When a tornado watch was announced for Western Massachusetts earlier this week, thousands of residents of the Commonwealth and hundreds of employees at the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) held their breath. Memories of the June 1, 2011 tornados and storms are still fresh in the minds of everyone who experienced the destruction and are part of the ongoing recovery.
Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby personally congratulated 25 DTA staff members who received the Manuel Carballo Award for their work in the tornado recovery efforts. These Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) Key Contributors, who work in DTA offices in Springfield, Southbridge, Holyoke, Worcester, and Boston, are representative of their nearly 500 DTA staff who also worked to provide food assistance to more than 20,000 households affected by the tornados.
I was not at DTA last June, but I have heard many stories about the long, hot days my colleagues spent in our offices, and in tents, to bring whatever comfort they could to residents who lost everything. They worked day and night – some foregoing their vacations, and all sacrificing sleep and time with their family and friends – to coordinate and manage an unprecedented event for the Department. Their compassion, dedication, and teamwork reflect the essence of DTA’s mission to assist low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, increase their incomes, and improve their quality of life.
With disaster recovery plans well-tested and proven following the June 2011 tornados, many of these DSNAP team members leapt into action again following Hurricane Irene last August and the snowstorm in late October 2011. Some of our employees came to work after those storms, despite the fact that their own homes lost power and needed repair.
While I’m sure we all hope for peaceful weather throughout 2012, I am confident that the DTA team is prepared for anything Mother Nature sends our way.
…and to everyone at DTA who participated in administering DSNAP. I am proud to stand beside you.
DTA Adds the New England Aquarium to its Cultural Partnership Program posted on Feb 23
The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) announced that the New England Aquarium joined the list of more than a dozen top educational and cultural institutions statewide that offer free or reduced access. DTA’s Cultural Partnerships provides individuals and families an opportunity to visit partnering institutions …Continue Reading DTA Adds the New England Aquarium to its Cultural Partnership Program
Teaming Up for DYS Youth: A Long-standing Partnership Serves to Inspire posted on Feb 17
If you tried, you probably could hear a pin drop in the room. On a February evening, during a special visit to the Department of Youth Services (DYS) Metro Pre-Trial Detention Unit, nearly a dozen young men sat attentively and completely absorbed in the words …Continue Reading Teaming Up for DYS Youth: A Long-standing Partnership Serves to Inspire
DCF Increases Focus on Foster Care Awareness with the Help of 15 New Recruiters posted on Feb 8
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) begins 2017 with the addition of 15 staff members dedicated to recruiting foster parents across the state. DCF created the foster care recruiter positions as part of the system-wide reform initiated in September 2015 by the Baker-Polito Administration …Continue Reading DCF Increases Focus on Foster Care Awareness with the Help of 15 New Recruiters