News & Events

City extends Haiti resource center operation

By Julie Balise, Globe Correspondent  |  January 21, 2010

Boston’s resource center that has been assisting local families affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti will extend operations through next week, with the potential to remain open as needed.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced yesterday that the center will be available from 1 to 7 p.m. during the week and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays through Jan. 30. It will be closed on Sunday. The center is relocating today to the Mattapan branch of the Boston Public Library at 1350 Blue Hill Ave.

This announcement follows yesterday’s 6.1 magnitude aftershock from the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people on the island nation last week.

“The situation in Haiti is still dire, and we owe it to locally affected families to lend our fullest support as they grapple with this unspeakable tragedy,’’ Menino said in a written statement.

The resource center opened on Jan. 14 at SEIU Local 1199’s union headquarters in Dorchester. Staff from city agencies such as the Boston Public Health Commission partnered with SEIU volunteers to operate the center.

Translators, crisis counselors, computers, and phone lines to accommodate international calls will continue to be available. The Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians is coordinating with immigration lawyers to answer questions.

Menino established a relief fund through Bank of America called “The Fund for Boston Neighborhoods, Inc. – Haitian Family Relief.’’ Donations may be made at Bank of America branches, and checks can be mailed to The Fund for Boston Neighborhoods, Inc. – Haitian Family Relief, P.O. Box 961555, Boston, MA 02196.

“As experts continue to assess the damage caused by the earthquake, it’s clear that financial support is still essential,’’ Menino said in the statement.

Contact the resource center at 617-284-1199