The following information was provided by the Watertown Youth Coalition and Wayside Multi-Service Center:
Watertown Youth Coalition and Wayside Youth & Family Support Network’s Multi-Service Center invite nominations for our 2022 Community Spirit Awards and welcome the community to our annual awards event to appreciate and honor the individuals in the community committed to the health and well-being of Watertown’s youth and families. This event is free and open to the public. Light dinner will be provided. To nominate someone, please fill out the form by May 23, 2022 (Click here for the Form: Nomination form Community Spirit Awards 2022)
*Individuals eligible for nomination are those who have:
● Served as a positive influence or mentor to a Watertown Youth Coalition memberor to others in the community● Had the courage to address challenging issues that affect youth and thecommunity● Actively taken steps to improve the Watertown community for youth and families(in big and small ways)● Not received an award in the past 5 years
When: Wednesday, June 8, 2022 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Where: Arsenal Community Park, 458 Arsenal St., Watertown
Register here to confirm your attendance:
Click here for the Eventbrite Tickets for Community Service Awards Ceremony
About Watertown Youth Coalition
Watertown Youth Coalition’s mission is to support the wellness and empowerment of Watertown youth by engaging young people, families, and the community. About Wayside Multi-Service Center
Since 1968, Wayside Multi-Service Center has provided community-wide health promotion initiatives and counseling services to youth and families in Watertown and surrounding areas.
Watertown Youth Coalition Peer Leaders and Wayside staff with Wes from Minding Your Mind. The 12th annual SPEAK Week was back at Watertown High School (WHS) March 14-18 !! SPEAK(Sharing Personal Experiences and Knowledge) Week is organized by Wayside Multi Service Center’s Watertown Youth Coalition (WYC) Peer Leaders from WHS. Every year, in collaboration with Watertown High School, WYC Peer Leaders organize a fun-filled and educational week with special guest speakers, activities, and knowledge building that relate to helping youth make positive healthy choices. For this year’s SPEAK Week; themed “Strive to Thrive,” students engaged in assemblies, workshops, and activities throughout the week that addressed Mental Health and Wellness, LGBTQIA Safe Spaces, Mindfulness and Stress Reduction, Therapeutic Music, Speak Up Art Sessions and a visit from Lydia the Comfort Dog.
Social Service Resource Specialists/Wayside staff preparing holiday gifts and gift cards for families to pick-up. The holiday season is upon us and it’s the most wonderful time of the year for many. Yet for some, it can be challenging to afford gifts for their loved ones. Each year, Wayside Youth & Family Support Network’s Multi-Service Center works with local churches and businesses, to provide holiday gifts for families. Once again this year, families served through Watertown’s Social Services Resource Specialist Program were recipients of these generous donations.
The following piece was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger:
We are pleased to announce that the state’s positive financial position combined with additional federal support has allowed the legislature to make new contributions to Watertown’s health, housing, and environmental programs.
We have just approved a $4 billion one-time spending bill, funded from $2.5 billion in federal relief and $1.5 billion in state surplus.
Statewide energy and environmental programs receive $370 million in the package. We were able to additionally allocate $150,000 directly to Watertown to help replace lead pipes that connect service lines to water mains and to conduct a public outreach campaign targeted to all residents and property owners served by lead pipes so that they know to take appropriate precautions, most importantly flushing their faucets in the morning before drinking.
We additionally allocated $250,000 for the construction of stormwater infiltration systems to reduce flooding of the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway in the vicinity of Cottage Street. The Watertown-Cambridge Greenway is the new bike path segment starting on Arlington street in Watertown and connecting through to Fresh Pond. The project was delayed to address drainage issues at several points along the path in both Watertown and Cambridge. The path design had to be modified to include flood control structures, but it is finally nearing completion.
Unrelated to the current bill, but also in the environmental-good-news category, the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation is finally moving forward with a set of sidewalk improvements, river path improvements and landscaping improvements along Charles River Road. This project is funded in part by $500,000 that Simmons College provided as part of its compensation to the state for use of the Daly Field across the river in Brighton.
