March 28, 2020
Five Nonprofits Impacted by Bridge Closing Get Grants

October 30, 2014 — The Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation recently granted $10,000 to each of five Boston-based nonprofits to help them cope with the impact of the sudden closing earlier this month of the Long Island Bridge, which connects Long Island in Boston Harbor with the city.

Boston city officials on Oct. 8 condemned the bridge, the only access to the 225-acre island, which had been deteriorating for decades, and ordered an immediate evacuation of the area that served as a home of sorts for hundreds of homeless people, addicts, and other displaced people.

Laura Kurzrok, executive director of the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, said, “When we heard about bridge closing, we reached out to organizations to find out about the urgent, unanticipated financial expenses they were facing. We then proposed to our trustees that we make a $50,000 grant to be divided equally among the five nonprofits."

Receiving the grants were:
  • Bay Cove Human Services,which works to improve the quality of the lives of individuals and their families who face the life-long challenges of developmental disabilities, aging, mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction, plans to use the funds to help prepare and move into a new site.

  • Boston Public Health Commission’s Transitions Program, which operates an evidence-based, short-term treatment program for adults, will use the funds to purchase for personal hygiene items, sheets, and blankets.

  • Friends of Boston's Homeless, which runs homeless shelters and provides technical assistance and expertise for new transitional programs, will use the funding to help replace clothing and personal care items for 800 people.

  • Victory Programs, a multi-service agency providing individualized treatment programs to people recovering from alcohol and drug addiction, will apply the funds to recover assets, such as furniture, appliances, equipment, vans, and files, currently impounded on the island.

  • Volunteers of America, a faith-based nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing and other assistance services primarily to low-income people, will use the funding for new mattresses, towels, and bedding and to install new IT wiring at new program locations.
Victory Programs President and CEO Jonathan Scott said, “Eastern Bank’s help directly addresses both the sudden, unprecedented emergency capital losses and future relocation needs without draining our very limited resources and impacting equally important services at our other programs."

Mariann Bucina Roca, executive director of Friends of Boston's Homeless, recently reported that everyone who had been at Long Island Shelter are now sheltered at Woods Mullen Shelter and at an emergency Long Island annex in the South End.

“What was accomplished in such a short time to make sure so many vulnerable people were secure and sheltered is a true testament to the expertise, hard work, and dedication of the Long Island staff," she said.

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