$2.2 million in grants awarded to community organizations
Sep 11, 2019
BOSTON - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD) announced $2.2 million has been awarded to 51 community-based programs that will provide employment, education and economic services to more than 4,000 low-income Boston residents. The funds come to the City of Boston through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The awards were celebrated yesterday at Black Market in Roxbury, a first-time recipient of CDBG funding.
“In Boston, we are fortunate to have organizations that are dedicated to creating economic opportunity for everyone,” said Mayor Walsh. “Together, these grants are truly a partnership. By providing these organizations with the funding they need, we are investing in our residents, and taking another step forward in closing the equity gap, creating more opportunities for all.”
For this grant cycle OWD prioritized organizations offering services that give residents access to economic opportunity, including employment training and career readiness, youth development programming, essential language access and economic benefits counseling. The organizations represent nearly every neighborhood in Boston and consist of various competitive program models.
Two organizations are receiving funding for the first time this year. Mothers for Justice & Equality, an organization that empowers mothers and youth to challenge the normalization of violence by becoming catalysts for change in their communities, will leverage their CDBG funds to provide educational civic action programming for mothers and youth in Boston. Black Market, a micro-business accelerator program, will use their CDBG funding to employ local vendors at their pop-up market in Roxbury’s Dudley Square.
“Our community is full of dreamers and innovators that tend to get overlooked and overshadowed because of the zip code in which they reside,” said Kai Grant, owner of Black Market. “This money is an investment for their future and the development of an entire ecosystem in Roxbury. We are grateful to assist in the socio-economic uplifting of our neighborhoods.”
Funding was also made available to Adult Basic Education and English Language programs. These programs offer employment-specific language services that can create pathways to employment for lower-wage Boston residents. The Mujeres Unidas Avanzando (MUA), based in Dorchester, trains Latina women at an on-site phlebotomy lab while integrating language services, job readiness and job placement. Another recipient, Greater Boston Legal Services, will provide free legal representation for Boston residents who need to maintain critical benefits such as housing assistance and childcare vouchers.
Recognizing that economic opportunity begins at an early age, Boston Builds Credit, a first-in-the-nation citywide movement to help Boston residents achieve good credit, received CDBG funds to deploy on-site financial coaches at Bunker Hill Community College and Roxbury Community College to help over 400 students with credit building and financial coaching. Of those, 240 students will continue to work one-on-one with qualified coaches to set and attain personal finance goals.
Other selected programs, such as Beacon Communities Charitable Fund, provide residents with career readiness training. Beacon Communities Charitable Fund, in partnership with Economic Mobility Pathways (EmPath), will use their CDBG funds to offer a Technology Mobility Action Plan initiative (TMAP) at Boston Housing Authority’s Tierney Learning Center in South Boston. TMAP is a career-development and family support program for low-income heads of households seeking employment in the technology field.
Grantees were selected through an open and competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) procurement process with input from both the public and private sectors. The full list of this year’s grant recipients can be found below.