It was a few weeks ago when one of the workers at GreenRoots told Directors Roseann Bongiovanni and Maria Belen Power that she though the coronavirus was going to be a major issue in Chelsea.
No one doubted her, but getting things coordinated was going to be the key.
What came out of that discussion was a conference call every day at 4 p.m. that has become a key rallying point for City government, first responders, medical personnel and non-profit agencies all over Chelsea.
“She said she felt things were going to get really tough here and people might end up not being able to pay rent or get food,” said Bongiovanni on Monday. “We got people together on the phone that day and had about 10 to 15 people. What started that day ended up being our daily 4 p.m. call. For the past 17 days we’ve had a daily 4 p.m. call. It started with 10 to 15 people and now it’s up to about 70 stakeholders.”
Bongiovanni said GreenRoots has pivoted from its environmental work to now putting all of its efforts towards fighting the COVID-19 virus and helping mitigate the accompanying response in Chelsea.
Working with the City, the School Department, the Chelsea Collaborative, Chelsea Prospers, MGH, Healthy Chelsea, MGH and others, they have started forming committees within the group to take charge of problems such as food, medical supplies or housing.
All of them make sure that there isn’t a need that isn’t heard, and hopefully can also be addressed as the situation changes daily.
“I have to say the coordination of all the stakeholders is impressive,” she said. “I was thinking the other day when we were on the call that this is the reason we won the Robert Wood Johnson Award. Everyone is working together for one goal. It’s really nice.”