La Colaborativa was a leader in transforming Chelsea from the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic to a model of health equity through effective community participation and response. Chelsea, like other Gateway Cities, was disproportionately and devastatingly impacted by the pandemic. We led with innovation to ensure equitable, and inclusive access to testing, vaccines, and community education.
La Colaborativa is applying what we’ve learned from pandemic response/emergency initiatives to develop an emerging model for health distribution to other social determinants of health. We went from a COVID hotspot to one of the leading high-risk cities in the state in terms of vaccination rates. With our distinct approach that is culturally relevant, community-based, and built on existing community assets, we can modify community behavior in multiple areas – including and far beyond virus prevention. This includes increasing food security, housing security, economic stability, mental wellness, access to healthcare services, healthy eating, physical fitness and more.
Current Health Initiatives
Food Security & Healthy Eating
Promoting food security and good nutrition are two key protective factors that can help keep our residents nourished and healthy amid the global pandemic and beyond. La Colaborativa has developed our food security and health equity initiatives to be closely interrelated and offer holistic, systemic solutions to address our community’s history of experiencing poor health outcomes and chronic food insecurity.
COVID-19 Testing & Vaccination
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) to be tested and tests are free for all Chelsea residents. You should get tested if: you develop ANY symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild, or if you come in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
More information about local testing locations and hours here.
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.
In partnership with Tech Goes Home, La Colaborativa offers computer classes for members to build technology skills needed to successfully research, apply for, and perform many jobs in today’s market. Classes meet for 14 hours over a 2-week period and upon successful completion, students receive a Google Chromebook.
Job Coaching & Placement
Job coaches are available to help members define and pursue next steps on their job pathways, through resume reviews, job opportunity research, application support, and introductions to employers. Job coaching and placement services are by appointment only.
La Colaborativa currently offers virtual English classes at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels in partnership with Harvard University’s Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA). Our classes are free, culturally relevant, and focused on English language skills for the workplace and economic advancement.
U.S. citizenship can open doors to jobs and economic advancement for immigrants. To support members on their pathways to citizenship, La Colaborativa offers citizenship classes, consultations, support with paperwork, and referrals to legal aid.
Cambridge College honored our own Gladys Vega with an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters at their 2022 commencement ceremony! "As a fierce advocate for basic human rights, [Gladys's] work exemplifies [her] passion and deep commitment to equality, social justice,...
Last night, La Colaborativa was honored by the Boston Bar at its annual Beacon Awards as the recipient of the Empowerment Award! La Colaborativa was selected due to the tireless work of our employees and volunteers who took swift action in responding to the COVID-19...
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to help immigrant families survive the pandemic.