The COVID-19 pandemic strained every imaginable aspect of our lives and society–deepening existing inequities seemingly overnight. But in a period of isolation and separation, the Brookline community came together. Thanks to a generous outpouring of donations and support from community members, we expanded our Safety Net Grant Program to support more organizations and efforts aimed at ensuring everyone in our community had the essentials we all need to thrive. Since then, we’ve seen incredible innovative collaborations between organizations begin, and grassroots community efforts grow to powerful, impactful movements. We hope you enjoy the stories below and throughout this report. We’re proud to support our partners’ efforts, and ever grateful to be in this work together.

In times of crisis, ensuring everyone has access to the essentials we all need to thrive—housing, food, child care, transportation, and whole-person health and care—is the foundation of our shared recovery. The Brookline Center for Community Mental Health (The Center) has been a trusted community resource, advocate, and partner for individuals and families—working tirelessly to make sure our community’s essential needs were met. In support of this work, the Brookline Community Foundation awarded a Safety Net Grant to The Center to fuel core operations and COVID-19 response efforts.

The Center, with help from a powerful local referral network, used this funding to provide timely grants and crucial wraparound support. Through these efforts, The Center supported individuals and families in applying for benefits and services, paying rent, covering utilities, accessing healthy food, acquiring computers to safely work remotely, and more. 

Thanks to this powerful partnership between Center staff and community members, our Brookline neighbors were able to stay in their homes, keep food on the table, and access the essentials they needed for themselves and their families during this crisis.