Families are down to last pennies with no relief in sight
In communities like Chelsea, even in the best of times, families scrape by financially. They work long hours in low-wage jobs, overcrowd apartments to afford rent, and cook creatively to keep everyone fed. These families work so hard to build a better life for themselves and their children - painstakingly inching towards financial independence and an "American dream."

In a matter of days, the COVID-19 crisis erased decades of progress for our families. The latest U.S. jobs report shows that Latinos are the worst hit ethnic group in the country, with a record national jobless rate of 18.9%.

The Grariejo family is one of many feeling the financial pain, with no end in sight. Macedonia, mom of three, worked 40 hours/week for minimum wage. It was a daily struggle, but she was able to scratch together enough for rent and food each month to support her kids and her elderly mother. With the COVID-19 shutdown, her hours were cut to five/week and the family fell into financial crisis overnight. To survive, Macedonia relies of food pantries and loves the Latino foods that the Collaborative distributes.

Before COVID, Macedonia barely got by and saving for emergencies was out of the question. Still, she considered her family fortunate - Macedonia was employed and her family had a roof over their heads. For a time, they had a small sense of security. Post-COVID, Macedonia hasn't paid rent for two months, and even with the eviction moratorium in place for now, she knows she'll never be able to catch up on those back rent payments. She's afraid her family will be on the streets as soon as the moratorium ends.

Attorney General Maura Healey joined us on the front lines recently to talk with community members about their legal rights. From the Boston Globe:

“It’s really poignant and heartbreaking to see someone just come from the front lines working, to stand in line at a food pantry to get baby formula and diapers and food for their household," the attorney general said in a phone interview. “I think people are really desperate...You see that people are stoic and resilient but desperate. They’re hurting.”

We need your help
The City of Chelsea has funded $1.25 million in rental assistance for impacted families, but based on the number of anti-displacement cases the Collaborative is working on currently, we expect Chelsea will need closer to $10 million to cover back rent payments and keep all families stably housed post-COVID.

Join us in asking our representatives to increase funding for rental assistance and grant rental amnesty for COVID-impacted families. We must give our families a fighting chance to get back on their feet after COVID and once the eviction moratorium ends.
A Community Unites to Support Families
All of us at the Chelsea Collaborative have been humbled by the generous outpouring of support to help families weather the COVID crisis. We've received hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of food and diaper donations, engaged with hundreds of new volunteers, and received monetary donations for the food pantry, our programs and services, and direct financial assistance for families through the One Chelsea Fund. Mil Gracias! to everyone who has donated and continues to offer support during these challenging times.

Special thanks to recent donors that have invested in Chelsea: The Barr Foundation, The Latino Legacy Fund at the Boston Foundation, The Hispanic Federation, The Wild Geese Foundation, and The Rubenstein Charitable Foundation.
One Chelsea Fund
The One Chelsea Fund was established by the Chelsea Collaborative, Green Roots, and The Neighborhood Developers, with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley to provide $250 in financial support to Chelsea families impacted by COVID-19. Families can request support by completing a short intake form, available here .