Ward 3 Newsletter

Special Report – March 18, 2020

First thing’s first

Dear Neighbors & Friends,

I hope you are doing well given the current circumstances. This is a strange and unique time, but I have no doubts in my mind that with the collective support of the community, we’ll get through this stronger than we were before.

I’ve been using this time to get organized and focused. I’ve checked in on family, friends and neighbors. It’s been nice seeing neighbors out walking around who you don’t normally see. While the situation remains confusing and looming at the same time, I see considerable positive will in sharing the same uncertainty and hope with you.

I know, however, whether by the virus or the economic consequences we are now starting to see, this period is going to be tough for a lot of us. I encourage you to stay as positive and strong as possible, and know that there is a community here to support you.

I’m including a long update below that includes ways in which you can support the community and other resources for businesses and even for your kids.

Please stay safe during this time, and do your best to safely check on elderly and disabled neighbors. If there is any way that I can be useful during this time, please do not hesitate to contact me.

With my best regards,

Ian Cain
City Councilor, Ward 3
Quincy, MA

The Coronavirus & the City of Quincy

The City of Quincy continues to provide updates with respect to the coronavirus’ effects on the city. I am including today’s update below. Please refer to the links below for ongoing updates. The Quincy Sun and The Patriot Ledger have also been providing local updates.

City of Quincy Facebook Page
City of Quincy Website
The Quincy Sun Website
The Patriot Ledger Coronavirus Updates

CITY OF QUINCY
COVID-19 UPDATE
March 18, 2020

  • The number of confirmed positive cases of the COVID-19 virus are beginning to increase as testing expands. There are a total 9 positive cases involving Quincy residents.
  • City offices are closed to the public. The City will still operate and offices will still be staffed, but residents will be required to conduct business via telephone, the Internet or through the mail. For a full list of department phone numbers and contact information, residents can visit www.quincyma.gov.
  • No City emergency services will be impacted.
  • Per Governor Baker’s order, all schools remain closed through April 6.
  • Students can pick up “Grab and Go” meals at North Quincy High School, Quincy High, Snug Harbor and Lincoln-Hancock. Meals will be available from 11 a.m. to noon.
  • All public regulatory boards are postponed until at least March 30.
  • All public facilities will continue to undergo aggressive environmental cleaning on a daily basis.

Residents with questions can call the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services at 617-376-1500 or the Quincy Health Department at 617-376-1272.

Food Pantry Needs Your Help

Bottom line: Interfaith Social Services needs donations and it also needs volunteers. There are more details below, but immediate links below.

Please volunteer.
Please donate.

On Volunteering…

Interfaith Social Services is following guidance from the CDC and local health officials and have implemented protective measures to limit person to person contact. We strive to continue providing exceptional service as well as food and emergency assistance to our neighbors in need. We anticipate that even more households will be in need of food over these next few weeks. We will need the community’s help to enable us to continue meeting the growing need.

Below are some of the extra precautions we are taking to mitigate the spread of this virus. We are confident that with these protective measures in place will allow us to continue serving our clients as we closely monitor this evolving crisis.

  • Staff are meeting daily to monitor new developments and change procedures accordingly.
  • We have asked volunteers and staff who have recently traveled outside of the US within the last month or are not feeling well to suspend their service at this time.
  • All staff and volunteers are sanitizing hands and all surfaces regularly.
  • Food pantry clients will wait in their cars instead of waiting in the food pantry waiting room. Volunteers will go out to their cars to check clients in. Those on foot may wait in the waiting room, keeping a safe distance apart, as long as there is room.

Volunteer requirements:

  • All volunteers will be required to fill out a volunteer registration form upon arrival.
  • Volunteers should be able to be on their feet for the duration of a 3-hour shift, be able to lift up to 50 lbs and have excellent customer service and communication skills.
  • Our minimum age requirement is 16 years old.

On donations…

A Message from Rick Doane, Executive Director of Interfaith Social Services:

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all of our lives. We have quickly seen the detrimental impact at our food pantry here at Interfaith Social Services. We need your help, please donate.

Generally, 50% of the food we give to our clients comes from rescue efforts at local grocery stores. As you know, the supermarkets have seen an unprecedented number of shoppers. As such, our food rescue drivers have been coming back with a few boxes of groceries instead of truck loads. We have already had to start purchasing more food to keep our shelves stocked.

We’ve also made the difficult decision to temporarily close our Bureau Drawer Thrift Shop, to ensure the safety of our volunteers and shoppers. The Shop is an important fundraiser for Interfaith, typically bringing in $10,000 a month to sustain our food pantry and other programs.

We are expecting to serve a record-setting number of households in the coming weeks. With schools closed until April 7, many parents will not be able to work and will lose income that they depend on. It is our responsibility to make sure that the vulnerable clients we serve continue to get basic necessities to sustain themselves and their families.

For those looking to help, right now our biggest need is monetary donations. Please donate today.

Fortunately, we do have very strong spending power – with just $1 we can purchase the equivalent of 5 meals.

Interfaith Social Services has been following guidance from the CDC and local health officials and have implemented protective measures to limit person to person contact. With these new procedures in place, our food pantry will remain operational so that we can continue to provide emergency food assistance to our neighbors in need.

We have already started to see the community starting to rally and help Interfaith’s clients. Let’s keep that momentum going! Amidst all of this fear and anxiety let’s do something great together. We can be a positive force during this difficult time.

