Federal grants allow Chinatown organizations to help close opportunity gap for Boston residents

Community organizations in Chinatown received funding to to support workforce training, education, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs, adult literacy and social services.

In July 2014, Boston Mayor Marty. Walsh announced that the City of Boston’s Office of Jobs and Community Services will provide  more than $7 million a variety of sources federal community development block grants (CDBG) to close the opportunity gap for adults and youth across Boston.

“We’re a city that consistently achieves at the highest of levels, but we cannot afford to be satisfied until all of our residents have a chance to create a good life for themselves and their families,” Walsh said in a prepared statement.

Among the organizations in Chinatown that received funding were the Asian American Civic Association, Boston Asian Youth Essential Services, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center and the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center. These organizations are among 64 organizations located across Boston that received grant funds for public services. The funding also supported other Asian community organizations, such as Viet-AID.

BCNC will use its $35,000 for its Red Oak after-school and summer academic programs. “In Chinatown, we have invested this funding in school-age programming, to ensure they have every opportunity to embrace diversity, learn to love reading, and develop the skills they need to succeed,” said Giles Li, BCNC executive director, in a prepared statement.

The AACAwill spend its $35,000 on its Boston Adult Self-Sufficiency Project, which consists of three components: financial education, job development career readiness and computer skills.

“The computer class has been very popular,” said Oscar Wong, AACA project coordinator. “Most of the people that come to the class don’t have computer access at home. They usually would go to the library, but it’s not that convenient.” Wong said that usually about 100 people are wait-listed for the class, which enrolls19 students at a time.

Boston Asian Youth Essential Services, the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, and Viet-AID received $25,000 each.

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