Rep. Vargas, United Way Create ‘One Haverhill Fund’ to Help Vulnerable Families Pay Bills

Haverhill Rep. Andy Vargas speaks as Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Gov. Charlie Baker and Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro look on at the opening of UTEC in Haverhill in 2019. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The original link provided by the United Way in a press release was incorrect. It is and also has been updated below.

The One Haverhill Fund was launched Friday to provide emergency assistance to individuals and families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers say the fund will help families affected by job losses or reduced wages cover costs such as rent, food, utilities, internet, childcare, medications and other basic necessities. Priority is given to those who are most economically vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis. Donations will be collected by United Way and distributed by existing Haverhill nonprofit organizations with a track record of administering assistance grants.

The One Haverhill Fund is the brainchild of state Rep. Andy Vargas and was established by community leaders including Mayor James Fiorentini, Rep. Christina Minicucci, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Community Action, Emmaus, Haverhill food pantries and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.

“Throughout this crisis, Haverhill residents and organizations have stepped up to the plate in an inspiring way,” said Vargas. “Whether it’s delivering food, providing shelter, or chipping-in to help a student have access to reliable internet service—our community has pulled together as one. Haverhill is 36 square miles, over a dozen neighborhoods and varied lived experiences that make the whole of One Haverhill. The One Haverhill Fund will be a vehicle to ensure that no Haverhill resident or family gets left behind,” he added.

Fiorentini urged those who are able to donate to the One Haverhill Fund. He said, “We know a lot more Haverhill residents and families are going to need financial support in the coming weeks and months and this is a great new resource to make sure we are there for them.”

To kick off the effort, United Way provided $50,000 to Emmaus and Community Action. In addition to launching the One Haverhill Fund, United Way’s COVID-19 relief efforts have supported UTEC and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Haverhill.

“As unemployment soars and we all struggle to cope with COVID-19 in our homes and in our communities, we can also act—to help others,” said Michael K. Durkin, president and chief executive officer at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.

All gifts are tax-deductible and 100% of the proceeds after credit card fees will go to individuals seeking assistance via nonprofits already working in our community. Donations may be made by credit card here or through a donor advised fund or by sending a check to United Way of Massachusetts Bay, PO Box 51381, Boston, MA 02205-1381. Please make checks out to “United Way of Massachusetts Bay” and include “The One Haverhill Fund” in the memo of the check.

Those who need immediate help should contact Haverhill’s 3-1-1 call center for assistance. Anyone within the city limits may dial 311 and reach trained operators from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. to respond to non-emergency questions and concerns.

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