Nearly every afternoon, you can find La Colaborativa’s Promotores canvassing around Chelsea, talking to community members to see if they can offer any help. Promotores connect tenants fighting evictions to legal help, sign members up for ESOL classes and job training, raise awareness of food resources, and answer questions about COVID, vaccines, and more.
Many of these Promotores met La Colaborativa for the first time in our food lines, or when they were seeking resources themselves. They know the community because they are the community. They are multilingual, multicultural and reaching out to their neighbors to offer information and support. They change lives every day.
One afternoon, a young mother, who recently settled in Chelsea with her family after fleeing violence in El Salvador, asked for help. As asylum seekers, her family had some support and resources, but both were quickly running out.
Can you help me apply for RAFT? she asked. Or utility assistance? We have temporary housing, but only for a month. My children are unvaccinated and I don’t want them to get sick. We’re scared. We don’t know what comes next.
The Promotora was able to secure the family boxes of food, clothing, gift cards and more. The family returned the next day to speak to a housing case manager and healthcare navigator and left fully vaccinated and with a plan for their time in Chelsea.
Throughout the pandemic, the Promotores connected thousands of community members to food, vaccines, medical care, emergency housing, and the full range of wrap-around services that defines La Colaborativa’s model. The Promotore team is now larger than ever and will be doing voter education and registration, health and nutrition education, and more. As the needs of our community change and grow, the Promotores will be ready to do whatever it takes to support our members.