City of Ideas
One year after Maria, a thank you and a mission
In this piece in the Boston Globe, the co-chairs of Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico say thank you for $3.8 million raised, but say there's still more to be done.Read More
On September 29, 2017, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and the Boston Foundation announced the creation of the Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico Fund/Massachusetts Unido por Puerto Rico. Hosted in partnership with the Latino Legacy Fund and civic leaders of Boston’s Puerto Rican community, this crucial fund is dedicated to the relief and recovery of Puerto Rico and the support of Puerto Ricans arriving in Boston and the Commonwealth as a result of the destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
In July 2018, the Fund awarded over $950,000 in grants to Massachusetts and Puerto Rico-based grassroots nonprofits, bringing the total amount of grants thus far to nearly $2.1 million. The Relocation and Recovery RFPs are currently closed. Please check back here for updates on future rounds of funding.
Casa Pueblo - $50,000 (Adjuntas, green energy/solar)
To install solar powered electrical systems for families whose medical needs are dependent on constant power, in the rural highlands of central Puerto Rico.
Grupo Guayacán - $50,000 (San Juan metro, microenterprise)
To expand their EnterPRize Competition to provide $2000 to 20 start-up venture teams to restart operations, keep their doors open, and resume their path to growth, and provide a Resiliency Special Track Prize of $2,500 to one top performing start-up team.
Para la Naturaleza - $50,000 (island-wide, sustainable agriculture)
To retrofit a community center with electricity supplied by solar energy and a high capacity water filtration system, and assist 3 agro-ecological farmers with micro-grants to help jump-start agricultural production.
Fidelicomiso de la Tierra del Caño Martin Peña - $45,000 (San Juan metro, sustainable infrastructure)
To launch a rainwater detention and harvesting pilot project in the Buena Vista Santurce community, designed to reduce the risks of flooding, water contamination and exposure to health risks in this lower-income community.
Centro para Emprendedores - $40,800 (Isabella/Aguadilla, microenterprise)
To support the Bottom Up Business Recovery project, which is jointly led by Centro para Emprendedores and Foundation for Puerto Rico. The program strives to strengthen the business ecosystem on the northern side of Puerto Rico region through their tri-phase program of assessment, action plan development and coaching.
Programa de Educación Comunal de Entrega y Servicio (P.E.C.E.S.) - $35,000 (Punta Santiago, microenterprise)
To support the recovery of Punta Santiago as a tourist and culinary destination by reactivating micro-enterprises and entrepreneurship through technical assistance, and by improving entrepreneurs’ access to capital, equipment, and job programs and consulting services. The grant targets support for the region’s fishing and microenterprise sectors.
Puerto Rico Community Foundation - $30,000 (islandwide, green energy/solar)
To support the Foundation’s Gift of Life campaign to establish relief hubs across the island and provide 100 health clinics with solar-electric kits built to be resilient in the event of another disaster.
La Maraña - $30,000 (Humacao, sustainable infrastructure)
To expand their “participatory recovery model” titled Imaginacion Post Maria to a third community, the hard-hit eastern municipality of Humacao. This model beings communities through a long-term planning process of imagining, planning and building designed to support long-term change.
Centros sor Isolina Ferré - $25,000 (Ponce/San Juan, microenterprise)
To support Operation Solidarity Economy, which trains local clothing makers on personal development and entrepreneurship, through coaching and workshops on starting and managing a business, marketing and business analysis.
Foundation for a Better Puerto Rico - $25,000 (Culebra, sustainable infrastructure)
To support a project to rebuild Culebra's major tourist destination and economic engine, Playa Flamenco.
Foundation for Puerto Rico - $25,000 (Aguadilla/Isabella, microenterprise)
To support the purchase and distribution of “Basic Business Resiliency Kits,” including water collection and filtration systems, indoor-outdoor solar lamps and wi-fi satellite antennas to improve disaster resiliency.
IDEBAJO - $25,000 (Salinas/Guayama, green energy/solar)
To provide training and materials for community youth and other residents of the Jobos Bay communities to perform energy use inventories, understand energy conservation and efficiency and give the skills to install small scale rooftop solar and storage installations (solar kits) for vulnerable residents.
Incubadora Microempresa Bieke - $20,000 (Vieques, sustainable agriculture)
To support a six-month project that trains community members on small-scale crop cultivation and marketing as a means of developing microbusinesses on Vieques. Volunteers will also work towards creating educational materials and talks about sustainable agricultural practices, and host a local radio show and public gazebo events for the wider community.
Catholic Charities – Springfield - $50,000
To assist families in their efforts to secure stable housing and providing up to 12 months of rental assistance, including case management and workshops.
Enlace de Familias Holyoke - $50,000
To the Holyoke Resettlement and Resource Center to support additional demand for services that will result as federal housing programs are withdrawn from families in need.
