How to Help During the COVID-19 Crisis


Hi all, 

This update includes a number of opportunities to give back during this crisis! If you can, I urge you to pick at least one of the ways to support the Cambridge community. 

As this Covid19 crisis escalates, anxiety is escalating as well.  Everyone in the medical field is urging all of us to self isolate as much as possible, to stay away from others, to take the warnings seriously.  Already hospitals here in Massachusetts are filling up and worried about inventory of protective equipment. To all front line workers: THANK YOU! Doctors, nurses, custodians, food service, farmers, factory workers, child care providers (caring for the children of essential workers), and others: WE ARE GRATEFUL BEYOND BELIEF. 

I am proud and grateful to our community, which is working nonstop to address the needs in our community.  Mayor Siddiqui has shown extraordinary leadership – we are lucky to have her. An example of how we are coming together: Tufts President had a powerful op-ed in the Boston Globe about their commitment as an institution to address this emergency.  I am happy to report that the city has been working with Harvard and MIT, and both have stepped up and will be providing beds, resources and help. Another GREAT example is that the city will be contracting with some local restaurants to provide meals for homeless and vulnerable populations to address food insecurity.  

The Council will continue to meet remotely during this crisis, as we do everything possible to get resources to those in need. Public comment will still be available via Zoom conferencing – I will send out more details on Monday before the meeting. 

For any non-essential worker wondering how to help... See below!

Monetary support during this crisis:

  • Y2Y Youth Homeless Shelter – in an effort to stay open and support homeless youth during this crisis, Y2Y is trying to raise $20,000 – give here if you can!

  • Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund – the city has activated this fund to provide assistance to residents facing extreme financial hardship at this time. Give here!

  • Local business! While all businesses are closed to patrons eating in, many are still open for take-out and delivery. They need our support now more than ever.

A Call for Medical Equipment

In partnership with the Mayor’s office and my colleagues on the council, we are collecting medical supplies – masks, gowns, and glasses/goggles – for the Cambridge Health Alliance. Hospitals everywhere are facing a shortage of medical supplies right now, and the CHA is turning to the community for donations of personal protective equipment.
If you have supplies but do not want to drop off, email or with your address and what you have, and we will ensure the supplies get picked up from your porch. We will go alone, use gloves and keep ourselves and you safe in collecting it.

Check your basement and cupboards…you might find masks you forgot about!

Red Cross Blood Drive

There is currently a severe blood shortage around the country. Eligible and healthy blood donors are urged to make an appointment. Sign up here for upcoming drives in the Boston area. 


#CovidIsHereCrisisIsReal and rightfully is absorbing most of our time and energy, BUT don’t forget CENSUS 2020.  The census has started and it is critically important to get an accurate count – fill out your form. One way to spend your time while in quarantine… then use FaceTime or Zoom or Videochat to ask everyone you know whether they filled it out.  While you’re at it, ask what is their favorite restaurant – and try a new one for take out so we keep our restaurants alive.

Recent updates and resources from the city:

Recent updates and resources from the city:


For people showing symptoms: 

Somerville Hospital on Highland Ave. will be offering drive-through COVID-19 testing from 9AM-3PM seven days per week for Cambridge Health Alliance patients by appointment. This will be available for those showing a fever, new cough, and or shortness of breath. Read more here

For small businesses: 

Governor Baker announced the creation of a $10 million small business recovery loan fund for businesses of a certain size, including nonprofits. This fund will provide emergency capital up to $75,000. Loans will be available to eligible businesses immediately, and no payments will be due for the first six months. Click here to learn more about qualifications and complete the application. 

For hourly workers:

If your hours have been cut due to COVID-19, you qualify for Unemployment Insurance.Yesterday, Governor Baker announced emergency regulations that will allow those impacted by COVID-19 to collect unemployment insurance. Emergency legislation is being filed that will waive the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits. You can learn more and apply here. 

For Homeless: 

Due to office closures, families applying for Emergency Assistance shelter through the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community development can only apply by calling this phone number: 866-584-0653. Please share this number with those you know, and learn more here

For Seniors:

Senior residents, particularly individuals with weakened respiratory and immune systems, may be at higher risk of serious illness upon contracting COVID-19. As a unified community, we can keep our most vulnerable residents safe and healthy, both physically and mentally, by adopting specific precautionary measures. These measures include practicing thorough personal hygiene and safe social distancing. This also entails restricting visits to senior living and care facilities. See additional resources here.

Please stay safe and do not hesitate to reach out if you need anything! 

Our mailing address is:
Councilor Patty Nolan 
184 Huron Ave
Cambridge, MA

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