all those in need, including members of our diverse immigrant communities as well as essential workers who serve our community through their work here. Applicants will not need to supply a social security number or any immigration information when pursuing these funds. CAAS, which has served as Somerville’s federally designated anti-poverty agency since 1981, will rely on long-standing experience and protocols to triage applications by need.
“The mission of CAAS is to help local families and individuals achieve financial security while working to eliminate the root causes of economic injustice,” says David Gibbs, CAAS Executive Director. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with the City, the United Way, and other nonprofit colleagues to respond to this emergency.”
“In the collaborative spirit that defines Somerville, we are asking for contributions to this fund to support the most vulnerable in this crisis. I’m asking anyone who is fortunate enough right now to have something extra to share, to please donate to help the families, neighbors, and displaced workers in our community who are facing serious and urgent needs,” says Mayor Curtatone. “Your generosity has never been so needed or appreciated.”
All donations, no matter what level, demonstrate Somerville’s resilience in support of our diversity and our strength. To make a donation, go to www.somervillema.gov/somervillecares
After a brief period of fundraising, community members will be able to begin applying for support from the fund. Information on how to apply will be posted and shared as soon as sufficient funds are available to disburse.