Holyoke Health Center - $50,000
To implement new software that would allow the health center to connect to databases in Puerto Rico and ensure evacuees are receiving continuity of care while they are in Massachusetts and after they return to Puerto Rico.
Career Point (Holyoke) - $40,000
To support the emergency needs of displaced Puerto Ricans through the Hurricane Response Program
Gandara Center (Springfield Resource Center) - $40,000
To provide rental supports and subsidies to relocating Puerto Rican families through the Springfield Family Resource Center.
New North Citizens Council (Springfield) - $35,000
To support the Welcome Center Housing Resource Program, focused specifically on meeting the ongoing housing and health needs of the evacuee community.
Centro Las Americas (Fitchburg/Leominster) - $33,000
To support continuing efforts to provide resources and ensure the housing, English language, job training and school enrollment needs of more than 300 evacuees are met.
Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (Boston) - $30,000
To provide moving assistance, furniture and other needs to displaced families being settled at Villa Victoria, and support a disaster relief liaison and resident service program.
Spanish American Center (Leominster) - $26,000
To support the Bienvenidos Partnership, working with the Montachusett Opportunity Council through the Fitchburg Family Resource Center to secure housing for evacuees. Funds will support welcome programs for families, case management and expanded ESL programming.
Boston Medical Center - $25,000
To integrate their existing services and provide continued support for housing, as well as psychosocial support (therapy) specifically for evacuees, and medication and transportation assistance to and from the hospital.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Worcester - $25,000
To provide Welcome Home Kits including items such as bedding, cooking, kitchen and bathroom items to displaced Puerto Rican families who have secured new housing.
SER-Jobs (Fall River) - $25,000
To provide ESL courses and related educational supports targeting the needs of Puerto Rico evacuees seeking jobs in Southeastern Massachusetts.
Chelsea Collaborative - $20,000
To continue providing one-stop resource and referrals for newly-arriving families under the Chelsea United for Puerto Rico program.
Latino Education Institute at Worcester State University - $20,000\
To support Club Educación, which incldes tutoring for K-12 students, ESL instruction for adults, and job assistance for Puerto Rican educators in the evacuee community.
Friendly House, Inc. (Worcester) - $16,500
To provide access to summer programming for Puerto Rican youth in collaboration with the local Boys and Girls Club, YMCA and Teen Youth Program.
Casa Latina, Inc. (Florence) - $15,000
To support Puentes (Bridges for Latinos), an information and referral program that provides key services to Puerto Rican families on housing, public healthcare resources, and employment opportunities, as well as periodic one-time support to individuals.
December 2017 grants are listed in this press release.
$15,000 to Casa Pueblo de Adjuntas, a community-based organization seeking to protect and preserve the environment through responsible use of environmental resources. In the aftermath of Maria, Casa Pueblo has focused on the procurement and distribution of solar-powered lights that can help replace the devastated power grid in the central part of the island.
$15,000 to Centros Sor Isolina Ferre (CSIF), a community-based organization that promotes education, economic self-sufficiency, violence prevention and community action. Since the hurricane, CSIF has focused on collecting and distributing supplies for Caimito, Ponce and the surrounding communities on the southwestern coast of the island.
$15,000 to Proyecto ENLACE, a collaborative effort to improve and redevelop eight communities around the Caño Martin Peña, a San Juan canal along which are some of the poorest and most flood-prone neighborhoods on the island, and were devastated by the hurricane.
$15,000 to P.E.C.E.S., based in Punta Santiago, Humacao, an education and community development nonprofit which is providing relief services and will focus on longer-term community development initiatives on the east coast of Puerto Rico, which was devastated when Maria made landfall.
$15,000 to Taller Salud, an operator of educational and prevention programs directed at women and girls in the towns of Carolina, Canóvanas, Loíza, Río Grande, Luquillo, Fajardo, and Vieques in the northeast coast of Puerto Rico. Taller Salud will use funding to provide for immediate needs with special emphasis on women, children and bedridden members of the community, as well as working to support fundraising and emergency donations in and around the community of Loiza.
$10,000 to Matria, a community organization which works with victims of domestic violence, but which has elected to pursue an immediate mission as a community collection and distribution centre over the next few weeks for clients and any families in need in and around the town of Caguas.
$7,500 to Coordinadora Paz Para La Mujer, a domestic violence organization that is working to distribute aid to women and children through a network of 11 domestic violence shelters across the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
In addition, the Advisory Committee made grants of $3,750 to the Chelsea Collaborative of Chelsea, MA and Centro Cristiano Nacion de Jesus of Springfield, MA to help defray costs associated with transporting donated goods to Puerto Rico, which they collected in the days immediately following Hurricane Maria.