United Way COVID-19 Family Support Fund Distributes $4 Million to 158 Organizations Assisting Individuals and Families Impacted by the Crisis

May 15, 2020

United Way Partners with Gateway City Leaders Around Targeted, Coordinated Response Efforts in Hard-Hit Communities

Two months after launching a fundraising effort to help individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley announced it has distributed $4 million to 158 community-based organizations across the region to provide flexible emergency financial assistance to individuals and families impacted by the crisis.

More than 6,700 donors representing individuals, corporations and foundations have committed over $7M to help families affected by the crisis since United Way launched the COVID-19 Family Support Fund on March 14. United Way quickly mobilized its broad network of nonprofit agencies who have a proven and long track record of working with the organization to administer flexible emergency assistance for families impacted by income disruption. The assistance has helped families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis meet their basic needs for food and supplies, childcare and housing.

To date, grants to organizations in United Way’s COVID-19 Family Support Fund network have:

  • Expanded food distribution to over 16,000 households
  • Provided individual financial assistance to over 35,000 households for basic needs such as housing and rental assistance, utility assistance, childcare, food and more.
  • Supported an additional 1,300 families living in shelters with funding from the City of Boston Resiliency Fund

United Way is also working in partnership with elected officials and community leaders in more than a dozen Gateway cities and towns to lead a coordinated, unified response to the financial impact of closing non-essential businesses. These local funds are mobilizing people to support their neighbors who have been impacted by the crisis, and United Way is collaborating with city and nonprofit leaders to ensure assistance is distributed swiftly and effectively, leveraging the strengths of the community-based organizations who are most familiar with the needs of their residents.  For example:

  • When the City of Chelsea emerged as a COVID19 hotspot both in terms of positive confirmed cases and populations heavily impacted by the closing of schools and non-essential businesses, United Way partnered with City Manager Tom Ambrosino and three leading Chelsea nonprofits to establish the One Chelsea Fund.  Through this fund, Chelsea Collaborative, GreenRoots and The Neighborhood Developers are distributing $250 relief payments to impacted families and those who do not qualify for unemployment or other forms of government assistance.  To date, 2,400 households have received assistance and United Way has also supported expanded food distribution through the Chelsea Hunger Network.
  • The Somerville Cares Fund was created as a joint venture of the City of Somerville and Mayor Joe Curtatone, United Way and the Community Action Agency of Somerville to support the essential needs of Somerville community members most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund 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. The Somerville Cares Fund has already received over 700 applications for assistance, and the fund has raised more than $200,000 so far to help meet this need.
  • In Newton, community leaders, including Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, launched the Newton COVID-19 Care Fund in partnership with United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley to help residents and people who work in Newton who have been financially impacted by this coronavirus pandemic.  Family ACCESS of Newton, an established local non-profit organization with a track record of distributing emergency funds, was designated to provide financial assistance.  Almost $350,000 in assistance for basic needs has been distributed to nearly 200 households to date.
  • United Way worked in partnership with Mayor Thomas McGee, Lynn Main Streets, the Greater Lynn Chamber and Mutual Aid to launch the Lynn Community Care Fund to help meet basic needs of families. Priority is being given to those who are most economically vulnerable to this crisis. Families are most commonly asking for help with food, housing, and utilities. United Way seeded the fund with $250,000 and is working with six Lynn-based nonprofits and coordinating requests for assistance among them, and  referrals for housing assistance from Lynn Community Health Center in partnership with MA Coalition for the Homeless.

Funds have also been established in partnership with United Way, elected leaders and Chamber of Commerce organizations in Brockton, Haverhill, Everett, Lawrence, Marshfield and Winchester, and funds will be launched in the coming days in Randolph and the  Milton/Neponset area.

Spread throughout Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, United Way’s network of agencies receiving grants through the COVID-19 Family Support Fund includes relief for hourly workers, assistance to domestic violence survivors, support for the homeless and other vulnerable populations, help for immigrants and newcomers and increased food distribution.

To get help, Individuals can dial 2-1-1 for comprehensive information and referrals related to the virus, including information on where they can access flexible funds through the COVID-19 Family Support Fund. Payments are sent to the vendor or provider of services.

Lead supporters of United Way’s relief effort include Advent International, Bank of America, Biogen, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Brown Brothers Harriman, Cummings Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Eastern Bank, Eversource, iHeartRadio, Klarman Family Foundation, National Grid Foundation,  Open View,  PNC Bank, Putnam, WCVB-TV Channel 5, Wells Fargo, TD Bank, Tufts Health Plan and 3M. 100 percent of donations will go directly to help families in need.  More supporters can be found here.

