Madison Park Development Corporation ​ has been monitoring the guidance from the public health community designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 and taking measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all our staff, residents, program participants and partners. 

In response to recent directives from the City and State, MPDC has suspended all programming and closed our office, The Dewitt Center,​ and Hibernian Hall​ to the public until further notice . We will continue to monitor new information in order to decide when to re-open and resume programming.

MPDC, Dewitt Center , and Hibernian Hall staff will be available by phone and email during this time. Please contact us at 617-541-3900 or or use the following link for specific staff contact information:

We will be sending bi-weekly emails comprised of a variety of COVID-19 related resources.

Dear Friends,

We are thinking of you all during these challenging times. We hope you are well and that your families are continuing to stay safe. 

We want to let you know that while the MPDC offices are closed, our programmatic work continues. We want to share with you some of our adapted program activities. We are glad to share some of MPDC's ongoing work.

Climate Resilience at MPDC Affordable Housing .
MPDC residents will become climate resilient!  
Thanks to a grant from Boston LISC and Enterprise Section 4 , MPDC is working to address climate resilience at its affordable housing properties. The grant was made in support of emergency preparedness planning and resiliency assessment and to help MPDC build its capacity to implement emergency preparedness measures and resilient building strategies that will prepare our residents to withstand climate shocks. An assessment of Beryl Gardens and Ruggles-Shawmut buildings by New Ecology will highlight focus areas of our climate resilience work. Following the evaluation, the second step is resident engagement and education, whereby we will work (virtually) to communicate points of concern and how residents can become resilient at a household level and on a collective level. 
Smith House Wellness .
On-site programs are so vital to the health and well being of our older adult residents.  
Working together, MPDC and Winn Management seek to improve the lives of older adults living at Smith House,132 affordable households for older adults, and Madison Park Village by offering on-site resources and programs that improve physical fitness and nurture overall well-being. MPDC has been convening stakeholders to design and create a safe space for fitness. This project is in response to a survey of residents and a grant from Enterprise Section 4 to support staffing of the Wellness Room, which will offer fitness classes and the opportunity for residents to regularly use exercise machines to meet their fitness goals for healthy living at home. A big thank you to the Resident Services Coordinators at Smith House, Winn Management, Boston Medical Center wellness staff, and 2Life Communities , our community partners for this project. Shout out to 2Life Communities' Fitness Director, Francine Godfreyour, who is donating her time to consult with our team.
Hibernian Hall
Hibernian Hall is coordinating digital programming that will captivate and engage us all!  
Beginning in May, join Hibernian Hall online for live and streamed performances. Highlights include staged readings of works by writers in Jacqui Parker’s Playwriting Lab ; live Zoom performances by Roxbury Love artists; and Summer online classes in dance, movement, and yoga for youth & adults offered by Victoria Awkward and the VLA Dance Company Watch for schedule and access information for all upcoming virtual Hibernian Hall programs!

We appreciate the critical support we receive from  NeighborWorks America , our longstanding partner in community building. We are happy to work with them in building strong communities together everyday .

As always, you can keep up with MPDC by visiting our website and our social media platforms ( Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram ).

Be well and stay safe,
Leslie Reid
MPDC Chief Executive Officer
Over the last few weeks, MPDC has been inspired by its network of funding partners and the innumerable ways in which they have responded to COVID-19 crisis. Here are a few examples we want to highlight!

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation:  We are so grateful to  Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation  and their bold response during this challenging time. MPDC was thrilled to receive an additional $10,000 award to support efforts to expand food access to those most in need during this crisis. We are also grateful for their technical assistance and leadership in convening partners from around New England to collaboratively support one another. 

Life Science Cares:   Life Science Cares  has gone above and beyond in quickly responding to a wide range of specific needs communicated by their community partners. LSC has employed a variety of strategies ranging from converting grant awards to unrestricted funds and allowing partners to apply to for additional, fast-action grants, to connecting partners with specialized volunteers and reaching out to industry and policy leaders. We grateful for their commitment and leadership during this challenging time.

