City to distribute 10,000 community care kits across Boston
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) this weekend will distribute the first half of the 20,000 care kits assembled over the course of this week to various community outreach partners, meal sites, and testing sites in Boston, building on the Mayor's commitment of making critical resources available to residents. Each kit contains a mask, hand sanitizer, gloves, anti-bacterial wipes, soap, and a booklet with information from the City on COVID-19 facts and resources. The City of Boston is dedicated to providing access to these basic necessities to our most vulnerable population during this pandemic, and keeping residents informed while giving them the tools needed to adhere to the safety guidelines outlined by the Boston Public Health Commission.
"We're proud to make available these community care kits in areas that need them the most - places that our Health Inequities Task Force has identified as having the greatest need right now," said Mayor Walsh. "By making these resources and information available, it's our hope that we are further informing people on how they can protect themselves, their families and their communities, and letting them know that the City of Boston is here to help them."
Providing residents with the tools they need to stay safe during this time was one of the recommendations of the Mayor's Health Inequities Task Force, which has been working to provide guidance to the City of Boston on addressing current inequities in data analysis, testing sites, and health care services for blacks, Latinos, Asians and immigrants, and advocating for an equitable reopening and recovery for all of Boston's communities.
Over the course of this week, the care kits were assembled by a team of 130 volunteers from 25 City departments, who supported the Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) in preparing for the distribution. The care kits are being made available in part through community partners, who play an integral role in providing residents with the resources needed to keep people safe during this public health crisis. Many community-based organizations are working to ensure that our most at-risk groups, who have been disproportionately affected by illness and economic harm, are sufficiently supported.
"Thank you to the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) for this generous donation to the Cape Verdean Association of Boston," said President of the Cape Verdean Association of Boston Paulo A. De Barros. "This is going to allow the Cape Verdean Association to continue to support the needs of our community by donating personal protective equipment and supplies needed during this difficult time. This work is important as we work to stop the spread in our communities."
Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston are prioritizing the health of all residents while meeting the needs of everyone impacted by COVID-19. As the State's Phase 1 of Reopening Massachusetts is implemented, keeping residents safe and informed is key in further lowering our positive test rate and avoiding a spike in hospital resource use from COVID-19 cases in Boston.
"These kits provide simple supplies and important information to help educate our residents on how to keep them and their families safe. As we move forward to our new normal, it's important that we help residents prepare," said Chief of Civic Engagement and Neighborhood Services Director Jerome Smith.
Mayor Walsh and the Boston Public Health Commission have made clear that residents are still safer at home and the basic safety precautions of washing your hands, wearing a face covering and social distancing remain key to recovery. The Office of Neighborhood Services is proud to provide our most vulnerable residents with the resources needed to follow these guidelines.
In addition to providing multilingual information via text alerts and Boston.gov, City of Boston employees and volunteers delivered printed information on COVID-19 to all homes in Boston in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cabo Verdean Creole and Russian, with additional printed materials online in Portuguese, Arabic and Somali. The City of Boston has also deployed sound trucks throughout the hardest-hit neighborhoods to encourage residents to stay healthy and safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Mayor Walsh, along with many City employees, have been doing weekly robocalls for thousands of Boston adults over 60 years of age in multiple languages. Bilingual members of Mayor Walsh's team have also been conducting interviews with ethnic media to relay information in multiple languages. The Mayor's press conferences have provided ASL interpretation and English captioning on live streams.
For additional questions or programs, please visit our website or call 3-1-1, Boston's 24-hour constituent hotline. Text BOSCOVID to 888-777 to receive text alerts on a regular basis, available in 11 languages.ABOUT THE MAYOR'S OFFICE OF NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES
The Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) encourages, facilitates and maximizes citizen input and participation through service requests, neighborhood meetings, mailings, and emergency responses. To report non-emergency issues to the City, residents are encouraged to connect with BOS:311 by dialing 3-1-1 or by downloading the free BOS:311 app on iOS or Android platforms. View photos of our community care kit effort.