The pandemic threw many families into crisis, as they navigated the impossible balance between staying healthy, keeping food on the table, and caring for their children. With school and daycare shutdown, parents relied on a haphazard patchwork of childcare from friends, family, and neighbors. Community members reported that childcare was a major barrier between working and reaching their financial goals. What happened next? Women in our community united together to care for one another and their families.
La Colaborativa mobilized to help families access the basic resources they needed to survive – direct cash assistance, unemployment support, rental assistance, food, diapers, healthcare, and vaccinations. Now – as we near the two-year mark of the pandemic, we are taking the next step to move our families out of survival mode and into stability.
One powerful tool for doing this is worker-owned cooperatives, which can uplift workers from minimum wage jobs in profitable industries. La Colaborativa helps to organize workers in these industries, connects them to legal and financial technical assistance, marketing support, and client networks.
Building back a stronger Chelsea means we must invest in childcare where both families and caregivers are centered. We are shifting away from the emergency response efforts carried out at the height of the pandemic to keep families afloat to take the bandage off these issues and tackle the structural failures that led to the need in the first place. We must focus on creating a sustainable economic future alongside these strong women who have united to not only build a new business, but to support one another and members of the community in desperate need of childcare. This member driven community cooperative presents a better, brighter future for our community. This work cannot be supported without the ongoing support and generosity of those who want to see this new program succeed.