June 2020
Monthly News & Updates
June 29th Marked a Milestone in ABCD’s Expanded Reopening
Since Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ABCD has been open on a limited basis, working nonstop to provide essential services to the community. We quickly adjusted to the new guidelines, and, recognizing that this pandemic will be with us for some time, reinvented how to deliver more than 50 programs. Largely, that has meant transitioning to an online environment, but more than that, it has inspired incredible ingenuity and collaboration.

After months of working with experts to plan a safe, phased reopening, we have created new physical routes through ABCD buildings to limit person-to-person contact, installed Plexiglas panels, purchased personal protective equipment (PPE), and more. Consequently, many programs were able to resume operations in our physical spaces as of Monday, June 29th.

The health and safety of our staff and of the neighbors we serve are the priority. We will continue to build out our neighborhood sites, Head Start early education centers, and administrative and program offices in accordance with all pertinent municipal, state, and federal guidelines and regulations. 

Since March 18th, our neighborhood sites, operating in rapid response mode, have provided 5,815 individual services including food, diapers, baby wipes, gift cards, hygiene kits, PPE and school supplies. Similarly, our Fuel Assistance team worked with 19,261 clients. Notably, from April – May 30, staff took in 1,115 applications remotely, a process never done before. Those are two examples of the many ways in which we have been there for those in need.

In the months ahead, we will do even more. Through programs redesigned for a changing world, we’ll be able to help children, teens, adults, elders, and families move out of crisis and take steps toward a brighter and healthier future. Watch for updates on social media and on our website, bostonabcd.org .
Life Science Cares and Tech Goes Home Help Ostiguy Student
Graduate during Pandemic
Luke B. finishing his last assignment before graduation on his Chromebook from Life Science Cares and Tech Goes Home
Luke B., a student at ABCD's William J. Ostiguy High School, found himself in a bind when the school moved all activities to online platforms in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ostiguy High serves students in recovery from substance use disorders, with a program designed to help students maintain their sobriety and get their schooling back on track. Luke was in his senior year and had applied to several colleges. However, when the school transitioned to remote learning, Luke did not have access to a device that would enable him to participate in the virtual classes and community meetings, or to do his online assignments. If he couldn’t finish his senior year, his hopes for attending college in fall 2020 would be dashed. Thanks to the generosity of Life Science Cares, in collaboration with Tech Goes Home, Ostiguy High was able to provide him with a Chromebook. Luke was able to complete the school year and graduate this month. He also used the Chromebook to conduct meetings with his college advisor and guidance counselor, and was accepted by three different colleges for the fall. ABCD wishes Luke success in his college studies, and offer our gratitude to Life Science Cares and Tech Goes Home for helping Luke.
ABCD Health Services Virtually Connects Clients to Important Resources

COVID-19 has changed the way we all interact and our physical access to needed services. What hasn’t changed is every day health concerns and the need for information. ABCD Health Services, which is committed to continuously providing our clients with access to healthcare information, resources and programs, has successfully transitioned two training courses into a combination of virtual trainings and webinar trainings. The change in format ensured that participants who rely on ABCD Health Services could still have access to the information they need while staying safe in their homes.  
In addition to the trainings, ABCD Health Services also hosted two large online events, focused on reproductive health for adolescent girls. The first event, 2nd Annual Love Your Menses, had 60 participants. It connected young girls ages 9 -17 and their families to a host of medical doctors and public health professionals who provided education on menstruation and hygiene. The second event, She Plans, focused on teaching their participants about wellness. She Plans presented four components of wellness: Relationships, Education/Work, Sexual Health and Taking Care of You. Participants in the online workshops are eligible to receive a mailing of safer sex kits and menstrual hygiene kits.

To learn more about ABCD Health Services and the programs and trainings offered, click the button below.
Thank you to Joan Whitaker for More Than 30 Years of Service at ABCD
After 33 years of service at ABCD, Joan Whitaker retired from her position as the Director of ABCD Health Services. While working at ABCD she has grown personally and professionally. From earning her Master’s Degree through the collaboration between Urban College of Boston and Lesley College (University) to helping advocate for new legislation such as the PACTH Act of 2017. She has always made sure she did work that involved and helped the community in meaningful ways. 
“ABCD will always rise to the occasion and any challenges. It may look different with time, but it will always be there,” said Joan when asked about ABCD and what made working here so impactful for her. 

Still committed to ABCD’s work of helping people in our communities receive access to the resources they need, Joan has committed to staying onboard as Senior Advisor for ABCD Health Services. Thank you Joan for your commitment to the neighborhoods we serve and for your many years of service at ABCD.
ABCD Videos
ABCD Health Services: Love Your Menses Goes Virtual
ABCD SummerWorks
Summer Jobs for Boston's Youth
In case you missed it!
  • Click HERE for the Statement on George Floyd, anti-racism from ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew.

More Information
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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.
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