This holiday season is punctuated by unrelenting need – a need sparked by pandemic-induced job loss in neighborhoods already afflicted by poverty, health and economic disparities, and racial inequity. Children, families and seniors in Dorchester and other city neighborhoods can’t wait any longer for the federal government to pass virus relief funding that will keep food on their tables and a roofs over their heads. Without immediate action, the suffering will be unbearable. Small businesses that are struggling to survive will also shut their doors, putting more people out of work and adding to the blight of our communities.
ABCD is seeing long lines at its food pantries, non-stop calls for heating assistance, and desperate requests for help with rent and mortgage payments. Many of those seeking help never expected to need public assistance. They are grateful for the food, for the fuel, for the rent payment, and for the holiday gifts for their children. But community organizations can’t meet the overwhelming needs out there. The federal government has to step up — now.