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 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 these spaces and resume programming. We will keep you updated on any new information in the coming weeks.

Although our physical spaces are closed, MPDC, Dewitt Center , and Hibernian Hall staff are available by phone & email during this time. Please contact us at 617-541-3900 o r . Check here specific staff contact information.
We will be sending bi-weekly emails comprised of updates, digital event announcements, and a variety of COVID-19 related resources.

Social distance gardening with MPDC's Hope Community Gardeners
MPDC's Health & Wellness Team distributed over 30 seedling kits to our community gardening families so that they can continue the garden season from their kitchens while socially distancing!

Families are gardening from home by planting herbs, tomatoes, and other veggies.

Thank you to MPDC's Peer Health & Garden Leaders, and MPDC's Health Equity & Wellness Organizer, Leslie Stafford , for helping to make this happen!
The MPDC Opportunity Employment Program has gone virtual!
MPDC's Opportunity Employment Program (OEP) students have successfully transitioned to online classes and workshops using Chromebooks provided by MPDC . Students are virtually participating in personal and professional development workshops as well as online lessons in Language Arts, Reading & Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

We were thrilled to see these smiling faces when the HiSET instructors & OEP Team conducted a tutorial on how to use Google Classroom and EasyClass to continue their HiSET studies.

Great job, OEP Team and students!
It is still #HappeningAtHibernian!
Although performing arts programing will not be taking place in the physical space at Hibernian Hall, the show must go on and will continue online!

Soon, everyone will be able to watch artists working with Hibernian Hall from the comfort of their homes through YouTube and social media streaming. Stay tuned for announcements on Hibernian Hall's upcoming virtual events & performances!
The virtual Hibernian Hall Play-Writing LAB kicked off on May 5th! Alongside Jacqueline Parker, eight local playwrights will spend six weeks focusing on crafting short plays using music, articles, theatre games, improvisation, research, and photography to inspire their intergenerational stories. The culmination of the LAB will be an online play reading festival featuring each of the playwright's works.
Hibernian Hall is honored to be awarded a grant from the Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Fund in support of its operations. This grant will assist with migrating essential arts and culture programming online.
Jacqueline Parker
Jacqueline Parker is an actor, director, and playwright. She is an Elliott Norton Award winner, a seven-time winner of the Independent Reviewers of New England Award , The Drylongso Award, and the 2016 Community Catalyst Award from Madison Park Development Corporation . Previously, she was a visiting playwright at Hibernian Hall (2016-2017).

As an actor, she has worked on stages across the country for the last twenty years playing roles including Rose in ' FENCES ,' Caroline in ' Caroline or Change ,' Billie Holiday in ' Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grille ,' Dr. Bessie Delaney in ' Having Our Say ,' Elizabeth in ' Old Settler ,' along with several roles in productions with the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company .

She currently serves as the Artistic Director for Our Place Theatre Project, where she has been teaching acting and play-writing since 1998. At Our Place Theatre, she founded the African American Theatre Festival and has worked with hundreds of new and emerging playwrights, actors, and directors to develop and produce their work on the stages of Boston.
For three years, she served on the ' I Dream Team' at Emerson College , teaching youth how to write their stories. Her directing credits include over 30 plays at Our Place Theatre, Emerson College, Brandeis University , Harvard University , The Boston Conservatory , Boston Center for the Arts , and The Calderwood Pavilion .
MPDC represented at
Boston City Council hearing
Recently, Katrina Conrad , MPDC’s Workforce Diversity Project Manager, spoke before the Boston City Council at their review of the Boston Employment Commission (BEC) and the Boston Resident’s Job Policy Office (BRJP). City Councilor Lydia Edwards and City Council President Kim Janey raised concerns about the ongoing efforts from the City to enforce the BRJP ordinance and create more opportunities for Greater Boston residents.
During her speech, Katrina discussed the details of Madison’s Train 2 Trades program and how it is a solution to building a pipeline .

Awesome work, Katrina!
Massachusetts recognizes MPDC’s important work
We are proud to announce that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has awarded MPDC with Community Investment Tax Credits to encourage major giving.

