Catholic Charities Teen Center Awarded Rodman Foundation Grant
$10,000 grant to support COVID-19 relief response
BOSTON (June 3, 2020) – Catholic Charities of Boston’s Teen Center at St. Peter’s was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Don and Marilyn Rodman Foundation to support COVID-19 relief efforts in the community.
The Teen Center enrolled 394 youths between the ages of 11 and 18 living in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester. The Center’s abrupt closing on March 23 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak forced staff members to develop alternative ways to continue supporting the low-income teens and families who are enrolled in the program.
The staff provides support to families in the form of basic needs, utility and rental assistance, assistance with online applications for federal nutrition programs, and educational support, providing Chrome Books and materials from the local school district, as well as ensuring low-or-no-cost internet access for families. Staff members have delivered an average of 390 food bags and 2,000 prepared meals to teens’ families. Food delivery allows the Teen Center staff to remain connected to youth at a time when the facility is closed, provide health information and family wellness checks, and support teens’ social and emotional well-being.
“I am seeing the Teen Center staff everyday as they come to our Yawkey Center Food Pantry to get cases and cases of food to pack up and deliver to families,” said Beth Chambers, Director of Catholic Charities Greater Boston and Catholic Charities South. “I am so unbelievably proud of their willingness to be at the Teen Center when it is closed and then to go out and deliver food to over 300 families each week.”
The Rodman Foundation provides funding for youth-focused social-service organizations supporting positive youth development.
“The Teen Center staff is immensely grateful for the support of the Rodman Foundation during this time of uncertainty,” said Joao Dos Santos, director of the Catholic Charities Teen Center. “This grant will be crucial in helping us continue serving our teens and their families at home and ensuring their safety and well-being while they are away from the Center.
Prior to the Covid-19 public health and economic emergency, the Teen Center provided programming and services every week day and on Saturdays, to approximately 200 teens, including academic support, tutoring, test preparation, sports, recreation, enrichment activities, mentoring, group counseling, referrals for basic needs, snacks and dinner, and transportation home.
To learn more about the Teen Center, click here.