Thank you so much for your support. We will keep you posted as other needs arise. Watch our social media channels for more immediate updates and needs.

Supporting our Local Restaurants & Food Establishments

Just in from Tim Cahill and the Quincy Chamber of Commerce is a well-organized and thoughtful way to support our local restaurants and food establishments while their doors are closed to the public.

The Chamber’s Taste of Quincy website is currently being updated with all our local restaurants and food establishments. If your restaurant would like to be featured, please e-mail Paula at ppecevich@thequincychamber.com with your hours of operation, information on pickup and delivery services, food photos and menu updates and we will add your information to the Taste of Quincy website.

TasteOfQuincy.com

Resources for Business Community

For business owners in the community, Maureen Geary from the City of Quincy’s Planning Department put together a list of resources.

1.     MEMA’s Emergency Operations Center’s Private Sector Hotline – The Hotline will be staffed Monday – Friday from 8am to 4pm. The hotline is 508-820-2094.

2.      Small Business Recovery Loan Fund – MA Growth Capital Corporation

  • $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund, administered by Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC), to provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits.
  • This fund is being offered with no payments due for the first 6 months, then 30-months of principal and interest payments and no prepayment penalties (annual interest rate of 3.0%).
  • Click here for MCC Loan Fund

3. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program

  • EIDL offers Massachusetts businesses who are experiencing hardships resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak access up to $2M in emergency loan capital with rates capped at 3.75%.
  • Businesses can learn more about the SBA’s response to COVID-19 here:
  • Click here for SBA application.

4. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development offers resources for businesses related to employee benefits and will post additional guidance as it becomes available.

Programs include:

  • Updated information regarding unemployment resources can be found here.
  • The WorkShare Program, a tool to help employers avoid layoffs during a downturn – read more about the WorkShare Program here.
  • The Rapid Response Program, which works closely with companies to avert layoffs and keep a skilled workforce engaged in the existing regional economy or industry; read more about how the Rapid Response Team can help businesses here.

Additional Important Information:

Governor Baker’s Emergency Order (3/15) limiting gatherings to 25 individuals and prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars and restaurants, beginning on March 17 and effective until April 6.

  • Read more about the Emergency Order here:
  • The Order does not apply to normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and centers, polling locations, grocery or retail stores, pharmacies, or other spaces where 25 or more persons may be in transit.
  • The Order does not apply to typical office environments, government buildings, or factories where large numbers of people are present, but it is unusual for them to be within arm’s length of one another.

Resources for Kids

Have kids at home? Are they driving you nuts? I feel for you. My father, John Cain, has provided me with some recommendations on how to (try to) keep them occupied while they’re home from school.

John Cain’s Education Websites for Kids

The following is the web address of excellent software sites for teachers, pre-schoolers, and elementary through middle school:
bit.ly/webinar031820

If you didn’t see this, the Aquarium is offering at-home experiences.
Take a Virtual Visit to the Aquarium!

MBTA Announces Schedule Updates

A comprehensive list of schedule changes can be found at mbta.com/coronavirus.

Rapid Transit:

Effective with the start of service on the morning of Wednesday, March 18, Blue Line service will be increased from today’s levels to reflect ridership demand.

Outside of these changes, Blue Line trains throughout the day will continue to arrive approximately every nine to thirteen minutes.

On the Orange Line, trains will continue to arrive at approximately every nine to eleven minutes.

On the Red Line between Alewife and JFK/UMass Stations, trains continue to be expected to arrive approximately every seven minutes. Red Line trains on the Ashmont and Braintree branches will run approximately every fourteen minutes.

In response to reports of heavy passenger volumes on the Green Line E branch and to further support workforce access to area hospitals in the Longwood Medical Area, service will be added to the E branch specifically with more frequency seen between Prudential and Heath Street Stations. Green Line B, C, and D branch trolleys will continue to run every seven to thirteen minutes with more frequent service on the trunk.

Bus:

MBTA buses will continue to operate on a Saturday schedule, though frequency (especially during the early morning and AM peak hours) will be added beginning tomorrow based on reports today of heavy ridership during certain times on certain routes.

Route 710 will operate regular weekday service beginning tomorrow. Routes 7, 501, and 504 will continue to operate modified weekday service.

Select express bus routes 325, 326, 351, 352, and 354 will continue to operate according to regular weekday schedules.

Ferry:

Ferry service continues to be canceled until further notice. Ferry customers who board at the Hingham and Hull terminals are encouraged to use West Hingham or Nantasket Junction Stations on the Greenbush Commuter Rail Line as an alternative.

Commuter Rail:

All Commuter Rail lines will operate on reduced schedules, which can be found at mbta.com. On all lines, Commuter Rail schedules are being modified to support targeted periods of peak travel while providing options for off-peak travel throughout the day.

Mattapan Line:

The Mattapan Line will continue to run trolley service approximately every twelve to twenty-six minutes.

The RIDE:

The MBTA will continue to operate full service on the RIDE. The MBTA encourages RIDE customers to plan their trips accordingly and follow the guidance of public health officials while in close contact with older adults or people with underlying health issues.

ABOUT IAN CAIN

Ian Cain is the Ward 3 representative to the Quincy City Council, and has proudly served in this role since 2016. For more information, please visit www.iancain.org.

RECENT PODCAST

Ian Cain on AM Quincy
January 2020