It has been a long and difficult few days and quite honestly writing this week’s newsletter felt harder than most weeks. Our hearts ache for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the many others, named and unnamed, who have lost their lives to police violence. Our eyes are tired watching peaceful protests erupting into violence and destruction in our communities. We shed tears for the Black members of our community - mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters - who are suffering in unimaginable ways. And our heads hurt as we contemplate seemingly insurmountable divisions in our country. It seems important, now more than ever, that we come together as a community, unified in our condemnation of racism and racially-motivated violence.This also means finding a way to TAKE ACTION by ATTENDING EVENTS organized by agencies doing the work of racial justice,
taking responsibility for EDUCATING OURSELVES, and if we can, supporting racial justice organizations by GIVING GENEROUSLY.
Here are specific ways to take action more broadly this week. You can also get involved with two terrific local organizations NNHN has worked with:
Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ), an organization of diverse Newton families focused on helping children learn about issues of power, inequality and how to stand up for racial justice. (Click here to take part in a neighborhood quote project organized by a FORJ member)
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Boston, a local chapter of a national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work toward racial justice. (Click here to read more about SURJ’s Call to Action)
Also, NNHN members Nanci Ginty Butler and Brooke Foucault Welles are organizing an event this Thursday at 4:30pm called Line Up for Black Lives in Newton. From the organizers: “Please join Newton neighbors as we silently and peacefully line up along the sidewalk beginning in the 1300 block in front of the police station and extending down Washington St towards Newtonville. Please join with your own signs, or come simply as you are to join together to convey our rage, concern, and grief. Bring something to kneel on. Social distancing and masks required. #LineUpNewton” https://www.facebook.com/events/894417970969733/
Finally, some important deadlines for those seeking financial help at this time:
The Newton COVID-19 Care Fund and Emergency Housing Relief Fund both have application deadlines this week - apply asap if you qualify (and let NNHN know if you need help with the application), and share this information widely.
COVID-19 Care Fund - application deadline is Friday June 5th: https://unitedwaymassbay.org/covid-19/local-funds/newton/
COVID-19 Emergency Housing Relief Fund - application deadline is Wednesday June 3rd: http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/planning/hcd/affhousing/default.asp
Newton COVID-19 Care Fund: Deadline for Applications Friday, June 5
A wonderful partnership established the Newton COVID-19 Care Fund on March 20th as a short-term emergency fund to help families and individuals who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. After weeks of closely monitoring the fundraising, application submissions, and distribution of funds to people in need, the Fund has decided to close the application process for seeking assistance at the end of the day on Friday, June 5, 2020. Need assistance? To apply to the fund, click here. All applications received by the deadline of Friday, June 5 will be considered. (If you have already applied and you have questions about your application status, please contact your individual Family ACCESS case worker or email NCFreferrals@familyaccess.org.)
Through a special partnership between a dedicated group of Newton community members, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and Family ACCESS, the Newton COVID-19 Care Fund has raised over $700,000 to date. Thanks for this generosity goes to over 1,000 individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropic foundations. In the eight weeks since the application for the fund went live on Friday, April 3, Family ACCESS case workers and administrators have worked with dedication, care and kindness to support the many individuals and families seeking assistance:
232 households or individuals have received financial support to date
$447,326 has been paid out on behalf of applicants to pay bills for basic necessities such as utilities, rent/mortgage, childcare, health care, and other critical needs
105 applications are currently still in process with the team at Family ACCESS
The website for the Fund will remain active through June 30 to continue to accept donations to meet the needs of the final round of eligible applicants. Those involved with the Fund remain committed to monitoring closely the current crisis and are prepared to spring back into action if needed.
Housing Fund: Deadline for Applications, Wednesday June 3rd, 2020
Do you or someone you know in Newton need financial help with housing costs? Applications for the Newton Emergency Housing Assistance Program are due TOMORROW, June 3. Details and application are online here.
Income-eligible Newton households who have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19 may apply to receive up to three months of rental or mortgage assistance (mortgage aid is available only to owners of affordable deed-restricted units).
Newton Neighbors Helping Newton Neighbors