Thanks to ongoing advocacy by Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations , the commitment of the MA Legislature, and Governor Charlie Baker, we are able to offer this incentive to taxpayers. You can even designate your CITC contribution to a particular program such as Madison's Train 2 Trades Program , The Dewitt Center , MPDC's youth programs , resident leadership projects, and Hibernian Hall .

We are pleased to say we’ve already begun to secure significant contributions from donors who will be able to take advantage of the 50% state tax rebate made available through their gifts of $1,000 or more. A donor can be an individual, a nonprofit, a business, or a corporation. Please, Consider becoming a CITC donor to MPDC today! You can make your donation here or contact  Kay Mathew  for more information.
MPDC works with its long-standing partner NeighborWorks America as we build strong communities together every day. NeighborWorks is a congressionally chartered nonprofit supporting community development through grants, training, and technical assistance with a network of more than 240 community development organizations throughout the country. Watch for upcoming MPDC-NeighborWorks Week virtual events!
Delta Gems Virtual College Tour with Boston College
Join the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority for a virtual tour of Boston College!

WHEN:   Saturday, May 9
10 am - 1 pm

WHERE:  Zoom
MEETING ID: 822 4992 3933

The Dewitt Center is proud to share this partner organization's event.
Teen Trivia Night
The Dewitt Center's Teen Trivia Night is back!

WHEN:   Wednesday, May 13
6 pm - 7:30 pm

WHERE:  Zoom
MEETING ID: Register for Meeting ID

Join The Dewitt Center online to test your knowledge and win cool prizes!
Hibernian Hall presents:
Join Hibernian Hall online for a live performance by TeaMarrr !

WHEN:   Friday, May 29
8 pm

WHERE:     Facebook Live

Shaking up pop, R&B, and hip-hop with a sharp sense of humor (and sharper mic skills), flaunting an otherworldly outsized fashion sense (like Grace Jones gone Candyland), and blessing each phase of her art with a teacup (of origins she will not disclose), TeaMarrr imagined a world of her own—and actually went one step further to bring it into existence. Since emerging in 2017, the Boston-born and Los Angeles-based Haitian-American songstress backed up every word through consistent independent output, leaping from an underground phenomenon to the flagship artist on Issa Rae’s Raedio in partnership with Atlantic Records. Acclaimed by everyone from Flaunt and NPR  to Ones To Watch and Consequence of Sound and streamed upwards of 4 million times as of 2019, she turned personal promises into a wild, weird, and wonderful trip.
Summer Online Movement Series
Join Hibernian Hall and VLA Dance for a summer of movement!

WHEN:   Mondays & Wednesdays
July 6 to August 12

Hibernian Hall and VLA DANCE are excited to collaborate on the Summer Online Movement Series , a weekly mixed-level movement classes for youth and adults taught by the professional dance artists of VLA DANCE. Classes include yoga, conditioning, and contemporary dance practices. All classes are taught on both Mondays and Wednesdays online and will be designed for small indoor spaces. Registration is free but, donations are accepted.
MPDC's Virtual Garden Tea Party
Save the date for MPDC's 5th Annual Garden Tea Party!

WHEN:   Saturday, June 27
11:00 am - 1:30 pm

WHERE:  Online! Stay tuned for details.
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

City of Boston COVID-19 Guidelines

Immigrants Living in the City of Boston

SPARK Boston
See their April 24th newsletter here .
See their April 27th newsletter here .
See their April 29th newsletter here .
See their May 1st newsletter here .

Help The City of Boston's COVID-19 Efforts
o    Stay home. If you must go outside, practice physical distancing from others (6 feet apart); avoid crowded places.
o    Wear a face covering if you absolutely must go outside. Face covers help reduce the risk of a person spreading the virus, especially if they are asymptomatic. Visit  CDC guidelines on face coverings  for more information and guidance. 
o    Observe the recommended curfew for everyone in Boston except for essential workers to stay at home from 9 pm to 6 am daily. 
o    Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid shaking hands.
o    Cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
o    If you think you might be sick, please call your doctor or 311 to be connected to the Mayor's Health Line 617-534-5050. Buoy Health has created a free online diagnostic tool that screens for COVID19 at .
o    Donate supplies to first responders  here
o    Donate to the City of Boston Resiliency Fund  here
o    Fill out  the 2020 Census . The Census informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local, and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years. It’s more critical than ever to ensure that all Bostonians are counted. 
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.

