The National Grid Foundation recently awarded United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley a $250,000 grant to help local families in need pay for utilities this winter.
United Way will distribute the funds to 16 community-based organizations serving several communities hard hit by the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including Haverhill and Lawrence. Community Action of Haverhill, Greater Lawrence Community Action Council and Lawrence CommunityWorks will receive a total of $50,000 to assist local residents.
“The loss of income created financial setbacks impacting the ability of many hourly workers to pay for their housing, childcare, food and utilities,” said local United Way President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Giannino.
United Way established the COVID-19 Family Support Fund last March to help families impacted by the public health and economic crisis. Assistance is geared to displaced workers, immigrants, families with children at home who usually receive free meals at school, domestic violence survivors and those at-risk of losing housing.
“Countless workers in our region remain underemployed with reduced hours and are struggling to make ends meet,” said National Grid Foundation Executive Director Ed White, adding, “Our partnership with United Way is critical to connecting people with emergency assistance to meet their essential needs quickly at a time when they need it most.”
Amounts ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 each will be awarded from the National Grid Foundation grant to Catholic Charities of Boston, Community Action, East Boston Social Center, Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Community Teamwork, Jewish Vocational Service, Jamaica Plain Community Development Corporation, Lawrence CommunityWorks, Lynn Economic Opportunity, Lynn Housing and Neighborhood Development, Quincy Community Action Programs, Rian Immigrant Center, South Boston Neighborhood House, South Shore Stars, The Neighborhood Developers and Urban Edge Housing Corporation.