Mutual Aid: Workers Supporting Workers
Troncoso says that since March, she has seen the need for food increasing. And working families are organizing to help each other.
The Dominican Development Center has teamed up with the YMCA of Boston to distribute food to families. For almost a month and a half, the Dominican Development Center has been distributing food every Thursday and Friday. They deliver 200 plates on Thursday and 200 plates on Friday. To date, they have distributed food to approximately 1,000 families.
What infrastructure does the organization have to reach families? People power.
Troncoso says that workers take turns helping each other. Volunteers make phone calls to determine who needs food. No applications are needed. Families are simply asked for names, phone numbers, and an address to drop off the food.
15 to 20 volunteer workers safely transport food to a new set of families each week. Abiding by social distancing protocols, volunteers leave packages of food outside of family homes. About every two weeks, new families are selected for donations. And Troncoso notes that requests for food continue to increase.
In mid-April, the Dominican Development Center started distributing personal protective equipment as well. Packages of food now also include masks, gloves, and sanitizers.
In collaboration with the National Alliance and Domestic Workers, the Dominican Development Center has also given out gift cards. To date, they have been able to distribute 100 gift cards. Troncoso says they need more funding to continue disbursing gift cards.
Message to the Federal Government: “Domestic workers have been left out and that’s not fair”
Domestic workers in the United States faced challenging employment contexts even before the pandemic. Many workers did not have one full-time job. Instead, they often worked several part-time jobs. Now that the pandemic has hit the United States, these workers have lost jobs, and are excluded from employment benefits. And these workers have also been left out of the federal stimulus packages.
Members of the Dominican Development Center want the world to know that domestic workers are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Troncoso says domestic workers are essential workers, and they deserve worker protection and benefits, too. “We know that domestic workers are on the frontlines,” says Troncoso, “They work in family homes to support children and sick patients.”
“Domestic workers have been left out and that’s not fair, “says Troncoso, “But we are resilient, and we have the determination to keep working hard.”
It is community and mutual aid among workers that is currently helping many immigrant families survive the pandemic.
Troncoso dreams of the day she can physically embrace her community, once it is safe to do so, We Will Embrace Each Other Again, Soon
“Algún día nos volveremos a abrazar.”
Please Contact us if you need help or you have questions about Mutual aid
Crisis Text Line: For free, confidential support for anyone in any crisis
Text “Hello” to 741741
Samaritans: 24/7 crisis Helpline based in Massachusetts. Whatever the reason, you can get help from a trained volunteer, offering non-judgmental support.
Call or text: (877) 870-4673
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call the Lifeline or visit their website for online chat
SafeLink: MA statewide 24/7 toll-free domestic violence hotline and a resource for anyone affected by domestic or dating violence. Advocates are bilingual in English and Spanish and have access to a service that can provide translation in more than 130 languages.
TTY: (877) 521-2601
National Domestic Violence Hotline: highly trained expert advocates are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone in the United States who is experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.
TTY: (800) 787-3224
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center: Support for survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones from highly trained staff
RAINN: 24/7 National Sexual Assault Hotline for phone and online chat
Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement: Services for Boston Residents Affected by COVID-19 Regardless of Immigration Status
COVID-19 Guide for Boston Immigrants
Boston Office of Housing Stability: Call if you are at immediate risk of becoming homeless, Monday- Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM
National Runaway Safeline: NRS serves as the national communication system for runaway and homeless youth. A trained counselor is here to listen whether you are thinking of running away or already have. Or use the online services to chat, email, or post on the forum.
SAMHSA: 24/7 National substance abuse helpline for confidential treatment referral and information service
Y2Connect: Find youth-friendly clinics for services including condoms, STI/HIV
LGBTQ+ Youth Support Resources
BAGLY, Inc: virtual programming and support; Check their website or call
Boston GLASS: virtual support services; Check their website or call
Trevor Project: Helpline and Suicide Prevention focusing on LGBTQ youth. Call, text or chat online.
Call (866) 488-7386 or
Text START to 678678
Important Information about COVID-19
Click here for a full list of Boston's Covid-19 testing sites:
Mental Health and Crisis Support Services
You can learn more about Symptoms and ways to protect yourself from Covid-19 on Center for Disease Control and Prevention website