COVID-19 Emergency Fund Impact

Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) Mujeres de New Bedford

Mujeres de New Bedford is a newly established group of immigrant women that seeks to promote and share community resources and provides mutual and moral support to one another during this exceptional time of the COVID-19 crisis. For many of these immigrant women/mothers, many whom are the main breadwinners of the family, the current crisis has created an elevated level of anxiety, depression and uncertainty. These women constantly struggle with language and technology barriers as they try to navigate systems to obtain help for themselves and their families. 

Our funding will 

  • Assist immigrant women by funding an outreach and relief program. We will support a group organizer and promotoras/outreach coordinators. These promotoras will bridge language barriers, assess needs and work to connect women to health, safety and financial resources. Members with receive one-on-one advocacy, moral and social support, and food security assistance.

  • Provide grocery cards to address food security needs of women participants in this leadership development and assistance program.

The YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts serves over 4,000 people annually and provides programs and direct services within four concentrations: Adult Services, Youth Services, Health and Wellness, and Residential Services.

The Widowed Persons Program

The Widowed Persons Program sponsors the area’s only series of support groups for persons who are newly widowed in Greater New Bedford. Needs are met through social activities, monthly newsletter and personal phone support. Over the past several weeks, due to the pandemic, YWCA staff are contacting all members of the support group weekly by phone to assess needs and provide emotional support. The group also has developed a telephone tree among the members to provide additional support to one another. 

Our funding will 

  • Provide women in the program with hygiene products including

    • hand sanitizer,

    • soap

    • disinfectant spray

    • wipes

Girls Exclusive Program

A gender-specific program that focuses on education, leadership development, community service, financial literacy, and social justice and cultural competency. During COVID-19 YWCA Staff are: hosting live virtual hang outs, named “Quarantine and Chill,” through Zoom for middle school to high school aged girls. Different activities included making affirmation cards, bucket lists, Do It Yourself face masks, and making personal schedules for while in quarantine. We also included many resources for students and parents, as well as some journaling prompts and check-in questions about how the girls are feeling during this time. Mental health and self-care is a top priority for Quarantine & Chill, as is cyber safety and tools/tips for staying safe on social media. 

Our funding will 

  • Provide staffing to enlarge this program to include COVID education and resources

  • Provide grocery cards to address food security needs for each girl and her family

Advocacy

During COVID-19, YWCA Director of Advocacy and Resource Development will enlarge her work to address safety and food security issues as well as the following initiatives: Census 2020, Racial Justice, COVID-19 on website and social media 

Our funding will 

  • Support YWCA’s Advocacy programming for eight weeks with an enhanced focus on diverse and broad participation in the Census 2020

Grace House Women’s Shelter

Grace House Women’s Shelter will receive a one-time grant for clothes and hygiene.

The Women’s Center will receive targeted relief funding for two populations: older women and immigrant women, especially LEPs, to meet food security needs.

The Women’s Fund advances economic security for women and girls in Southeastern MA, promoting equity across race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, gender identity and country of origin.  We build partnerships and use our voice, advocacy, and grantmaking to foster a more just region.

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The Women's Fund is a Fund of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts

135 Union Street| New Bedford, MA 02740 | 508-717-0283 | www.CFSEMA.org