People's United Community Foundation:   A special thank you to  People's United Community Foundation , which made the decision to convert all restricted program/project related grants to unrestricted general operating funds, to ensure nonprofits can leverage funds for their most pressing needs. We are grateful for People's United Community Foundation's support!
City of Boston
The City of Boston has a free texting service to provide daily updates and information about the Coronavirus. Text BOSCOVID to 99411 to opt-in for English. Language and communications access remain a priority for Mayor Walsh, so this text service is also available in Spanish, Haitian Creole, French, Cabo Verdean Creole, and Portuguese:

  • Text BOSEspanol for Spanish
  • Text BOSKreyol for Haitian Kreyol
  • Text BOSFrancais for French
  • Text BOSKriolu for Cabo Verdean Creole
  • Text BOSPortugues for Portuguese

The City distributed a handout door-to-door with important public health information about the Coronavirus. Hopefully, you received this information at your home .

City of Boston COVID-19 Guidelines

Immigrants Living in the City of Boston

SPARK Boston
See their April 22nd newsletter here .

Older Adults Living in the City of Boston
A resource from the City of Boston that is geared towards supporting the senior population in some of their needs due to COVID-19. It offers a similar service as a mutual aid group, albeit a bit more formally.
COVID-19 Testing Facilities
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) launched a new mapping tool to help Boston residents find locations offering COVID-19 testing. The City of Boston is partnering with community health centers to increase access to testing, particularly in neighborhoods experiencing higher rates of COVID-19.
Madison Park Development Corporation / Census 2020
MPDC is proud to be a Census 2020 Partner!
From mid-March until the end of July, the 2020 Federal Census will take place. This is Boston’s once in a decade opportunity to get its fair share of billions in federal funding to support public resources and services. The 2020 Federal Census will also determine our political representation from Congress to the City Council. As you may know, much of the funding that comes from the Census count helps the most vulnerable among us. It provides, for instance, healthcare, public education, food and nutrition programs, affordable housing, and child care for low-income families.

Information taken from  Census.Gov

Mass Counts Committee
MPDC is proud to be a member of the Mass Counts Committee! We work with  MA Voter Table  along with other area partners to ensure our communities have an accurate count! Find out more at
Additional Census 2020 Resources
Learn all about the importance of the 2020 Census (in various languages)  here . Check out the 2020 Census response rates by city at  for posts on the city’s response rate and what’s at stake in the city.

Beginning March 1, 2020, the English and Spanish language lines will be available to provide general information about the 2020 Census, including answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), via an automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.

Callers to these lines will also be advised to call back starting March 9, 2020 to speak with a live customer service representative (CSR). Callers to all other language lines will hear the message to call back starting March 9, 2020, to speak with a live CSR.

Beginning March 9, 2020, all lines will begin live CSR support providing information about the 2020 Census and assistance with the questionnaire.
Callers to the English and Spanish language lines will be routed through the IVR system prior to being transferred to a CSR. Callers to all other language lines will be greeted in that language by a CSR.
1)  What does the Invitation to Respond envelope look like?
See visuals of our Census 2020 mailings here:

2)  Can I answer the questionnaire without the code in the Invitation to Respond?  
Yes! Visit  to complete the questionnaire with or without a code.

3)  Will my geographic area receive the paper form first or only the invitation to respond?
Look at the Mail Contact Strategies Viewer — if your census tracts are in green then your area will receive the invitation to respond and   the paper questionnaire in the first mailing. Remember, anyone who does not respond by phone or online will receive a paper questionnaire as part of their 4th mailing.

4)  I like the paper questionnaire. Will I need to pay to mail it back?   
No, it has postage on the return envelope and is ready to mail.
5)  What if more than 10 people are in my household?  
It is best to answer online or by phone for a larger household as you may include up to 99 people in your response.

6)  Where can I find language assistance for the census?   
See print guides in 59 languages here .

7)  When will I be able to see how well my community is responding?   
As of March 20th you will be able to view Census Self-Response Rates .

8)  Will the Census Bureau provide staff at my agency to help my community complete the census?  
They are staffing Census Response Representatives (CRR) mostly in areas predicted to have a low response rate from March 12 through March 30th. After March 30th, we will deploy CRRs only in areas of low self-response for  Mobile Questionnaire Assistance .

Census Disinformation Resources
Disinformation is false or misleading information that has been intentionally designed to confuse and manipulate the public. The best way to inoculate against disinformation around the 2020 Census is to uplift positive messages about the importance of census participation. This  recent webinar  explains how to track, assess, report and respond to census mis/disinformation. Additional resources:

Thank you to our Funders!
A great weekly round-up of resources!
This weekly email includes events, trainings, jobs, meetings, and resources specific to violence prevention and more generally of interest to the Boston community. The email is a collation of items aims to inform one another of Boston resources, as well as promote collaboration without 'reinventing the wheel.' 
City of Boston Food Sites
The City of Boston, in partnership with Project Bread , YMCA of Greater Boston , Boston Centers for Youth and Families , and other community organizations, will provide free meals to all youth and teens at various locations and times across the City.

