One Haverhill Fund Receives $50,000 in Federal Relief Aid; Helps Families with Rent, Food, Utilities

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 One Haverhill Fund, established in 2020 to help families impacted by COVID-19, has received a $50,000 boost from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, which operates the fund, said Gov. Charlie Baker recently signed off on the aid following advocacy by state Rep. Andy X. Vargas. Vargas sought the additional resources along with $50,000 for Sacred Hearts Parish food pantry in Haverhill.

“Early on in the pandemic, we brought some of the most important nonprofit and service agencies in Haverhill together for a Zoom call. That led to the creation of a sustained collaboration called the One Haverhill Fund, which has critically been facilitated by the United Way,” said Vargas. “This effort has ensured that many families and organizations get emergency assistance when there is nowhere else to turn.”

Besides Vargas, others helping to create the charity last year were Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Rep. Christina A. Minicucci, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Community Action, Emmaus, Haverhill food pantries and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.

To date, the One Haverhill Fund has distributed more than $170,000 to organizations providing support to residents to help with rent, food and utilities. These include All Saints, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Haverhill, Common Ground, Community Action, Emmaus, Leaving the Streets Ministries, Liz Murphy Open Hand Pantry, North Shore YMCA, Sacred Hearts, Salvation Army, Somebody Cares New England and UTEC.

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

“United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley remains committed to helping our community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly our economically disadvantaged individuals and families, who continue to bear the brunt of this crisis,” said Bob Giannino, president and CEO of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.

Donations may be made by credit card or through a donor advised fund online or by sending a check to United Way of Massachusetts Bay, P.O. Box 412866, Boston, MA 02241-2866. Checks should be made payable to “United Way of Massachusetts Bay” and include “The One Haverhill Fund” in the memo of the check.

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