Stimulus Share Program Helps Bronx Residents
Mount Carmen Teen Project Logo. Credit: Mount Carmel Teen Project
The coronavirus has hit the Bronx especially hard, but some of the borough's most vulnerable residents can’t get government assistance due to their immigration status. That’s why a community based program in the Belmont section of the Bronx is asking people to share their stimulus check. Michelle Bialeck is the executive director of the Mt. Carmel teen project. She says it doesn’t have to be a lot to make a difference.
“By making a donation you’re not saying oh I have money to spare. You’re simply saying I got this money and a lot of people didn’t so I’m going to share a little bit of it.”
The Mt. Carmel Teen Project was founded to work with teens and their families to prevent violence. It was formed after the tragic gang violence related death of Lessandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz in June 2018. Bialeck noticed the hurt caused by the coronavirus amongst the Bronx families she works with almost immediately. The Borough’s seen more than 44 thousand cases since the pandemic began.
“We asked people to nominate families where the situation is critical. Where perhaps someone has died from Covid and the family is struggling to collect funeral expenses or perhaps a family member became ill and couldn’t go to work. A lot of our families are living on the poverty line already so a change like that could be terrible for a family. A family could lose everything.”
Bialeck says they’ve seen a lot of support for the stimulus share program from around the country.