Please note the following important details:
  • All pick-up sites are set up to be "grab and go".
  • Practice social distancing (keeping six feet between yourself and others).
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Meal sites list can be found here.
 The Red Sox Foundation has launched an Emergency Hardship Fund, which will specifically address an issue impacting millions of people right now: food insecurity.

We encourage anyone that has found themselves in difficult financial circumstances due to the wake of COVID-19 to apply for a $250 grocery store gift card here .
City of Boston
The Mayor’s Office of Public Safety has launched a series of online activities for youth and young adults across the City of Boston.
Boston Public Schools
The Boston Public Schools has created a page with resources by grade and tips  for at-home learning.

Earth Day
See Boston Public Schools' Earth Day Celebration resources here .
The Boston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has opened its 2020 scholarship. These scholarships are open to graduating high school seniors that 
  1. Are of African descent 
  2. A graduating senior who resides or attends school in Metropolitan Boston
  3. Have a minimum GPA of 2.75
  4. Demonstrate a commitment to community service
All application materials including recommendation letters can be submitted online using this  link . The application is due Sunday, May 17, 2020. 
If you have any questions related to the scholarship, please email .  
Madison Park Development Corporation
Each year, through the    Ralph Smith, Danette Jones , and    Haynes Family Scholarships , MPDC helps    several deserving students   from Roxbury    offset the cost of their college education .

Several college-bound applicants from Roxbury are selected annually by MPDC to receive scholarships ranging from    $250 to $3,500    toward each recipient’s  college tuition and expenses . MPDC’s college scholarship program was established by a bequest from the estate of Ralph Smith, our co-founder and first Executive Director, and a gift made in honor of Danette Jones, our second Executive Director. These scholarships make    a meaningful difference in the lives of our young residents .

Are you interested in learning more about
MPDC's 2020 Scholarship Program or attending an online orientation?
Contact MPDC Youth Workforce Manager,  Yhinny Matos     / 617.849.6236
Harvard Pilgrim
Meditation hotline for bite-sized moments of mindfulness: 877-589-6736
Mindfulness and meditation:
Participate in Mindfulness Classes at anytime here ! ______________________________________________________________
Ten Percent Happier
Participate in Guided Meditation at 3 pm everyday with Ten Percent Happier !
4 Corners Studio in Dorchester
Check out this amazing list of yoga videos & classes from 4 Corners Studio in Dorchester.
Yoga with Adrienne
Check out Yoga for Beginners with Adrienne at anytime here !
Network of Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Service Providers in MA
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
City of Boston
If you know anyone who is worried about paying rent if their income has been affected by COVID19, please have them reach out to the  Office of Housing Stability
During this incredibly difficult time, the Boston Housing Authority is calling on all owners of rental properties to assist us in helping Boston families find stable housing. The Boston Housing Authority has hundreds of voucher holder families actively seeking housing. Many of these families include children enrolled in Boston Public Schools and are in shelter or otherwise homeless. Now more than ever, it is incredibly important to provide these families with stable housing and decrease the shelter population in order to alleviate overcrowding and enable social distancing.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a COVID-19-related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits.
MA Department of Unemployment
The  MA Department of Unemployment Assistance  and Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development are hosting virtual town hall meetings to help with unemployment applications.

Click here to sign up for a virtual town hall.

The quickest way to file a successful unemployment claim is through the UI online portal which can be  viewed here .

Guide to filing a new unemployment claim
Find a step-by-step guide to filing a new unemployment claim  here .
While the state application is only in English (despite many previous and current efforts to rectify this), the Pioneer Valley Workers Center in Northampton created an online tool to translate the Unemployment Insurance application into Spanish. They’re working on a Portuguese translation as well!
City of Boston
The City of Boston encourages you to find the State of Massachusetts full list of “COVID-19 Essential Services”   here .

Restaurants, bars, and other establishments that sell food and beverage products to the public are encouraged to continue to offer food for take-out and by delivery, if they follow the social distancing protocols set forth in the Department of Public Health's guidance. On-premises consumption of food or drink is prohibited.

The Licensing Board for the City of Boston has provided this advisory regarding the status of the prohibition of on-premise consumption of food and alcohol, the limitation on capacity, and the closure of non-essential businesses.

