Developing a sustainable program to bring community services to incarcerated Puerto Rican immigrants and their families

The north end of Springfield, Massachusetts, is the poorest community in Massachusetts; over 75 percent of the residents are recent immigrants from Puerto Rico who are largely unemployed. In 1996, service organizations teamed up with local activists to form the North End Outreach Network (NEON), which includes an extensive outreach system of community health workers. The NEON vision is to create a coordinated population-based system of health and social services. As part of that vision, NEON community health workers have worked with over 300 incarcerated community residents and their family members. However, NEON has not achieved its goal of creating a locally sustainable institution and does not have the support to continue work with ex-offenders and their families who make up 50 percent of community residents. The twofold purpose of this project is to further develop and expand NEON's work with ex-offenders and their families, while at the same time increase their financial and overall institutional capacity. This collaborative project will build on NEON's initial outreach efforts to persons released from the county jail who return to the community and their families. Foundation funds will also provide critical support for the planning needed to create a locally sustainable model of coordinated health and social services. Project deliverables will include a sustainability plan and a coordinated outreach system for ex-offenders and their families.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $250,000.00

Awarded on: 11/22/2005

Time frame: 12/1/2005 - 5/31/2008

Grant Number: 55313


Baystate Medical Center Inc.

759 Chestnut Street
Springfield, 01107-1619


Milta Franco
Project Director