Homelessness in Chelsea is largely invisible. Driving through our community, you won’t see many people sleeping on the streets, but thousands of families are crowding into shared apartments – sleeping on couches, porches, unfinished basements, and kitchen and bathroom floors. This has allowed the coronavirus to spread unchecked, with Chelsea still topping the list of highest infection rates statewide.
In a new video, youth organizers from La Colaborativa are pulling back the curtain on the Chelsea housing crisis, revealing what living conditions look like for our families, and the stress and trauma caused by housing insecurity. These young people have been deeply affected by the housing crisis, and they are bravely speaking up to raise awareness and offer solutions:
- Real affordable housing
- Rent control
- Emergency shelter
- Landlords and tenants working together
- An end to evictions during the pandemic
- Jobs with living wages
A community impact survey of Chelsea revealed that 82% of residents have experienced job or income loss, or a major health emergency since the pandemic began. Families already struggling to make ends meet quickly fell even deeper into poverty, hunger, sickness, and housing insecurity. That’s why La Colaborativa’s pandemic response has integrated not only food distributions, but housing advocacy, rapid re-employment, no-strings-attached cash assistance, and equitable access to COVID testing, vaccinations, and information to protect our families.