The town of Milford has a sizeable immigrant population but until recently large segments of this population that experienced trauma were being underserved.

Eliana Jarvis
That is until Wayside Family & Youth Network, a social services agency headquartered in Framingham, received stimulus funds to allow the organization's Survivors of Trauma program to hire a multi-lingual counselor to help Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking children and their parents here get the help and support they need during a traumatic event.

Recovery Act Impact: Wayside Youth & Family Network

  • Stimulus grant through the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance: $79K

  • Hired counselor for Survivors of Trauma program

  • Stimulus grant through the Violence Against Women Act: $32K

  • Funded a sexual assault and rape crisis program

The stimulus funds were part of a $930,000 grant to the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance which provided funds to six victim advocacy programs across the state. Wayside Youth & Family received $79,000 as part of that grant to hire Eliana Jarvis to help members of the local immigrant population navigate a crisis.

"These kids were completely neglected until stimulus funded this program," Dr. Lauren Barry, the director of Trauma Intervention Services at the Milford office of Wayside, said.

According to Jarvis, domestic violence cases dominate her work with this population. She said the police and the Department of Children and Families are getting used to calling her when the families don't speak English. Every week, she said she sees one or two new families. Jarvis noted that she also works with the local high school, the local clergy and at Wayside's residential facility for adolescents. "Kids are getting more comfortable talking to me," she said.

Wayside Youth & Family therapists

A $32,000 stimulus grant under the Violence Against Women Act also funded a sexual assault and rape crisis program at Wayside. Louise Cabral, the therapist who runs the program, noted that it is critical to be able to get support after a traumatic event.

"I tell them you don't have to worry about insurance or payment, just tell me how we can help," she said. She sees women at their most vulnerable who have experienced life-shattering assaults. "At the time when there is so much chaos, being able to help is how we are successful. People want to get through this upheaval and they want to know what to do," said Cabral.