There are countless unsung heroes who are working on the frontlines in the face of the Coronavirus. Here are two Brookside Community Health Center employees who have been putting their lives on the line to help others. For eight weeks, ending July 10, the Brookside Community Health Center was one of Boston's free testing sites. That meant lots and lots of people coming to get tested. Name: Victoria (Tory) Hill
Hometown: Jamaica Plain
I have worked at Brookside Community Health Center for five years in total. I left for a few years to go back to nursing school, and have now been back working as a nurse practitioner for the last three years.
Hyde Square Task Force is receiving $50,000 for its youth music education programming thanks to the Lewis Prize for Music. The Lewis Prize for Music's COVID-19 Community Response Fund is distributing $1.25 million to 32 Creative Youth Development (CYD) organizations across the U.S. that have adapted and responded to the pressing needs of the young people they serve amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hyde Square Task Force’s Musicians in Community is one of three Afro-Latin arts teams that youth in grades 8-12 can join at HSTF. Musicians in Community is offered year-round at no cost to participants, and youth receive training in areas such as music theory, ear training, songwriting, improvisation, music history, stage performance, and overall musicianship. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, programming has occurred virtually.
Daily free testing for COVID-19 at the Brookside Community Center ended July 10, but testing is likely to eventually resume there again. Brookside's testing site at 3297 Washington St., was open for eight weeks in collaboration with the Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center on Centre Street, and ended on July 10. Brookside provided a statement to Jamaica Plain News about the testing site ending:
"In balancing the importance of COVID-19 testing for our community with the need to serve our patients at each of the health centers, we will likely restart our testing site soon, in a more limited capacity, and will communicate those decision once made." Brookside will also post on updates on its Facebook page. While there are no more free Jamaica Plain testing sites, there are numerous other testing sites in Boston.
The Urban Edge Resiliency Fund will directly assist families and individuals living in Urban Edge’s housing, as well as low- to moderate-income families in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color in Boston and throughout the country,” said Emilio Dorcely, Urban Edge’s Chief Executive Officer. “A majority of the cases in the city of Boston are among black and brown residents. That means that neighborhoods like Roxbury and Jamaica Plain are particularly vulnerable. This fund is designed to help our residents meet their needs.”
The initial phase of the fund is offering $150 Visa gift cards to residents in Urban Edge housing, as well as low- to moderate-income families living in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain, to help them meet their immediate needs.
Community Servings was one of 10 programs to receive a COVID-19 Relief Fund Grant from Alkermes. The special grant is focused on addressing pandemic-related needs of people living with addiction, serious mental illness, or cancer. More than 350 applications were submitted in May 2020 for this highly competitive program. Collectively, the programs receiving grants reach across Alkermes’ therapeutic focus areas and seek to serve populations that span ethnic, socio-economic, gender, and age spectrums, utilizing a variety of approaches targeted to the acute challenges presented by COVID-19, including: peer-support programs; innovative technologies, formats and channels to expand access to and reach of essential nonprofit programming; creative approaches to bolster crisis response; and provision of essentials such as food, housing, and career support. Alkermes is a biopharmaceutical company. “As stay-at-home orders took effect across the U.S., we reached out to understand how efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 were impacting people living with addiction, serious mental illness, or cancer,” said Richard Pops, Chief Executive Officer of Alkermes.