The full list of organizations receiving distributions from United Way’s COVID-19 Family Support Fund through May 14 are below:

Merrimack Valley ($300,000 distributed to 19 organizations)

  • ACT Lawrence
  • Boys and Girls Club of Haverhill
  • Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
  • Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lowell
  • Boys and Girls Club of Lower Merrimack Valley
  • Catholic Charities
  • Common Ground Ministries
  • Community Teamwork, Inc
  • Community Action, Inc
  • Community Teamwork Inc.
  • Dwelling House of Hope
  • Emmaus
  • Greater Lawrence Community Action Council
  • Groundwork Lawrence
  • International Institute of New England
  • Lawrence CommunityWorks
  • Merrimack Valley Food Bank
  • Open Hand Pantry
  • Society of St.Vincent de Paul
  • UTEC

North Shore ($323,000 to 16 organizations)

  • Action, Inc.
  • Beverly Bootstraps
  • Catholic Charities
  • Council of Social Concern in Woburn
  • Family and Children’s Services of Greater Lynn
  • HAWC (Healing Abuse Working for Change)
  • Lynn Boys and Girls Club
  • Lynn Housing & Neighborhood Development (LHAND)
  • Lynn Economic Opportunity
  • MA Coalition for the Homeless
  • New American Center
  • North Shore Community Development Corporation
  • North Shore YMCA
  • The Open Door
  • Wellspring House
  • YMCA of Metro North

Greater Boston ($2.8M to 67 organizations)

  • Action for Boston Community Development
  • African Community Economic Development of New England
  • Agencia ALPHA
  • Asian American Civic Association
  • Asian Community Development Corporation
  • Best HTC
  • Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
  • Boys and Girls Club of Boston
  • Brazilian Workers Center
  • Brookview House
  • Cambridge Family & Children’s Services
  • Caribbean Youth Club
  • Casa Myrna Vazquez, Inc.
  • Casa Nueva Vida
  • Catholic Charities
  • Centro Presente
  • Center for Collaborative Education (BINcA families)
  • Children’s Services of Roxbury
  • City Mission
  • Codman Square NDC
  • Crossroads Family Shelter
  • Dimock Community Health Center
  • Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
  • East Boston Social Centers
  • Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath)
  • Elizabeth Stone House
  • FamilyAid Boston
  • Finex House
  • Hattie B. Cooper Community Center
  • Heading Home
  • Hildebrand Family Self-Help
  • HomeStart
  • Housing Families, Inc.
  • ICNA Relief USA
  • Immigrant Family Services Institute
  • Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation
  • Jewish Family and Children’s Services
  • Jewish Vocational Services
  • La Alianza Hispana
  • La Comunidad
  • Malden YMCA
  • The Massachusetts Alliance for Portuguese Speakers
  • Metro Housing Boston
  • Middlesex Human Service Agency
  • More Than Words
  • Neighborhood of Affordable Housing
  • ParentChild+
  • Project Hope
  • Rian Immigrant Center
  • Roca
  • Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment
  • Sociedad Latina
  • Sojourner House
  • South Boston Neighborhood House
  • St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children
  • Stoneham/Wakefield Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Union Capital Boston
  • United South End Settlements
  • Urban Edge
  • Victory Programs
  • Waltham Boys and Girls Club
  • West End House
  • Winchester Got Lunch
  • Winchester Senior Association
  • Y2Y
  • YMCA of Greater Boston

South Shore ($120,000 to 8 organizations)

  • Boys and Girls Club of Marshfield
  • Catholic Charities
  • Father Bills & MainSpring
  • Interfaith Social Services
  • Quincy Community Action Programs
  • South Shore Stars
  • South Shore YMCA
  • Sowing Seeds
  • Weymouth Food Pantry

Greater Attleboro/Taunton ($280,000 to 17 organizations)

  • Attleboro Area Interfaith Collaborative
  • Attleboro YMCA
  • Boys and Girls Club of Taunton
  • Community Counseling of Bristol County
  • Cupboard of Kindness
  • Hebron Food Pantry
  • Hockomock Area YMCA
  • Lenore’s Food Pantry
  • The Literacy Center
  • Neighborworks Housing Solutions
  • New Hope
  • Our Daily Bread Food and Resource
  • Raynham Food Basket
  • The Salvation Army
  • St. Vincent De Paul
  • Taunton Area Community Table
  • Taunton Emergency Fund

Seacoast, NH ($145,000 to 15 organizations)

  • Community Action Programs of Strafford County
  • Community Partners
  • Crossroads House Inc.
  • Homeless Center for Strafford County
  • Gather
  • Greater Seacoast Community Health
  • Fair Tide
  • New Generation
  • Seacoast Community School
  • Seacoast Family Promise
  • Seacoast Mental Health Center
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • Share Fund
  • Southern New Hampshire Services, Inc.
  • The Upper Room, A Family Resource Center