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 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.

Food Distribution:   Led by the MPDC's Health Equity and Community Wellness team, our expanded weekly food distribution is reaching nearly 200 residents. In partnership with Lovin’ Spoonfuls , a food rescue organization, families have been receiving groceries delivered safely to their front doors by trained staff and volunteers. We want to thank the City of Boston and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office for providing volunteers and personal protective equipment that supports our ability to continue to safely distribute healthy food to our community.

Youth Development: It is so important to maintain a connection with our young people during this time. The MPDC Youth Development team distributed Chromebooks to participants so that they can access our virtual activities and continue their HiSET education. Almost 50 youth participants have been participating in daily virtual meetings, online workshops, cooking classes, music & dance classes, Census 2020 discussions, and more!

As always we appreciate the critical support we receive from  NeighborWorks America , our longstanding partner in community building.

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
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

Volunteering with the City of Boston
In light of the current public health emergency due to COVID-19, there has been an outpouring of support from the residents of Boston. The City of Boston under Mayor Walsh is coordinating volunteers who are looking to help and connecting them to future outreach and volunteer opportunities.

The health and safety of everyone is their first priority. They ask that potential volunteers be aware of their own health before signing up to help. If you do not feel well, have a temperature, or are exhibiting any symptoms please do NOT sign up to volunteer. If you have questions about your fitness or ability to volunteer, please contact your doctor.

Please fill out this questionnaire and as the situation continues to evolve you will be notified of opportunities as they arise.

If you have any specific questions about volunteering please email .

City of Boston Veterans
The City of Boston has been reaching out to veterans service providers and residential homes in Boston, to help them mitigate any risk and address concerns they have. Veterans and their family members can call 311 or email  to be connected to the City’s Office of Veterans Services .

The City of Boston has also created a Pen Pal Program for veterans who may be feeling social isolation. They are working to identify those veterans now and match them with volunteers who will check in with them periodically. If you would like to volunteer to be a pen pal, please email .

Boston Construction Ban
A ban on most construction in Boston continues until further notice. Boston, Somerville, Cambridge, and other MA. towns have stopped construction for now.

To mitigate the spread of COVID19, public access to the Inspectional Services Dept. offices at 1010 Massachusetts Ave. are restricted to appointment only.

Applicants requesting relief of the zoning or building code, or anyone inquiring about upcoming hearings, should email  or call 617-635-4775.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Guidance and directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and other state agencies related to COVID-19 can be found here .

Governor Charlie Baker has declared a state of emergency, giving the Administration more flexibility to respond to the outbreak.

Sign up for Massachusetts COVID-19 text alerts
To get up-to-date alerts sent directly to your phone, text COVIDMA to 888-777 . You can also call the informational and referral hotline,  211 .
State Representative Liz Miranda
State Representative Liz Miranda’s Community Care Response Team is working hard to partner people in the 5th Suffolk district of Roxbury and Dorchester with the services we all need to deal with the effects of COVID-19.

Sign up here to receive updates.
Attorney General Maura Healey
Attorney General Maura Healey announced that her office has filed an emergency regulation designed to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive debt collection practices during the COVID-19 crisis. This emergency regulation will remain in effect for 90 days or until the conclusion of the declared state of emergency.

The AG’s Consumer Protection Division encourages members of the public to call 617-727-8400 or  file a complaint online  if they witness or experience aggressive debt collection or predatory lending during this public health emergency.

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, AG Healey also issued an emergency regulation last week to  prohibit price gouging  of essential products like hand sanitizer, face masks, and gloves.

Visit AG Healey’s  COVID-19 resources page  for information about how the office can assist you during this crisis. 
State Representative Chynah Tyler
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!  is launching an initiative called  Boston Helps , a place with links where one can  request help , or  offer it . The page also has links for ways that you can help contribute to efforts such as donations and more. 
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.
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.
For their first round of engagement, with a $200 cash prize, they will be hosting two rounds of NBA 2K, one round of Madden 20 Tournament of Champions, and our first-ever rap battle, Battle4BostonRapRoyal! Links:
Boston Public Schools
The Boston Public Schools has created a page with  resources by grade and tips  for at-home learning.
Roxbury Prep has been focusing on making sure all students and families are safe and continue to get a quality education. Therefore, Roxbury Prep has put together a robust Remote Learning Plan and they are providing this material as an Open Source resource for  all  families during the school closure period. K-8 instruction can be accessed and shared via their  website .
Community Online Academies (COAs) are virtual full days of learning/development and health/wellness for kids and adults – taught by the highest quality teachers, instructors, speakers, from the community. 
Attendees can dial into as many or as few sessions as they like – full day participation is not required.
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
Contact MPDC Youth Workforce Manager,  Yhinny Matos     / 617.849.6236
Boston Public Health Commission

Boston Public Health Commission Mayor’s Health Line
The Mayor’s Health Line is a free, confidential, multilingual information and referral service. ​We help and welcome all residents regardless of immigration status. If you or your family needs legal assistance we provide referrals to legal services. 617-825-5000
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Boston Association for Childbirth Education
Nursing Mothers' Council
Free Breastfeeding Support
Text or Email. Online Support Coming Soon!
Follow them on Instagram, Facebook or visit their website .
Shari McBurney has also shared some birthing resources . These are primarily birth-related support options as NO ONE should give birth alone.
CWC has launched Emotional Support & Resource Referral Helplines! Folks anywhere can call-in Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm to speak to a volunteer about anything on their mind or any situation they need help with. Call (617) 354-6394 or (617) 354-8807 and dial '1' for emotional support and '2' for resource referrals. This is a new remote system so please bear with us as they work out any kinks! You can always leave them a message and they will get back to you as soon as possible.
Network of Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Service Providers in MA
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.
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.
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.
HowlRound panel discussion:  Artists In a Time of Global Pandemic  (for US-Based freelance artists and cultural workers).  Access it here.
Arts Administrators of Color Network
Arts Administrators of Color Network has set up a national  Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund  which folks can donate directly to in support of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists & administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal/temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19.
The Record Co.
The Record Co. has established the  Boston Music Maker Relief  Fund to provide financial relief to Boston area music makers experience lost income as the result of performance cancellations related to COVID-19.
Are you ready to move your body with us this week? They are continuing their donation based-classes and they can’t wait to dance in their kitchen/living rooms/basements/bedrooms with you!