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June 2023 Newsletter

Visionary Award Celebration Thursday June 29th!

Cambridge HEART is honored to have been selected as a winner of the TNLR Visionary Award for 2023! La Red writes " The Visionary Award is presented each year to a group of people or organization who hold a profound view for the future, and work tirelessly to achieve their vision. Visionaries are creatively innovative, deeply committed to social justice and very dedicated to their communities."

The Network/La Red, is a survivor-led support network for LGBTQ+, kinky, and polyamorous survivors across MA and beyond.

Join us at their annual anniversary party, Paint the Town (la) Red! The event will be an outdoor party behind Kendall Square on the evening of June 29th.

HEART Retreat

On June 2, 2023 the HEART team arrived at the Packard Manse in Stoughton, MA for our June retreat. It was a meaningful time for us as it had been exactly six months earlier, we’d come out to Stoughton in December, to plan what the next 6 months of HEART would look like.

As a volunteer for HEART the retreat space has been one of the most valuable I get to inhabit because it brings together all the different groups that make up HEART. There aren’t many other places where you can sit with responders, board members, working group members, and admin members and hear all the voices at the same time.

As much as this retreat was about looking back and reflecting on all that HEART has achieved in the past 6 months, and also looking forward to what might be next, it was also a space to practice the values of a shared community. Not only did we have strategic planning sessions, and valuable times to share out our achievements and challenges, we were able to share meals together, play games, and have dance parties. Using that time to connect, not just as who we are to HEART, but who we are as people, grounded us in the work, and fired us up for what’s coming next.

–Nora Mally

ARPA Update

​​On June 1, Cambridge HEART and the City of Cambridge signed a $300,000 contract for federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. This funding will allow us to hire a Director of Wellness, a critical role to support the health and well being of our responders. The contract will also support part of our staff salaries for one year. We are deeply grateful to the volunteers, staff and community members who worked to get this resource allocated.

Staff Spotlight: Corinne

1. What's a fun fact about you / something you like to do for fun?

I love to spend time in my spot at the community garden. Currently, I am in challenging negotiations with a bunny that wants to eat ALL of our sunflowers. I am hoping we can agree that the bunny leave us one or two sunflowers in exchange for all the radish leaves.

2. What's the story of how you got involved with HEART?

I learned about The Black Response's efforts to advocate for alternatives in 2020. It was heartening to be a small part of The Black Response's advocacy. I think at one point hundreds of us community members were signed up to give public comment at a City Council meeting. I was so pleased to see the community's vision of HEART become real. When the opportunity to apply to work at HEART came up, I was interested. I feel very lucky to be part of the community of volunteers, partners and staff that are building HEART.

3. Can you share an impactful memory you have from working on the HEART team?

One impactful memory I have from working on the HEART team comes from our youth program last summer. The youth were learning from formerly incarcerated people. They designed, filmed and edited their own short films to support their learning. It was a lot of hard work. One day, half the teenagers climbed the big tree in front of the main library while the other half cheered them on. It was a joyous moment to see kids be free.

4. What is something HEART is currently working on or is planning for the future that you're excited about?

HEART has been doing non-emergency response since the fall. In the coming months, we are preparing to launch a warm line and then, mobile crisis response. I am excited that we will be able to serve the community in this way.

I am excited to plan for growth - we are working on how we can grow our support so that we can afford to pay our current responders more. Personally, in the future I would like to build an organization with equal salaries - I don't think I should earn more than responders do. I am excited about planning how we can increase resources so we can hire our next cohort of responders. We have to triple responder staff size in order to serve the community 24/7, which is our vision. We also have a vision of a respite center (a safe, beautiful, comfortable and free space where anyone can relax whether they are housed, unhoused, etc.) and that excites me. People in our community deserve to exist comfortably and access basic things like a bathroom, internet and a comfortable place to sit and relax.

HEART is hiring!

We seek to hire a full time (40 hour / week) experienced Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) to join our team. This position will work with HEART responders one on one and collectively to address the vicarious trauma they may experience in their work, as well as develop systems to support wellness within the organization as a whole. This position is required to be in-person a great majority of the time, no less than 3 days per week, with some flexibility for remote work, 2 days per week. The salary is up to $75,000. Visit here for the complete job description and application instructions. Applications due July 7!

Community Engagement and Internal Operations Coordinator

We seek to hire a full time operations coordinator to strengthen outreach and advocacy work, while also supporting the internal coordination and administration of Cambridge HEART. This position will include general communications including social media coordinator, communications support for HEART campaigns, and community events planning. It is 40 hours per week, in person with some remote flexibility. The salary is $65,000. Visit here for the complete job description and application instructions. Applications due July 21!

Statewide Convening

On June 15 and 22 Cambridge HEART helped coordinate and participated in virtual convenings to connect other community care organizations across the state. The gatherings were facilitated by Andrea Richie, a national abolitionist scholar and organizer. The goal of these convenings is to build statewide network to coordinate policy demands and resources that support building local community based care ecosystems.

Other organizations that participated included the Mass Bail Fund, Growing a New Heart, Wildflower Alliance, Families for Justice as Healing, and Material Aid and Advocacy Project. Some reflections from the HEART team included:

"It was strengthening to see people across the state working on taking care of our communities the way they deserve"

“It is empowering to see such a magnificent pot of alternative response soup brewing”

“Good to know there are so many hands out there supporting the community”


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