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Annual Cookout & Community Health Fair Brings Resources to Plaza Betances

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Rainy skies couldn’t stop our community from coming together for the Annual Cookout & Community Health Fair, organized by our incredible Resident Services team! Plaza Betances was filled with residents enjoying the food and games while taking advantage of the health resources available.

As kids played in the bounce house and got their faces painted, adults were able to get information from local health and family resources. Throughout the whole cookout, volunteers took turns at the grill, serving up barbecue for all attendees!

From mental health resources to employment help, vendors were lined up offering information to everyone. One of these vendors was Exceptional Lives, which helps families and caregivers of youth with disabilities find nearby resources. With a searchable resource directory and interactive how-to guides on the processes for benefits and services, Exceptional Lives is a nonprofit that aims to end the information gap for people with disabilities.

A few tables over, More Than Words had a table full of books and a few great smiles! More Than Words works with youth who are in foster care, court-involved, homeless, or out of school through their donation-supplied bookstore. They work part time at the bookstore, learning how to succeed in business. They also learn life skills, such as opening a bank account or getting an ID, gain job skills, and receive support for their education. After the program, they have two follow up years to make sure they stay on track with the knowledge they gained through More Than Words.

 

Some of the other health-focused resources included Senior Whole Health, which is a no-cost health plan for seniors with MassHealth Standard and Medicare benefits. The Boston Public Health Commission was also there with resources about asthma, such as prevention, home care, and treatment.

Another important aspect of the Health Fair was mental health, thanks to groups like Samaritans. They offer workshops for people of all ages, crisis services, and support for people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Samaritans has a variety of mental health resources dedicated to different age groups, as well as a 24-hour mental health helpline and community outreach programs.

We were so honored that Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn took the time out of his birthday celebrations to stop by our event! He introduced himself to the whole community and chatted with some of our residents, and also stopped by the Blackstone Community Center table.

Even the occasional rain showers couldn’t keep people away, with the plaza full of life until the event’s end. Of course, sticking around meant the chance to win raffle prizes, play games, and even get in a little workout! There were backpacks for youth, arts & crafts, and free health screenings, such as checks for sun damage.

We are so grateful to all the organizations that donated their time and resources to support our community, our staff, and, of course, the energy of our community.

If you missed this year’s Annual Cookout & Community Health Fair, don’t worry, we’ll be back next year!

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