More than $500,000 in federal funding will be distributed by state officials in the coming weeks to assist with mental health counseling and other social services related to the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. According to Gov. Deval Patrick's office, funds "will be used to support activities related to":
• Providing mental health services to those directly affected by the earthquake in Haiti;
• Convening mental health clinicians, religious leaders and pastoral counselors, and other related professionals within the community to serve the mental health and trauma recovery needs of the local Haitian-American population;
• Providing training, clinical supervision and support to mental health and related professionals as they work to address post-disaster counseling and education to members of their local Haitian-American communities;
• Addressing the specific needs of youth and children affected by the earthquake; and
• Creating public information, outreach and recruitment programming to help communities understand the effects of trauma on individuals, families and neighborhoods; promote trauma intervention services; convene community-level discussions of the impact of the earthquake on the local Haitian-American community; and coordinate access to information about mental health services available to individuals and families.
The news of the funding came in the form of a press release from Governor Deval Patrick's office today.
The text of the release follows:
"The Patrick-Murray Administration announced today that Massachusetts has received $550,000 in federal funding to support health care organizations serving the Commonwealth's Haitian-American community following the devastating earthquake on January 12. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) will distribute the funding to organizations providing mental health and social services to Massachusetts residents impacted by the disaster.
"Massachusetts is home to a vibrant a Haitian community, and we are doing everything in our power to support them," said Governor Deval Patrick. "These federal funds will help ensure that our friends and neighbors who have been impacted by the devastating earthquake receive the services and supports they need to get through this very difficult time."
The Massachusetts Congressional delegation is also working with the Departments of State and Homeland Security to expedite visa processing for Haitian relatives of US citizens legally eligible to immigrate here.
"Many Haitian Americans call Massachusetts home and they have been devastated by the impact of the earthquake on their family and friends in Haiti, and they are struggling to cope with the stunning loss of life. These federal funds will help provide counseling and support services for those in need," said Congressman Mike Capuano.
"This essential federal funding will help to ensure that every Haitian-American family affected by the devastating earthquake will have proper access to mental health services and support throughout our Commonwealth," said Congressman Edward Markey. "The organizations receiving these funds have the important responsibility of helping Haitian-Americans across Massachusetts heal from this tragedy and to address the specific needs of this grieving community."
"The country and people of Haiti are just beginning what is no doubt going to be a long and difficult path towards recovery. It is clear from the meetings I have had with the Haitian community and its leaders across the North Shore that these federal funds are sorely needed to help in these efforts and support the Haitian American families affected by this tragedy," said Congressman John F. Tierney.
"The Governor's response to the earthquake has been tremendous and I applaud the administration's ongoing commitment," said Representative Linda Dorcena Forry, a first generation Haitian-American. "There are many Haitian families across this state who are struggling to make sense of the events of the last month. I'm hopeful that the mental health services provided through this funding will help ease the suffering of our community."
"The organizations receiving funds are vital to the recovery effort at the local level," said DPH Commissioner John Auerbach. "They will provide much needed support services directly to Massachusetts' Haitian communities."
"Community-based organizations across the Commonwealth serving the Haitian community are in great need of relief and support," said Richard Chacon, Executive Director of the state's Office for Refugees and Immigrants. "We are grateful for their tremendous efforts to address the urgent and growing needs of the Haitian community in Massachusetts and look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Public Health to support them in their work."
Funding will be provided to the following organizations:
City /Town Organization and Award
Hyde Park Boston Public Health Commission / Youth and Family Enrichment Services $50,000
Brockton Brockton Neighborhood Health Center $30,000
Cambridge Cambridge Health Alliance $30,000
Dorchester Codman Square Health Center $40,000
Roxbury The Dimock Center $30,000
Boston Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center $30,000
Waltham Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center $30,000
Mattapan Mattapan Community Health Center $30,000
Dorchester Upham's Corner Health Center $30,000
Roxbury Whittier Street Health Center $25,000
Boston Association of Haitian Women in Boston $20,000
Dorchester Center for Community Health, Education and Outreach $20,000
Mattapan Haitian American Public Health Initiatives $20,000
Somerville Haitian Health Outreach Project $20,000
Dorchester Haitian Multiservice Center $80,000
Brockton Massachusetts Community Health Services $20,000
Somerville Somerville Haitian Coalition $20,000