City councilor Gerly Adrien supports as-needed stipend to help pay medical, food bills and improve quality of life
By JOSH RESNEK
Everett’s failure to help out the working poor and the welfare poor who live in our city is highlighted by a program just launched in Chelsea, where that city has taken $3.5 million and will be giving it away on an as-needed basis to that city’s poor.
“I strongly support a program like this,” said Councilor at Large Gerly Adrien.
She said Everett’s poor population is enormous compared with Chelsea’s.
“We have more than several thousand low-income families living here. They need to be taken care of,” she added.
Chelsea estimates there are 2,000 low-income families in need of no strings attached “bailouts”.
To that end, beginning in November, Chelsea city hall will be giving to needy families $200 to $400 stipends that can be used for anything from medical bills to food to paying for bills.
The revolutionary plan is an outgrowth of the frustration caused by the city’s responsible leadership decrying long food lines Chelsea has experienced during the COVID-19 crisis, and to the belief of leaders in the city government that such a program was absolutely needed.
Because Chelsea keeps money in reserve, it was possible to launch the program.
The city of Everett city government tends to burn through its cash.
Everett recently approved $1.1 million to run the mayor’s office – an outrageous sum of money for a city the size of Everett.
In addition, Everett recently spent $500,000 on flowers while in neighboring Chelsea, those sums of money held in reserve will now be used to aid the poor residents of the city.
The money Chelsea is using is unspent money provided through the federal government’s emergency aid program for the virus in Chelsea.
Everett keeps no such sums of money in reserve for social and economic experimentation.
The city government has shown no commitment whatsoever to furnish necessary additional funding to Everett’s thousands of poor families.
What Everett has done recently is to force those in need of free food – perhaps
the neediest families in the community – to stand in line outside in the cold rather than to be allowed to line up for free food in their automobiles.
“I began talking about this last year when I learned about the program.
People use the money to pay bills and to aid their quality of life. I support this type of program. It is needed here very badly,” Adrien added.
“Honestly. I talked with the mayor about this in March. I told him the poor are going to need money and assistance. I’m going to need you to reach out,” she told the Lead- er Herald.
“The lack of the mayor’s leadership is real in this instance. I’m still waiting for our mayor to step up to the plate,” she said.
The city government in Chelsea, quite likely the poorest city in the Commonwealth, put up $1.5 million and got several other foundations and businesses to match that amount and more to get this program underway.
The United Way donated $250,000 and the Massachusetts General Hospital donated an additional $200,000, according to an article about the cash giveaway which appeared in Sunday’s Boston Globe.