Empowering Latinx immigrants to enhance the social and economic health of the community and its people; and to hold institutional decision-makers accountable to the community.

Pandemic Response & Recovery

Over the last 18 months, Chelsea emerged as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts, with infection rates reaching six times the statewide averages during the peak.

The pandemic has created many challenges for our community, as the health, economic, and social impacts have led to historic levels of poverty, food insecurity, housing instability, domestic abuse, and health inequity for our people.

In response, La Colaborativa has launched and sustained comprehensive emergency response efforts to keep families fed, housed, and alive during the pandemic. From testing to vaccinations, food distributions, emergency housing, and statewide advocacy, we have been a trusted source of information, services, and supports to thousands of families living in survival mode since March 2020.

What We Are Doing

  • Reliable, healthy, and culturally familiar food distributions 5 days/week, feeding 7,000+ households weekly
  • Weekly diaper, formula, and PPE distributions 
  • Community-based COVID testing and vaccinations, in partnership with healthcare providers
  • Emergency housing placements, rental assistance support, tenant empowerment and advocacy to prevent displacement throughout the housing crisis
  • No-strings-attached cash assistance 
  • Community outreach and education – bringing bilingual and bicultural public health and know your rights information to every corner of our community.
  • Support with applications for private and public benefits (unemployment, rent relief, etc.)
  • Virtual English, job readiness, and citizenship classes focused on getting our community back to work
  • Statewide advocacy for a just recovery from the pandemic

Community Impacts of COVID-19

A community impact survey conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health of La Colaborativa members reveals the dire situation created over the last year as a result of the pandemic and a lack of social safety nets in our community. The most significant findings of the survey include:

  • Forty-five percent of participants lost their job and an additional 21% lost a significant amount of income due to decreased hours
  • More than half (53%) of participants believe some form of conspiracy theory regarding COVID-19
  • A quarter (25%) of respondents had tested positive for COVID-19, representing double the rate for Chelsea at the time of survey. This suggests that individuals who rely on services from La Colaborativa are twice as likely to have had COVID-19.
  • Those with very basic and basic English and essential workers were much more likely to have had COVID.
  • The vast majority (83%) of respondents had accessed food pantries of food delivery services because of the economic impact of COVID. The mean number of visits per week was 1.4.
  • One third (35%) of participants owe rent, and those who do not, stated that it was because any income or savings go towards paying rent. Participants stated that they rely on not having to buy food to be able to pay rent and are generally not paying bills.
  • Essential workers, those who owe 1 month of rent, and those who rely on a food pantry are much more likely to be depressed.
  • Young adults (18-30), those who owe rent, and those who rely on a food pantry for survival were much more likely to report suffering from anxiety.

COVID-19 Testing

Chelsea’s Stop the Spread initiative offers COVID-19 testing through December 31, 2021.

Testing is: 

  • Open to everyone regardless of your immigration status
  • You don’t need to have any symptom(s)
  • It is free for all Chelsea residents 

You should get tested if: 

  • You develop ANY symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild.
  • You come in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. 

More information about local testing locations and hours here.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

People age 12 and older who live, work, or study in Massachusetts can get vaccinated against COVID-19. People ages 12-17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine. People age 18 and older can get any vaccine. The vaccine is safe and effective. You don’t need an ID or insurance to get it. 

Visit the City of Chelsea website for more information on vaccination clinic hours and locations. 

This Week at La Colaborativa

Monday

No Food Distribution

Tuesday

 Food Distribution

2:00pm – 5:00pm

@ 25 Sixth Street

Distribution will be active until last available box!

Wednesday

Food & Diaper Distribution

10:00am – 2:00pm

@ 25 Sixth Street

Distribution will be active until last available box!

Thursday

 Food Distribution

3:00pm – 6:00pm

@ 25 Sixth Street

Distribution will be active until last available box!

Friday

November 5 Only 

No Food Distribution

Saturday

Desea Sonar

9:30am – 12:30 PM

@ 318 Broadway

Music & Art Clubs for Youth Ages 10-14

Monday

No Food Distribution

Tuesday

Food Distribution

2:00 – 5:00 pm

Distribution will be active until last available box!

Wednesday

Diaper & Diaper Distribution

10:00am – 2:00pm

Distribution will be active until last available box!

Thursday

Food Distribution

3:00pm – 6:00pm

Distribution will be active until last available box!

Friday

November 5 Only 

No Food Distribution

More videos

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A Tribute to Service in Chelsea

El Mundo Boston
MGH y La Colaborativa en Chelsea
en Español

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Manos a la Obra con La Vacuna

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en Español

Gladys Vega at La Colaborativa in Chelsea, MA

Youth RIOT Squad
We’ll Shout Before We Get Pushed Out!

#IVG
La Colaborativa (Chelsea, MA)

CBS Boston
La Colaborativa In Chelsea Boxes Up 3,500 Meals For Families In Need

Project 351
2021 Launch:
Gladys Vega

CBS Boston
Long Lines For Food In Chelsea After Coronavirus Hits Community Hard

Support La Colaborativa

Your gift will ensure we have the resources to do whatever it takes
to help immigrant families survive the pandemic.

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