News Brief

Chelsea Prospers Calling All Artists

The City of Chelsea’s Chelsea Prospers program has three different opportunities for our creative residents to present their art through murals in downtown.

•Painted murals – we are seeking artists able to execute their own designs on a large scale. These will be mostly on Division Street.

•Wheatpaste murals – seeking submissions of digital art that our team will print and install. These will be installed mostly on Cherry Street.

•Birds of a Feather – everyone can take part in this effort. Send original images of a bird or a few words on what is learned from birds. It will be printed and installed as part of a community mural, only made possible by coming together. 

Deadlines are coming soon. Stipends and technical assistance are available for the painted and wheatpaste murals. Complete details and links to apply on the website: https://www.chelseaprospers.org/opportunities 

Mobile Testing for COVID-19

As a reminder, the mobile van will continue to offer free COVID-19 testing to all Chelsea residents. This week, free testing will be offered at these locations. Please call 774-264-0604 if you want to make an appointment first.

•Thursday, July 23, from 10 am to 4 pm.

Highland Park (30 Willow St.)

•Friday, July 24, from 10 am to 4 pm.

City Hall (500 Broadway)

Street Paving Schedule

The following is a street paving schedule for next week. Once work begins there will be no access to the street.

•Thursday, July 23 – Micropaving: Bloomingdale Street, Orange Street, Nichols Street, Cook Avenue, Springvale Avenue, Prospect Avenue, Madison Avenue, and Brook Street.

Park Square Changes Coming

Few in Chelsea haven’t had a close call either driving or walking in Park Square – one of the City’s most confusing traffic configurations. Now that is about to change after approval from the Traffic and Parking Commission to make significant reconfigurations of the Square.

Over the next several weeks, traffic calming improvements will be added to make the intersection safer for both drivers and pedestrians. Look for new crosswalks, pavement markings, and street signs. Any necessary road closures during this work will be announced in advance.

Chelsea Funeral Fund

For the dignity of loved ones who have passed, the Chelsea Funeral Fund provides up to $1,700 in financial assistance for cremation or burial. The fund is for Chelsea residents in need, regardless of religious affiliation, and is managed by Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church. To inquire, contact Reverend Edgar Gutiérrez-Duarte at 671-884-3300 or at [email protected]

Raft Program Rental Assistance

If anyone needs help paying rent, they may be eligible for financial assistance through the Massachusetts Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. RAFT has expanded its eligibility requirements to help people with COVID-19 related job losses or financial hardship. Some things to consider:

•Your immigration status does not matter. 

•You may be eligible for RAFT if you have not been, or will not be, able to pay rent, mortgage payments, or utilities due to COVID-19. 

•You must be in contact with your landlord or property manager (RAFT funds are paid to them). 

•If you are not on the lease, you can provide your landlord’s contact information to confirm that you are a tenant. 

•If you need help to cover your security deposit (for first or last month’s rent), you can specify the unit you plan to move into, even if you have not yet signed the lease. 

•You are not eligible if you are in an Emergency Assistance Shelter.

Households can receive up to $4,000 for a 12-month period. To check eligibility and for help with applications, call the CONNECT Hotline at 617-712-3487.

Diaper Drive for Families in Need

Chelsea Community Connections and the City of Chelsea are working together to distribute diapers to families in need. Because of the tremendous demand, distribution is dependent on donations of both packages of diapers and funds to purchase supply.

Anyone who would like to donate to the Diaper Drive can do so at the Chelsea Community Connections website. This will ensure the youngest Chelsea residents have their basic needs met.

MGH Chelsea, Beth Israel Offers Testing for Those with Symptoms

Patients with symptoms of Covid-19 are eligible for testing at MGH Chelsea and Beth Israel Chelsea.

One doesn’t need to be a patient of MGH to qualify. There is also not a need to have health insurance, and immigration status does not matter.

Appointments are STRONGLY encouraged, but walk-ins will not be turned away. If anyone has one of the following symptoms, please call 617-724-7000, to schedule an appointment for evaluation and testing:

•fever

•new sore throat

•new cough

•new runny nose or nasal congestion

•new muscle aches

•new shortness of breath

•new loss of smell

If one is a patient within the Partners Healthcare system, please call the Primary Care doctor’s office with any questions, and to be scheduled for evaluation and testing.

*Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare is offering a drive-thru testing service at 1000 Broadway (near the Chelsea/Revere city line). It is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun.

If you have a Beth Israel primary care physician, call 617-975-6262 to make an appointment. 

Annual Sidewalk Work Schedule

The following is a schedule of sidewalk work coming. There is not on-street parking in these areas during these work times.

•Pearl Street – July 16-30

•Park Street – July 29-Aug. 5

EBNHC Offers Testing to Chelsea Residents

The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center now offers testing to Chelsea residents. Unlike testing at MGH and Beth Israel, this testing is for anyone – one does not need to have COVID-19 symptoms. Like MGH and Beth Israel, one does not need to be a patient, they do not need insurance, and immigration status does not matter. 

Appointments are required – no walk-ins are allowed. To schedule an appointment, call 617-569-5800. Testing is done in East Boston.

Collaborative Masks for Sale

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chelsea Collaborative was supporting a group of jornaleros (day laborers) to launch a worker-owned tailoring cooperative in Chelsea for entrepreneurial immigrants in search of economic opportunity. They have now come together to support community crisis responders and help undocumented families in Chelsea weather the financial crisis. The jornaleros are sewing proper masks to protect Chelsea’s community response organizations from the spread of the virus. Masks are being sold for $10 each and the proceeds are going to support undocumented families who are not eligible for unemployment benefits. 300 masks have already been sewn and distributed with more on the way. Individuals can purchase masks as well. To purchase any masks, you may place an order via email, please provide your name, phone number, address and number of masks by contacting: [email protected] then via Cash App: $ChelseaCollaborative.

Pandemic-EBT

Pandemic-EBT, or P-EBT, has recently been approved for Massachusetts and things are underway to implement the program in the state. For households with students who would have received free and reduced price schools meals, P-EBT provides extra money to buy food. Eligible households will receive $5.70 per student for each day of school closure, which will be paid in a lump sum of $199.50 to cover the 35 days that schools have already been closed. If you already have an EBT card, then the funds will be added to your card. 

P-EBT benefits can be spent in the same way as SNAP, and they’re available to households regardless of immigration status. However, they do not make you eligible for SNAP and they cannot be used to receive HIP benefits. They also do not replace the existing School Food Program, which continues to serve grab-and-go meals on weekdays for students.

Water Leak Alerts

The City of Chelsea is offering a free service to residents to help efficiently manage water usage and lower monthly bills. The service also notifies residents if usage indicates a possible leak. Register for this service at http://chelma.aquahawk.us or call 617-464-4041 for more information.

Free Water Meter Replacement

The City of Chelsea’s DPW is continuing its water meter replacement program for both residential and commercial customers. As part of this effort, meter service technicians from the DPW may be visiting a property to remove the old meter and replace it with a new meter. All DPW meter service technicians travel in marked City of Chelsea vehicles and have City of Chelsea identification badges. Whenever a water meter technician visits a property, one should ask to see the City issued ID. Installation of a new meter will typically take less than 30 minutes. The new meters will eliminate most estimated bills. Reliable readings will also allow customers to identify leaks that may result in higher than normal bills. There is no charge for the new meter. 

Chelsea Street Bridge App

For those seeking real time information about the Chelsea St. Bridge closures, Massport is operating a Twitter account which alerts drivers whenever the bridge is opening for shipping and closed to traffic. The Twitter account is @LoganToChelsea. This real time information supplements the new vehicular warnings systems now currently active on Broadway and Williams St.

MassPort Noise Complaint Line

Residents who are being disturbed by airplane noise are encouraged to call the MassPort Noise Hotline 24 hours a day. The phone number is (617) 561-3333.

Senior Water and Sewer Discount

Chelsea senior citizens are reminded to sign up for the new Senior Discount for water and sewer charges. Any senior 65 or older who owns and occupies his/her own home may apply.  The discount is 10% off the monthly bill

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