The U.S. Census 
Complete on the phone: 844-330-2020 (Spanish: 844-468-2020)               
Complete online:  
What is the Census:
 The Census is a constitutionally required nationwide survey conducted every 10 years by the U.S. Census Bureau to count the population of the United States.   

What's at stake: 
Much of the funding that comes from the Census count helps the most vulnerable among us. It provides, for instance, health care, education, food and nutrition programs, housing, and child care for low-income families.  
In Fiscal Year 2015 Massachusetts received $16 billion for programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP, Section 8 Vouchers, Title 1 Education Grants, and Head Start.

For every resident who is not counted in MA, $2,372 in funding is missed for public programs.
Thank you, MPDC Staffers, Cheprene, Javier, Yaritza, and Leslie for showing off their completed Census!
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.

Expanding Food Access for Families and Seniors
On May 4th, Mayor Walsh discussed new food benefits for families and on-going programs that serve seniors in Boston.

o Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) is a special food benefit authorized by the federal Coronavirus bill. It’s available for all Boston Public Schools and Charter School students while schools are closed. Households will receive $5.70 per child per school day for the duration of school closures—or $28.50 a week per child. If families currently receive SNAP benefits, the P-EBT will be added to their cards. If families aren’t enrolled, they will get cards sent to them in the mail. Some families may have gotten their benefits last week, and everyone else can expect to receive theirs in the coming weeks. 

o Using P-EBT benefits does not impact any adult or child’s immigration status, and the Public Charge rule does not apply to P-EBT benefits. 

o If families have questions about P-EBT, SNAP, WIC or other food resources, they can call Project Bread’s Hotline at 1-800-645-8333. They can also contact the City’s Office of Food Access at 617-635-3717 or by email at .

o The City of Boston also continues to operate 65 youth-oriented meal sites, which are open every weekday with weekend meals available on Friday. Eight of these sites serve youth and adults in East Boston, Dorchester, South Boston, Mattapan, and Brighton, Mission Hill, and Egleston Square, which is easily accessible from Roxbury and JP. By the end of this week, we will have added an additional 8 sites in East Boston, Charlestown, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Roxbury, almost doubling the number of meals available to adults. The City of Boston has served more than   740,000 meals at its meal sites so far. For hours and locations, visit the  Food Resources Map  on or call 3-1-1.
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.
Mass Mentoring
The KELLY Award is an educational gift of $20,000 that will be awarded to a young person, nominated by a positive youth-adult role model in their life. Payable over 4 years, it will support a wide spectrum of educational pursuits. Apply by May 22nd .
Dewitt Center Program Partner, The DREAM Program is enrolling for summer camp 2020 for Madison Park Village, Orchard Gardens, and Ruggles Shawmut apartment families. Applications can be completed here . If you need assistance please contact Dewitt Center Program Coordinator Arlene Baldwin / 617-488-9179.
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 info session?
Contact MPDC Youth Workforce Manager,  Yhinny Matos      / 617.849.6236
The Boston Neighborhood Trauma Team (NTT) offer the following services for individuals, families, and communities impacted by community violence:  
  • Access to support hotline 24/7 365 days a year (617-431-0125)
  • Immediate support services for any individual impacted by community violence
  • Support for individuals and families during community events including vigils, memorial and funeral services
  • Referral to ongoing behavioral health services for individuals and families 
  • Trauma education and support at community meetings
  • Community outreach to distribute basic health information on trauma
  • Community coping/healing groups

Support is available to ALL residents who feel impacted by community violence. You can access these services by calling the hotline for immediate support or by calling a Neighborhood Trauma Team. All services are free and private.
Peer Support x PureSpark
Moderator: Nieisha Deed, A Mental Health Advocate with lived Experience, A Public Speaker unafraid to speak authentically, and the Founder of PureSpark "Helping you find your spark in the darkness"
What is a peer Support Group?
Peer Support is a group of supportive peers typically led by someone who has a close relationship with the group topic. Peer support by PureSpark is looking to support:
-peers that may currently be living with a mental illness,
-peers that have a loved one who is living with a mental illness,
-peers that have experienced symptoms of a mental illness in the past,
-peers that may be experiencing “unfavorable” emotions/feelings during a stressful time (i.e. COVID-19).
Register here .
"As the United States surges with COVID-19 cases, black communities are already besieged with disproportionate rates of illness and exacerbated consequences, including hospitalization and death. According to city data, 40% of those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 in Boston are African American or black, yet that population only makes up 20% of the city's population. A similar trend is being reported in other states across the country, according to preliminary findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
Check out this interesting video from Boston Medical Center featuring Dr. Thea James (a 2019 MPDC Community Catalyst Awardee).
Care for your Coronavirus Anxiety
Check out these resources for anxiety and your mental health in a global climate of uncertainty.
Free Yoga Boston

