MACDC & LISC Joint Newsletter
A Message from Joe & Karen:

As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, MACDC and LISC Boston are inspired by the ways that CDCs are stepping up and responding to the crisis. CDCs exist to build communities and, improve the places in which we live, work, and play. This work does not stop in a pandemic, but pivots to include the emergency response needed to sustain communities through crisis, and ultimately to invest in the community’s recovery. Right now, CDCs are on the front lines ensuring their community members stay housed and have access to food and other resources; supporting them through unemployment; helping small businesses access resources; and working with them to survive this public health and economic crisis. 

MACDC and LISC Boston are supporting CDCs across Massachusetts as they work within their neighborhoods and towns. We provide opportunities for peer sharing and learning, we provide technical support, and financial resources. We seek to advance local, state, and federal policies and programs – public and private - to ensure that our residents and small businesses get through this crisis. In addition, LISC and MACDC are part of a broad coalition of technical assistance providers including CDCs helping small businesses through the Massachusetts Equitable PPP Access Initiative.

We decided to team up on this special newsletter to highlight the many ways in which CDCs are adapting and responding to the moment. These stories underscore what we have been saying (tweeting) for a long time: #CDCsWork.
We hope these stories will inspire and motivate you to support the CDC movement during this unprecedented crisis. Support for the community development field is even more critical now than before. Through the Community Investment Tax Credit Program (CITC), donations of $1,000 or more may be eligible for a 50% refundable state tax credit. The state recently issued nearly $8 million in new tax credits to CDCs across the state so they can raise critically needed dollars to support their mission. 

How you can help: We ask that you consider supporting Massachusetts communities by donating to MACDC or LISC Boston , or to your neighborhood CDC today. See a complete list of participating CITC organizations here . You can also make a CITC donation through the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and they will distribute your contribution to dozens of CDCs across the state.

Joe Kriesberg, President, MACDC
Karen Kelleher, Executive Director, LISC Boston
A Few Stories from the Field
Fenway CDC partnered with local Fenway organizations and residents to form Fenway Cares, a joint effort to gather and share hyperlocal information and resources for the Fenway neighborhood.

Island Housing Trust held its first remote homeownership lottery via video conference. Six families were selected to purchase new homes on Greenwood Ave in Tisbury. 

Housing Assistance Corporation established the Cape Cod COVID-19 Workforce Housing Relief Fund to provide assistance with past due rent, mortgage payments, and other housing-related expenses for current, year-round Cape Cod and Island residents who are losing income.

The Neighborhood Developers established the Neighbors Helping Neighbors COVID-19 Fund to support residents of Chelsea and Revere, and through the CONNECT program, established a new hotline for community members to seek food assistance and other services.

LISC AmeriCorps members continue to serve at CDCs through telework. They are helping community members access housing and employment services. They are setting up information hotlines for resources in their communities, and more. 
WATCH CDC successfully advocated for the Waltham City Council to use $150,000 from its general reserves for rental assistance and the city plans to couple this with $1 M more in CPA funds. 

Asian CDC and Viet-AID , in partnership with the Chinese Progressive Association, Asian American Resource Workshop, and Greater Boston Legal Services created the Asian Community Emergency Relief Fund . Donations to the fund will go directly to help Asian American families and workers who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Franklin County CDC responded to the crisis with a new outlet for frozen produce. Franklin County CDC also put together a great list of resources for small businesses. 

Allston Brighton CDC is mailing out T cards and Stop & Shop cards so that their tenants can buy food.

Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans (DBNBL) served as a resource hub for small businesses in need of COVID-19 resources and guidance. DBNBL conducted a series of webinars led by subject matter experts on federal resources available like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) as well as offering sessions on managing cash within a crisis and other relevant topics. Although Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans did not administer PPP or EIDL loans, they have delivered technical assistance to 216 small business owners and entrepreneurs to date.  

Jamaica Plain NDC helped more than 60 businesses access $1.4 M in loans and grants combined. Through their small business technical assistance, they helped 21 businesses to obtain $206,000 in EIDL advances, 23 to obtain $1.1 M in PPP loans and 21 to be approved for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Groundwork Lawrence has launched "virtual" markets, to replace its in-person farmers market, where customers order and pay for a pre-selected variety of fruits and vegetables before picking them up.
Coalition for a Better Acre's Youth Development staff, who usually run its after-school program, have become its food distribution team. In April, with the help of staff, volunteers, family members, and a Commonwealth Corps member, CBA collected food from the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, packed it into boxes for nearly 65 families and left it at their doorsteps.
Madison Park Development Corporation's Youth Development team distributed Chromebooks to participants, so that they can access virtual activities and continue their HiSET education. 

Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) adapted its culture-driven youth workshops to an online format. The organization has put a particular emphasis on continuing their strong support of teens during this pandemic. Read more in this article

NewVue Communities' homeownership and financial coaches are lending support by phone and video conferencing. Their small business technical assistance team has also been responding remotely to the needs of struggling businesses.
Join Us on Social Media with #CDCsWork

The stories above are a sample of CDCs' response to COVID-19 across the Commonwealth. Join us in sharing more stories and photos on social media using the hashtag #CDCsWork and tag us: @masscdcs and @LISC_Boston .