July 2020
Monthly News & Updates
ABCD Staff Returns to Physical Locations,
Meets with Clients by Appointment
This month, with major building renovations and modifications complete, ABCD began implementing a measured transition to enable employees to return to our physical locations throughout Boston and Mystic Valley. Staff will meet with clients on a limited basis -- by appointment only -- as we take every step possible to protect the health and safety of all employees, clients, partners, visitors, and their families. 

Notably, ABCD Head Start and Early Head Start early learning centers are open, having been renovated and following health and safety protocols issued by the CDC along with additional rigorous standards mandated by the national Office of Head Start, the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.

Since Governor Charlie Baker issued a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak, ABCD has offered a broad range of programs and services along a continuum as the state advanced through a phased process toward reopening. Initially, in crisis response, we provided our neighbors in need with food and other essentials. We continue to do that on an even larger scale.
At the same time, we made all of our 75 programs and services available remotely as we began the extensive transition to delivering programs online or as hybrid models. In addition, innovation drove the redesign of many programs including our youth jobs program SummerWorks, which launched this month.

We recognize that public health restrictions that have been lifted may be reimposed should the threat of COVID-19 transmission resurge, so we will remain vigilant and adapt our operations as needed. In short, ABCD is well prepared to meet the needs of our disadvantaged friends and neighbors now and into the future.
ABCD Assumes Operations of the MassHire Metro North Career Centers
as Unemployment Spikes, Benefits in Question
On July 1st, ABCD assumed operations of the MassHire Metro North Career Centers, bringing our workforce development expertise to state residents through the MassHire Metro North Career Centers in Woburn, Cambridge, and Chelsea. The transition was seamless, with much of the reason credited to retaining Site Director Lee-Ann Johnson and several other excellent staff members.

Record unemployment due to Covid-19-related business closures and layoffs has imperiled one million state residents, and by month’s end, July 25th, the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payment came to an end. Eligible individuals continue to receive their regular benefit payments whether under regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

ABCD meets this crisis with operational efficiency, workforce-development experience and a history of program innovation. As an agency that also provides programs and resources to help people emerge from poverty and move forward in life, we will also educate, refer, or provide critical emergency support to those in need.

On June 1st, the  MassHire Metro North Workforce Board announced the selection of ABCD as the next operator of the MassHire Metro North Career Centers serving the following cities and towns through offices in Cambridge, Woburn and Chelsea: Arlington, Belmont, Burlington, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Revere, Somerville, Stoneham, Wakefield, Watertown, Wilmington, Winchester, Winthrop, and Woburn.

The centers have temporarily suspended face-to-face services and meetings to safeguard the well-being of our communities. However, staff are working remotely and are available by phone or email. For more information, visit masshiremncareers.com .
ABCD Remembers Civil Right Leader, Representative John Lewis
It’s not enough to just take up space in a room or a movement. It’s important to invoke action, inspire others and be an example of how impactful it is when you stand steadfast in your mission. Congressman, Representative John Lewis did all of those things. He spent more than 60 years of his life fighting for civil rights, protecting human rights and standing up against racial injustices.   

As a civil rights leader he helped lead the March on Washington in 1963 and the Selma to Montgomery marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965. He served for 17 terms (33 years) in the U.S. House o f Repr esentatives as Georgia’s 5th district representative. For 15 years, during his tenure, he advocated for creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture to ensure that African-American life, history and culture were truly documented. 

ABCD mourns the loss of such an extraordinary man and leader and sends our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We are fortunate to be able to say he graced our organization with his presence as a speaker at our annual Community Heroes dinner in 1998 and again, only a few years ago, as a guest.