This Advisory is  mandatory  and applies to both licensees holding a common victualler food only license and those holding a common victualler with alcoholic beverages license. Any failure to adhere to the Order or the Advisory will result in disciplinary action by the Board which may include, but not be limited to, the immediate suspension of the license.

The City of Boston has launched a website for residents to find local restaurants that remain open for take-out and delivery service during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. If your business is open for delivery and want to let the public know, be sure to sign up on  Support Boston Restaurants

The Boston Transportation Dept. is creating temporary pick up zones in front of restaurants that have transitioned to takeout only or businesses that have increased delivery needs. If you would like to request a take-out/delivery zone in front of your business, please visit

Please visit  and click on the COVID-19 updates for additional info. You can also email  or call the Mayor’s Hotline at 311.

Small Business Relief Fund
Mayor Walsh announced the creation of the Small Business Relief Fund, established to assist Boston's small businesses most directly impacted by closures, policies, or general loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This newly created fund is designed to quickly and strategically disburse grants to local businesses through a streamlined process that does not require businesses to assume additional debt. The Fund will begin accepting applications on Monday, April 6, 2020. Learn more here.

The City of Boston has also created a  Financial Relief Handbook  and  FAQ document  for small businesses. It’s a resource for navigating both public and private capital programs. It puts information and guidance about all the different programs together in one place.
The Seed grant program  is available to all community groups (even if you have an active grant/application for another project) for urgent needs to offer community responses to COVID19 
Boston Chamber of Commerce
A daily updated  list of resources for small businesses put together by The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

The LISC Small Business Recovery Grant Program for Massachusetts is now open. This program will provide grants to hard-hit small businesses in Massachusetts to weather the immediate financial impact of closures and social distancing measures required to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Small Business Recovery Grant Application is now available .
US Small Business Administration
Any Massachusetts nonprofit or small business may apply for the SBA disaster relief fund.  Click here to access the application.

Note: Because the SBA loan fund has been activated, the state  Mass Growth Capital Corporation  is no longer taking applications for emergency loans.​
Mass Cultural Council
Mass Cultural Council  released the results of their online survey of artists and arts & culture organizations created to assess the dire impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arts & culture community. They are urging state legislators to pass measures that will address the needs of our community to mitigate the devastating economic loss we face.

Mass Cultural Council has announced support for both individual artists and organizations.
Individual artists are eligible for up to $1000 in funding. Apply here .

A variety of resources for organizations , including webinars as well as individual coaching.

MCC’s preparedness for the Cultural Sector
Watch the recording for their COVID-19 Preparedness Webinar:
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture created a new Artist Relief Fund for artists located in Boston whose incomes are being adversely affected by COVID-19.

See their Artist Resource Update (4/17/2020)
New Atlantic Development / Opportunity for Roxbury Artists
The development project at 2147 Washington is including a 4,000 square foot common workspace/makerspace. The developers are looking speak with artists about what types of equipment are most useful. They will have several permanent and temporary art installation opportunities to include elements in their building and courtyard design that would best facilitate a variety of installation types. View more information about the project here .
If you are interested in learning more or participating in the formal conversations contact:
William Madsen Hardy -
236 Huntington Ave, Suite 314
Boston, MA 02115
Americans for the Arts
Arts Equity Summit / Virtual #AES2020
Creating Culture Shifts
APRIL 24th-26th
A Summit for arts & culture leaders committed to building equity
Due to COVID-19, AES2020 will be held virtually this year. It is their top priority to ensure the health and safety of their Summit community while honoring the time, thought work, and commitment that they all have put into building equity in and through the arts. They are optimistic that this new format will prove supportive to the Summit’s overall mission, creating an even more equitable platform for conversation, connection, and action.

Register today! Tickets are donation based this year.
This year they are introducing three strands to help guide the conversations:
1) Structures for Success: Building Equity in Your Organization
Conversations and trainings surrounding visions of equitable organizations and steps we can take to get us there.
2) Innovative Creatives: Building New Systems
Conversations for those interested in, or currently building equity in entrepreneurial ways, including new approaches and methods, systems, or structures.
3) Celebrating Resistance: Centering Community
Conversations celebrating equity work already taking place, with the aim of empowering others to continue, strengthen or start similar work.
About the Organizers
Arts Connect International partners with emerging artist leaders of color, and arts influencers who hold institutional power in the arts & culture sector, to collectively build equity, access, and inclusion through transformational leadership development.
Should you have any questions, please reach out to Allegra Fletcher at .