Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) this weekend will distribute the first half of the 20,000 care kits assembled over the course of this week to various community outreach partners, meal sites, and testing sites in Boston, building on the Mayor’s commitment of making critical resources available to residents. Each kit contains a mask, hand sanitizer, gloves, anti-bacterial wipes, soap, and a booklet with information from the City on COVID-19 facts and resources. The City of Boston is dedicated to providing access to these basic necessities to our most vulnerable population during this pandemic, and keeping residents informed while giving them the tools needed to adhere to the safety guidelines outlined by the Boston Public Health Commission. 

Providing residents with the tools they need to stay safe during this time was one of the recommendations of the Mayor’s Health Inequities Task Force, which has been working to provide guidance to the City of Boston on addressing current inequities in data analysis, testing sites, and health care services for blacks, Latinos, Asians and immigrants, and advocating for an equitable reopening and recovery for all of Boston’s communities.

Over the course of this week, the care kits were assembled by a team of 130 volunteers from 25 City departments, who supported the Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) in preparing for the distribution. The care kits are being made available in part through community partners, who play an integral role in providing residents with the resources needed to keep people safe during this public health crisis. Many community-based organizations are working to ensure that our most at-risk groups, who have been disproportionately affected by illness and economic harm, are sufficiently supported.

“These kits provide simple supplies and important information to help educate our residents on how to keep them and their families safe. As we move forward to our new normal, it’s important that we help residents prepare,” said Chief of Civic Engagement and Neighborhood Services Director Jerome Smith.

Mayor Walsh and the Boston Public Health Commission have made clear that residents are still safer at home and the basic safety precautions of washing your hands, wearing a face covering and social distancing remain key to recovery. The Office of Neighborhood Services is proud to provide our most vulnerable residents with the resources needed to follow these guidelines.  For additional questions or programs, please visit our website or call 3-1-1, Boston’s 24-hour constituent hotline. Text BOSCOVID to 888-777 to receive text alerts on a regular basis, available in 11 languages.