The bill devotes $1.15 billion to statewide public health and health care systems. Of that amount, $400 million is devoted to behavioral health, including $122 million to help young professionals who commit to the field. Behavioral health and public health remain centrally important as the COVID pandemic continues.
We were able to invest $125,000 directly to support behavioral health efforts in Watertown through the Wayside Youth and Family Support Network. Wayside is the nonprofit which houses the Watertown Social Services Resource Specialist positions as well as the Watertown Youth Coalition.
Of the $617.6 million that the bill devotes to housing and homelessness, $150 million will go to local housing maintenance needs statewide. We were able to additionally allocate $57,000 directly to the Watertown Housing Authority to conduct a feasibility study for the redevelopment of the Willow Park family public housing development in East Watertown.
The bill also devotes $1.578 billion to supporting workers and businesses statewide. It allocates $500 million to support front line workers through premium pay, $500 million to support businesses through relief for their contributions to unemployment insurance and $578 million to a range of other economic development and work force measures.
Finally, the bill provides $271 million for education on multiple levels, including $100 million for HVAC upgrades to protect health in local public schools.
In selecting programs to benefit from the large amount of funding made available by the federal government and the strength of the state’s economy, the legislature solicited input across the state and deliberated at length as to how to most effectively use the funds. We also kept in mind that the funds are available on a one-time basis and cannot be used to fund permanent program expansions.
Watertown stands out for the effective financial management that has allowed it to be very self-sufficient in its public investments, but we are pleased to be able to support and complement those investments and we are grateful for the ongoing collaboration we have with Watertown’s very effective leadership team.
Will Brownsberger is the state senator serving Back Bay, Fenway, Brighton, Allston, Watertown and Belmont. Steve Owens is the state representative serving much of Watertown, and parts of Cambridge.
The following information was provided by the Watertown Free Public Library:
The Watertown Free Public Library is partnering with Wayside Multi-Service Center to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) for the Watertown Community. MHFA teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis. Two sessions will be offered: one for adults interacting with adults, one for adults interacting with youth. Sign up now for a free mental health first aid workshop by clicking here.
A program called “We’ve Been There: Conversations About Stress, Fatigue, Depression, Coping, and Everything in Between,” the first in a series of programs focused on mental health and wellness will be held on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m.
The event is hosted by the Watertown Library in conjunction with Wayside Youth & Family Network, the Watertown Police, Advocates Inc. and the Watertown Community Foundation. Organizers sent out the following information:
Stressed, sad, exhausted? After a trying year, please join us as we discuss anything and everything that makes people feel isolated, sad, or anxious. You’ll learn what help is available locally and how we can support ourselves and loved ones through difficult times.
Guests Jan Singer of the Watertown Community Foundation (top left) and Sophia Suarez-Friedman of Watertown Mutual Aid (bottom right) joined Inside Watertown co-hosts Charlie Breitrose (top right) and Bob Airasian (bottom left). Two organizations that have been helping Watertown residents weather the COVID-19 pandemic were highlighted on the most recent episode of Watertown Cable’s Inside Watertown. The guests on the Zoom edition of Inside Watertown were Sophia Suarez-Friedman, the Town’s Social Services Resource Specialist at Wayside Youth & Family Support Network and coordinator of Watertown Mutual Aid; and Jan Singer, executive director of the Watertown Community Foundation. Co-hosts Charlie Breitrose and Bob Airasian talked with Suarez-Friedman and Singer about some of the many initiatives that have started during the pandemic. Mutual Aid is one, which pairs residents who want to help neighbors in need of assistance.
The holiday season is upon us and it’s the most wonderful time of the year for many. But for some, it can be challenging and filled with worry. Not all families can provide gifts for their loved ones. Typically, the Watertown Social Services Resource Specialist (SSRS) Program, a Wayside Youth & Family Support Network program at the Multi-Service Center, works with local churches and businesses to provide holiday gifts for families in need. As you can imagine, this year proved to bevery challenging due to COVID-19 and the many restrictions we have in place.