Community members gathered for the CDBG celebration at Black Market in Dudley Square.

Last Tuesday, Mayor Martin J. Walsh congratulated 51 organizations that were awarded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to put low-income Bostonians on a track to economic stability and success. The $2.2 million investment will provide more than 4,000 Boston residents with such crucial services as English instruction, job training, financial coaching, academic counseling, legal representation, and connections to economic benefits.

“CDBG funds programs that residents need and deserve,” Mayor Walsh told community members gathered at Black Market, a first-time recipient of CDBG money.

A micro-business accelerator program, Black Market will use its funds to employ local vendors at a pop-up market in Roxbury’s Dudley Square. “It’s exciting to see movement in the area of equity and for that we are grateful,” said Kai Grant, Black Market’s founder.

Grateful, too, were residents who benefited from CDBG-funded programs and who shared their stories at the event. They represented a spectrum of both obstacles and fresh hope: A man in recovery who now holds down three jobs. A woman who lives in a shelter but has found new employment. A young person who dropped out of college, but is returning to school with tuition assistance from his employer.

Julio Nunes, a participant in X-Cel Education’s Conservation Corps program, is training to become a wastewater operator and planning to return to college to study computer science.

“A priority of Mayor Walsh and his administration is that no matter where you’re from, no matter what language you speak, you will get a fair shot in this economy,” said Trinh Nguyen, director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD), which awarded the grants through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP process.

The amount of CDBG money that the federal government makes available to cities and states is based on such factors as poverty rate, housing availability, and population. For this reason, Mayor Walsh underscored the importance of the City’s efforts to ensure an accurate count during the 2020 census.

“Every Bostonian needs to be counted,” Walsh said.” Because every Bostonian does count.”

Read the City of Boston press release to learn more.
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