The Charlestown Coalition News: 

Issue 54

February 2021


Community Preservation

Funds for Charlestown


On February 22nd, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the City of Boston Community Preservation Committee (CPC) announced their recommendation of 67 projects, totaling over $25.5 million in grants through the Community Preservation Act (CPA). The proposals include 28 open space and recreation, five affordable housing, 34 historic preservation projects, with over $6 million, $13 million and over $5 million going toward each category respectively.

We wanted to make you aware of how these grant applications impacted Charlestown. There were two open space and recreation projects, totaling $612,207 in the recommendations. Please see below for specific project details.


* $112,207 for a community-driven design to rehabilitate the Little Mystic Channel Park and capital improvements to the Sprouts community garden, including picnic tables, benches, trees, and pavilion.

* $500,000 for design and capital improvements, including site preparation, paving, lighting, built features, furnishings, and water access to the Charlestown Peace Park.

Click here to read more.

Both project recommendations will be submitted to the Boston City Council for final approval with an anticipated vote from the Council in March.

If you are interested in being more involved and want to learn more about the Peace Park, please contact Ginaya Greene Murray.

Register for the next Race & Equity Discussion

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Mayor's Office of Public Service Highlights

Coalition's Program Coordinator!


The Mayor’s Office of Public Service highlighted the Coalition's Program Coordinator, Mswati Hanks, as a Local Leader in our community in honor of Black History Month.

Mswati was also highlighted by Massachusetts General Hospital for sharing his poetry in their collaborative art project, "Healing HeARTs."

Charlestown Coalition Steering Committee

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The Charlestown Coalition's Steering Committee is a diverse group of community agencies, organizations and residents who attend bi-monthly meetings to discuss community needs and form strategic plans to collectively address those needs.


During February's meeting, the committee worked together to further develop the Coalition's 2020-2022 Workplan. The Community Health Needs Assessment helps to guide the work, along with the support of the committee members and the community. Our current workplan spans through 2022. But given the impact of COVID and our increased focus on racial equity work, we wanted to update the plan collectively, coordinating efforts towards our shared vision of improving the health of Charlestown.


To view the Coalition's previous workplans and data impact reports, click here.

For more information about the Steering Committee, please contact Coalition Director, Sarah Coughlin.

Aging Adult and Youth Mentor Pilot Program

During the month of February, Turn It Around (TIA) youth participating in the Aging Adult and Youth Mentor Pilot Program made their initial phone calls with their senior mentors.


Under the  guidance of Meaghan Murray, Director of the Charlestown Golden Age Senior Center, TIA youth are developing interpersonal and conversational skills to connect with their mentors in an impactful way. When checking-in with the youth about their calls, many were enthusiastic to share how interesting their mentor is and how good it feels being able to bring joy to their day.


To expand the Aging Adult and Youth Mentor Pilot Program, Turn It Around has applied for additional funding through the Bunker Hill Associates grant. Our goal is to connect more youth with older mentors on a bi-weekly basis either by video or audio calls. We hope to  collaborate on fun socially-distant projects, play virtual games, and develop a genuine interest in the well-being of one another.


To say that one generation cannot understand the other is not necessarily true. Each generation has much to learn from the other, they simply need the opportunity to do so. By offering social connection during the programs, both groups will help form a greater sense of community.

This is not Goodbye, But a Thank You!

The Coalition and Charlestown community have been supported by such dedicated people within our neighborhood that goodbyes can be hard when these special workers move on from their roles. We'd all like to think that we're not saying farewell for good, so instead we're saying thank you for a job well done, and we wish these two important community members well in their new endeavors.

Quinlan Locke, who has held the City of Boston's Charlestown Liaison position for the past three years, has been an incredible asset to the Coalition and Charlestown community. He's attended our Turn It Around events, connected us to city-wide resources and more. We know that wherever Quinlan goes next, they will fortunate to have him on their team!


Charlestown Community Service Officer, Robert Luongo retired on February 19th after 33 years of service as a Boston Police Officer. “It has been a true honor working with Officer Luongo for the last 13 years, first as a colleague at A1 and then as a key stakeholder within the Charlestown Coalition. His dedication and commitment to community health and public safety was unparalleled. I have learned so much from him and truly appreciate his support, humor, friendship, and his tireless commitment to bettering the Charlestown Community. He will be greatly missed and we wish him all of the best as he enters into a well-earned retirement,” said Coalition Director, Sarah Coughlin.

Thank you Officer Luongo for all you have done for the community of Charlestown!

New Health Vaccination Clinics

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As part of Phase 2 Group 2 of the Commonwealths’s COVID-19 Rollout, NEW Health Charlestown will continue to provide vaccines to eligible patients and community residents in Charlestown.


The Vaccination Clinic’s location is at 15 Tufts Street. The entrance is located behind the health center. 


If you would like to schedule an appointment please call 857-238-1141, leave your name with spelling, address, and your date of birth with a telephone number you can be reached, and a patient service representative will call you back to schedule the appointment.


Please note in order to schedule a vaccine appointment, you must be registered with Massachusetts General Brigham. If not, please call 866-211-6588 to register. Screening questions to assess your eligibility at the time of scheduling will be asked as well.

If adverse events occur following the administration of COVID-19 vaccines, they should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Information on how to submit a report to VAERS is available at VAERS - Report an Adverse Event ( Including, but not limited to;

• Severe anaphylaxis or allergic reaction

• Cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome

• Cases of COVID-19 that result in hospitalization or death

Climate Resiliency


The Climate Ready Boston team has launched a planning process in Charlestown focused on coastal flooding. For this process they are looking at the timing and location of flooding in the neighborhoods, how it affects residents and businesses, and developing solutions together to build a resilient and healthy future for all.

