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September 2023 Newsletter

Heart's Impact

January-September 2023

Cambridge HEART currently responds to non-emergency requests by providing peer to peer mental health support, grief support, emotional support, support with accessing social services, mutual aid and material support to community members.

Between January 1st and July 31st, Cambridge HEART received an estimate of 64 requests for support. Out of these requests:

  • 44 people received servicesthey received support and have gotten to a resolution that they are satisfied with for the time being. They understand they may reach out for support again.

  • 16 "primary community members" were actively receiving wrap around holistic support

By mid September, 1170 unique individuals have been served through our material aid and outreach events!

Volunteer Celebration

On September 22nd, Cambridge HEART held a celebration for all of our wonderful volunteers. At Foundry Brewing Co, volunteers, responders, staff, and board members gathered together for community building games and recognition of the many ways volunteers support this organization. Responder Betzy Otero catered delicious food for the event– check out Betzy’s Bitchen Kitchen if you want more! It was a wonderful opportunity to bring together people from across the community who hadn’t been able to meet each other yet.

Statewide Convening on Non-Carceral Community Care Network

On September 16th, Cambridge HEART held a Statewide Convening to learn and plan together about building a statewide non-carceral community care network. Andrea Ritchie, a longtime organizer and writer on prison abolition and ending police violence for decades, gave the keynote speech. Participants held breakout conversations on legislation, budget justice, and skill sharing, and organizers who have been building similar projects in New York, North Carolina, and California shared their successes and learnings. Local partners, including The Black Response and Cambridge HEART as well as other organizers in Somerville, Northampton, and Lynn discussed how to move forward with a Massachusetts network of community care.

Cambridge HEART is excited to partner with Karaya LLC!

Karaya is designing and implementing the infrastructure for HEART's warm-line and crisis center call center. Responders are now in training—bringing us one step closer to launching the warm line!

Karaya's current mission is to provide space for advocates and leaders to focus their efforts in supporting communities while we take on the challenges of technology infrastructure and logistics. Learn more about Karaya here.

Learning Corner: Practicing New Worlds with Andrea Ritchie

Andrea Ritchie, the keynote speaker at Cambridge HEART’s convening on a statewide non-carceral community care network, has been writing and organizing on abolition for decades. Her newest book, Practicing New Worlds, is coming out in October. This book draws on ideas of formulated by adrienne maree brown in her book Emergent Strategy, on ways that social justice movements can draw insight from environmental justice and the natural world. Ideas of how people working toward abolition can more deeply and strongly move together are vital to HEART’s work, and RItchie’s insight will be important for anyone looking to be a part of this work.


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