There's always news on the   FYB Facebook page .

  A Few Things...
  YouTube   has a bunch of yoga videos.

A   doctor is prescribing yoga   for her patients to relieve stress and build immunity.

Jessamyn Stanley  talks about the role of cannabis in her yoga practice
Dreams 2 Reality is hosting weekly workouts! Participate here .
Network of Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Service Providers in MA
Boston City Councilor At-Large Annissa Essaibi George
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
Financial Education Associates
Homebuying Classes
HB101 – Homebuying 101 is an 8-hour course over 2 or 4 days to prepare first-time homebuyers for homeownership.
Topics covered include:
  • ​Information on preparing for the mortgage process
  • First-time homebuyer mortgages
  • How to find a home
  • The legal aspects of buying a home
  • How to work with professionals during the homebuying process?
Graduates of this course are given a certificate that allows access to financial assistance programs, Mass Housing Partnership’s ONE Mortgage, MassHousing mortgages, HUD mortgages, homeownership lotteries, and lender first-time homebuyer mortgages. The certificate is accepted statewide for first-time homebuyer education.

​Each person attending must purchase 1 ticket for the series. All sessions listed in the title must be attended for the certificate. Refunds up to 7 days before the start of class. Makeup class attendance permitted.

​To register, select your class:
These classes are held by webinar on Zoom for the foreseeable future. Meeting instructions will be provided the day before the class. If you want to make up a past class, email   for meeting instructions.

​If you want to register for the Framework Homebuying class   click here.
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.

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 .

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.
Navigating employment remedies and unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic can be confusing. The Victim Rights Law Center attorneys are still helping survivors with their employment needs and monitoring changes to employment policies that affect survivors’ options. Visit  their website  for more information on employment remedies for survivors, or contact them for help.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The Empowerment Grant for Small Businesses
The State Treasurer’s Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE) is proud to offer The Empowerment Grant for Small Businesses as an acknowledgment of the devastating economic impact that the COVID -19 pandemic has had on the Massachusetts small business community.

The Empowerment Grant Program aims to support the well-being and continuity of small businesses by providing access to capital and empowerment through engaging in OEE resources.

Grant resources will be focused on small business owners serving Massachusetts Gateway Cities. The State Treasurer’s Office of Economic Empowerment encourages minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, and/or immigrant-owned small businesses located in gateway communities to apply.

For details, please see Section III of the  Program Summary . Applicants are encouraged to illustrate how they can utilize funds to support initiatives that will allow them to continue operating during and/or after the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants may request up to $2,500 for the proposed need.
City of Boston
The City of Boston encourages you to find the State of Massachusetts full list of “COVID-19 Essential Services”  here .

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

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. 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.
TSNE is gathering a list of resources for nonprofits that may be able to provide relief or assistance during this challenging time. This is not a complete list and TSNE   will continue to make updates here   as more resources become available.

Read TSNE's April 29th newsletter .
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.
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.

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture in the City of Boston has announced a call for proposals for transformative public art projects.  More info here.

Please fill out this survey from the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and MassCREATIVE . It’s open to all artists and cultural workers based in MA and will provide invaluable data that we can use for advocacy and designing future supports.

The Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture is hosting a weekly meeting for individual artists from anywhere in the Greater Boston area. _____________________________________________________________
The #Powerof3Challenge is a social media creative challenge where artists post a video spreading truth and creativity through music and tagging 3 other creator friends who can step up to the challenge.

See posts in real-time here.
The power of 3 connections can spark a movement!
The Theater Offensive has launched a new relief fund for artists who apply as queer and/or trans people of color, and also for past participants in their youth programming. Check out how to apply here.