Mayor Menino announces resource center to extend operation in wake of Haiti earthquakes
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For Immediate Release
January 20, 2010
Released By:
Mayor's Office
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
pressoffice@cityofboston.gov



Center moves to Mattapan Library to better serve community needs

Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced today that the City of Boston's resource center to assist local families affected by the recent earthquakes in Haiti will extend its operation through next week, with the potential to remain open after that time based on need. Early this morning a magnitude 6.1 aftershock rattled the island nation, which is recovering from last week's magnitude 7 earthquake. Opened last Thursday at SEIU Local 1199 in the wake of the disaster, tomorrow the resource center will relocate to the Mattapan branch of the Boston Public Library in order to better serve members of Boston's Haitian community still seeking updates and information about the earthquake and ongoing relief efforts.

Translators, crisis counselors, computers, and phone lines to accommodate international calls will continue to be available at the center. The Mayor's Office of New Bostonians is also coordinating with immigration attorneys that will be available to answer questions, similar to the current immigration clinics sponsored by this office. A combination of staff from city agencies such as the Boston Public Health Commission and volunteers from SEIU Local 1199 will continue to operate the resource center out of its new location.

"The situation in Haiti is still dire, and we owe it to locally affected families to lend our fullest support as they grapple with this unspeakable tragedy," Mayor Menino said. "I want to thank SEIU Local 1199 for their partnership to help keep this resource available to the public. We will continue to monitor the situation both in Boston and in Haiti in order to assist the community as best as possible."

Beginning tomorrow, the relocated resource center, operating out of the Mattapan Branch Library at 1350 Blue Hill Avenue, will maintain the following hours:

Thursday, January 21 – Friday, January 22: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 23: 12 noon – 5 p.m.

Sunday, January 24: Closed

Monday, January 25 – Friday, January 29: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 30: 12 noon -5 p.m.

Individuals may continue to contact the resource center by phone at (617) 284-1199. Those interested in volunteering at the center are encouraged to contact the Boston Public Health Commission by emailing haitisupport@bphc.org.

In the wake of the earthquake, Mayor Menino last week spearheaded a coordinated assistance effort by the City of Boston that included both direct outreach to emergency responders in Haiti as well as resources for locally affected families. In addition to the resource center, the Mayor convened public and private partners to make local disaster medical assistance teams (DMAT) and approximately $1 million in search and rescue equipment available to officials in Haiti. Shortly after the earthquake hit, three volunteers from Boston EMS deployed to Haiti to assist with relief efforts as part of a DMAT.

Mayor Menino also established a relief fund through Bank of America, named "The Fund for Boston Neighborhoods, Inc. – Haitian Family Relief." Donations are being accepted at all local Bank of America branches, and checks can be mailed to: The Fund for Boston Neighborhoods, Inc. – Haitian Family Relief, P.O. Box 961555, Boston, MA 02196.

"As experts continue to assess the damage caused by the earthquake, it's clear that financial support is still essential," Mayor Menino said. "I'm proud of the way the people of Boston came together to support the relief efforts, and I encourage people to stay involved as the recovery moves forward."

For more information about the City of Boston's Haiti assistance efforts and other ways to get involved in the recovery, please visit www.CityofBoston.gov and refer to "Haiti Support" on the City's homepage.

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