Lewis encouraged people to get into “good trouble,.” a call for each person regardless of race, age or background to stand up and shake up a system of oppression and inequalities. As he fought for equity and equality, ABCD will continue to do the same.
First photo: Representative John Lewis and Yvonne Jones (ABCD Board Chair). Second photo: Yvonne Jones, Representative John Lewis, Patricia Washington ( ABCD Board Treasurer) and Lavette Sealls ( ABCD Executive Office Administrator)
Spotlight
SummerWorks is Still Accepting Applications - APPLY TODAY
ABCD SummerWorks is a gateway for young adults to learn important skills that they can take with them throughout their adult careers. Typically, ABCD SummerWorks provides hundreds of Boston area youth, ages 14 - 21, with a summer job at one of more than 100 workplaces throughout the city. But this summer the program looks a little different. 
Like many other services throughout our organization since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, ABCD has transitioned SummerWorks to an online experience to keep everybody healthy and safe. Instead of physically going to a work site, participants will do project-based work from home for 4 to 5 weeks and will receive $1,000 to $1,275 after successful completion of the program.

Although the program is online, mentoring and career skills development are still very much part of it. Participants will be able to explore a career path in healthcare, youth services, early childhood education, government and many other options. We’ll also be offering certificate based trainings in Google Suite and Productivity and Team Leadership.
This year, ABCD SummerWorks will offer a “rolling curriculum” throughout the summer.
ABCD Youth Services is still accepting SummerWorks applications at summerworks.net , where you can also upload the required documents.
 
For youth, finding a job on their own can be difficult. Becoming an ABCD SummerWorks participant can help them move from youth to adulthood with confidence and purpose.
Volunteers and Donors Provide Food, Technology, and Hope for Out of School Youth
The ABCD Youth Services Department serves in-school and out-of-school youth through a variety of year-round workforce development programs. Focusing on different industries, the programs provide youth with soft skills, job training, paid internships, and the support of caring adults through case management and mentorship. When all ABCD Youth programs shifted to distance learning, many youth found themselves without the proper technology to participate or enough food to eat. Youth who were parents also had trouble accessing diapers and formula. The Youth Services staff tapped into their personal and professional networks to make sure their clients were taken care of.

Rand, a graduate student at MIT, said "I'm a graduate student myself. I want to know that other students can learn during COVID-19 and I can help. I would be more than happy to buy and donate laptops for students.” Kayla, 21, received a laptop from Rand. She had been using her phone to complete workshops and assignments, doing her best to keep up. Kayla shared “I can't believe someone gave me a laptop, I will be able to do more now.”

Julia, a Jamaica Plain resident, purchased her own masks from a local business Designs by Rey. When Julia learned ABCD youth were having trouble accessing masks, they purchased more and the masks were distributed to the youth.
Seeing the need for no-contact deliveries of groceries and other necessities, Sarah, a Boston resident, connected with the young mothers, picked up groceries, and delivered the goods to their doorsteps
ABCD Videos
Ostiguy Recovery High School's June 2020 Graduation Goes Virtual
Celebrating 55 Years of Head Start: Lead Teacher Catherine Lunnin
More Information
Register to Vote Today

The deadline to register to vote in the Massachusetts Primary Elections on Sept. 1st is now Saturday, August 22nd. Visit https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/   to register today.

If you are already registered to vote, in mid-July you should have received a Vote By Mail Application , sent to the address where you are registered. If you received the application, you must return it by Wednesday, August 26th .

Please look out for more detailed information from us in the coming weeks.
Complete the 2020 Census Today

The 2020 Census is a way to directly increase community power. It will impact our daily lives for the next 10 years. Many of our communities are at risk of an undercount. We need a complete and accurate count because all of our communities deserve to be seen, heard, and invested in.
Visit my2020census.gov to complete the 2020 Census today.
Give Today.

The ABCD COVID-19 Relief Fund supports individuals and families with urgent needs for food, baby formula, diapers and wipes, cleaning supplies, rental assistance, and transportation. We hope you will consider making a donation to the ABCD COVID-19 Relief Fund today, so that ABCD can continue and expand this essential work.
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Action for Boston Community Development | 617-348-6000 |  bostonabcd.org