They want to work with residents to create ways to protect the neighborhood from flooding today and in the future that make sense for all. Here are two, 15-minute ways to get involved in the project today:

  • Coffee Chat: Have a casual, 15-minute chat with them over a warm drink of your choice via phone or video chat. Ask any questions you might have, and share with them first-hand how coastal flooding affects your life, what you love about your neighborhood, and your ideas for the future of Charlestown. No preparation required. Sign up for a time that works for you here!
  • Stories of Resilience: Share a written note about the strength of you and your community, and read about how other Bostonians define resilience here.

Public engagement for this project is just starting. If you can’t participate right now, no problem. As the project continues, there will be many more ways to share your ideas and reactions. Get the latest info on the project at any point on the City website here.

Highlighting Our Community Partnerships:

Harvest On Vine


Our community partners are critical in helping us tackle the most difficult issues that the community faces. By enlisting multiple partners (residents, police, schools, healthcare, faith-based organizations, and the business community), we use a collective impact approach to problem solving. Our ultimate goal is to effect change and improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in Charlestown.


For the month of February, we'd like to highlight Harvest on Vine, an emergency food pantry of St. Mary-St.Catherine of Siena Parish in Charlestown. They have been serving people in need since 2003, giving each family roughly a week's worth of groceries twice a month. They started with 7 families, and they now have 700 families in their database. Although they require their clients to be from Charlestown, they have never turned anyone away. If someone goes to Harvest on Vine, they leave with food. Everyone is welcome at Harvest on Vine, whether they live in subsidized housing or in a brownstone in Monument Square. You never know when they might need help with food.  


The Coalition has partnered with Harvest on Vine during several community events, including their Thanksgiving turkey basket event and Easter ham giveaway. “The Turn It Around teens have been wonderful,” says Tom MacDonald, Harvest on Vine Director, “In 2019, they worked hard to distribute food to 725 families at the turkey give out and they supported us at our 2019 summer cookout, where 350 Charlestown residents attended. The Charlestown Coalition is doing important work. We at Harvest on Vine support them one hundred percent”.


If you've partnered with us, we'd love to hear from you. Please send us an email with details of how we've worked together along with any photos (if you have them), and we will share on our social media platforms. Let's show the community what great collaborations we've had with amazing organizations like yours!

Charlestown Family Support Circle Updates

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The Family Support Circle would like to appreciate all of our Charlestown Social workers during Social Worker Month! Thank you for your support, hard work and commitment to the Charlestown Community.


Last week the Charlestown Family Support Circle (CFSC) created a community resource email to highlight the wonderful Charlestown and Boston resources in the community. If you wish to receive these updates, sign up here.

Thank you, Trauma Response Team!


(L-R, Tina Goodnow, President of the Charlestown Residence Alliance, Lisa Solomon , MGH Charlestown Director of the Child and Behavioral Services, and Lori D'Alleva, Director of the Charlestown Adult Education Center;

members the Trauma Response Team.)

The Charlestown Coalition's Trauma Response Team (TRT) has been active in the community for the past 6 years. The TRT consists of Charlestown residents, local mental health providers, youth workers, and recovery coaches who are dedicated and concerned about the needs of the community, especially during times of tragedy and incidents of trauma. Our trauma team has been responding and supporting members of the community throughout the pandemic by delivering groceries, tablets, holding virtual meetings, supporting people in recovery, their families and helping people gain access to treatment and mental health resources. We want to take time out to thank all our trauma team participants, past and present for their time, hard work and dedication over the years. During this month's meeting we wanted to extend our gratitude by giving our trauma team, aka our HOPE DEALERS a gift of appreciation. Thank you all! We could not do our work without your help and support. 

 If you would like to learn more about the CFSC or TRT, please contact me at 617-726-0058. Thank you, Phenice Zawatsky.

Upcoming Coalition Meetings


Steering Committee Meeting:

April 27th

from 12 PM -1:30 PM.

Meetings are held virtually until further notice.

Contact Sarah Coughlin for more information.

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Trauma Response Team: 

March 16th

from 5:30 PM -6:30 PM.

Meetings are held virtually until further notice. Contact

Phenice Zawatsky to learn more.

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Charlestown Family Support Task Force: 

Provider Race Dialogue Discussion

March 16th

from 11:30 AM -12:30 PM.  

Meetings are held virtually until further notice. Contact

Phnice Zawatsky to learn more.

Where Are They Now?

Turn It Around Alumni

Guess Who? It's Melissa in 2018!

Find out what she is up to now and how

Turn It Around has impacted her life!

Read More

Turn It Around:

Youth of the Month

"Turn It Around's February Youth of the Month is Max Joseph. Max is one of our older youth leaders, and his continued involvement in Turn It Around has served as an inspiration and instruction to our younger members on how to be a productive and successful young adult. We’re so lucky to have Turn It Around members like Max, now college students, who stay involved and show the rest of the community how powerful membership in Turn It Around can be long term. Congrats Max!! Keep up the hard work!

-Mswati Hanks,

Youth Program Coordinator

Read More
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Voices of Recovery

Shawn Cannizaro is sharing his journey in recovery this month in an interview with Program Manager of Addiction and Recovery Services, Shannon Lundin.

Read Full Interview

To learn more about our programs, our staff, community partners, resources, upcoming events, Turn It Around, program impact, and more, click below:

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