Sherley Cruz, board member and volunteer since 2006
“I was asked to do employment law training. I help with representation for employees. It’s just been really amazing whenever you step into the building; there is a lot of positive energy. There is a real sense of empowerment for people who are otherwise marginalized. It’s really great to be a part of it.”
The Chelsea Collaborative, Inc. originally founded in 1988 as the Chelsea Human Services Collaborative, is an organization dedicated to the needs of the community of Chelsea. Our mission is to enhance the social, environmental and economic health of the community and its people.
We achieve our mission through community organizing and education. The Collaborative sees organizing as a way to build community power and achieve lasting change. When a thousand threads are brought together and bound to each other, they become a strong unbreakable rope. The Collaborative sees organizing as creating that rope – strengthening the power of our individual community members, equipping them with knowledge and fostering new leadership.
The Collaborative is proud of its many accomplishments, small and large. Some of our most notable victories include:
- establishing, through the 5 year human services plan for Chelsea, some of Chelsea’s most successful current organizations including Centro Latino, Roca, Community Connections and the Central Avenue Day Care Center;
- developing new parks like the Creekside Commons and Kaboom parks;
- initiating three community gardens;
- leading the only summer youth employment program which has hired thousands of Chelsea youth since its inception;
- winning hundreds of thousands of dollars in back wages for immigrant workers whose rights were being violated.
- Organizing annual May Day marches involving thousands of people to commemorate International Workers Day of Rights.
- Helping homeowners stay in their homes and fighting back against predatory loans.
- Assisting over 65% of Somali Bantu refugee families in the Greater Boston area to navigate school, government, health care systems and more
- Working with the School Department to ensure parents are part of their child’s education and that children are excelling academically.
- Registering hundreds of people and encouraging non-partisan voter participation
- Establishing the Chelsea Community Fund that provides grants to organizations, and neighborhood groups benefitting Chelsea residents.
You can hardly walk anywhere in Chelsea without coming across something that the Chelsea Collaborative was involved in…in every part of the city!
To focus on environmental, social and economic justice in Chelsea, the Collaborative maintains the following programs:
- Chelsea Citywide Tenants Association
- Chelsea Latino Immigrant Committee
- Chelsea Summer Youth Employment Initiative
- Chelsea United in Defense of Education
- Chelsea Voter Initiative
- Shanbaro Community Association
- Chelsea Community Fund
Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/thechelseacollaborative