Beth Israel Lahey Health Awards $600,000 in Grant Funding to the City of Chelsea

February 09, 2021

Funds Will Support Organizations Focused on Food Insecurity and Housing Stability in Chelsea

Cambridge and Chelsea, Mass. – Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH) today announced $600,000 in grant funding to the City of Chelsea to support efforts to address food insecurity and housing stability. Building on BILH’s longstanding commitment to the community, the grant funding seeks to address key areas of need identified collaboratively by the City of Chelsea, community-based organizations and BILH’s Community Benefits Committee.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color, including the City of Chelsea, and placed a spotlight on systemic health and social inequities,” said Kevin Tabb, MD, President and CEO of Beth Israel Lahey Health. “Housing stability and access to fresh and nutritious food are critical social determinants of health. As a healthcare organization committed to serving the vital health needs of our communities, we are proud to provide these grants to City of Chelsea programs to help address urgent needs that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.”

BILH grant funding will support the following:

Chelsea Housing Legal Aid Bureau ($400,000)

The Chelsea Housing Legal Aid Bureau was launched by the City of Chelsea in October 2020 to provide legal services and representation to Chelsea residents, regardless of their income or immigration or citizenship status, who are facing eviction and landlord disputes. Since the onset of the pandemic, more than 1,000 Chelsea households have applied to the City for emergency rental assistance to avoid being displaced.

Chelsea Eats ($200,000)

Chelsea Eats is an innovative pilot program launched by the City of Chelsea in October 2020. The program provides residents with monthly debit cards ($200 to $400 each) to be used at supermarkets and food stores. During the pandemic, severe food insecurity has disproportionately affected Black and Latinx communities in Massachusetts, with one in four households reporting food insecurity. In Chelsea,70% of residents identify as Black or Hispanic. Since October, more than 4,000 Chelsea residents have applied for a Chelsea Eats card for assistance purchasing food and other essential items.

“On behalf of the City of Chelsea, I want to thank Beth Israel Lahey Health for their ongoing partnership and commitment to our community,” said Tom Ambrosino, Chelsea City Manager. “The City of Chelsea has seen first-hand the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and BILH has been with us every step of the way, providing COVID-19 testing and now vaccination right in our community. This critical grant funding will help us advance food security and housing stability in this unprecedented time.”

In April 2020, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, expanded its COVID-19 ambulatory testing locations with the addition of a site at Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare-Chelsea, which has served the community since 1995. The COVID-19 testing site supports all patients, including those who are uninsured, by providing COVID-19 ambulatory testing.

In October 2020, BILH awarded a behavioral health grant in the amount of $270,000 over three years to the North Suffolk Mental Health Association to assist uninsured and underinsured Chelsea residents with behavioral health issues.

Earlier this month, BILH launched a COVID-19 vaccination site for patients of Beth Israel Lahey Health, including patients of Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare-Chelsea, who meet the state’s criteria for the beginning of Phase 2 of the state’s vaccination distribution plan (e.g. age 75+), have received an invitation from Beth Israel Lahey Health and have scheduled appointment. For more information about Beth Israel Lahey Health’s vaccination rollout, please visit our COVID-19 Resources Center.

About Beth Israel Lahey Health

Beth Israel Lahey Health is a new health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,800 physicians and 36,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.

Director, Media Relations

Sarah Finlaw

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