UPDATE: May 26. Drive-up Hours have been extended. Please click here for complete updates on changes to hours of operation.

Message from the CEO

CEO James W. Blake Americans are quickly learning to live under unprecedented restrictions to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus and flatten the curve from deadly cases of COVID-19.

Millions of people have been put out of work as the closure of non-essential businesses has shut down whole sectors of the economy. Millions more are working remotely and adjusting to livelihood, schooling and recreation all happening under one roof all day.

Like all responsible individuals and organizations, community banks like HarborOne are adjusting to the “new normal,” following social distancing guidelines, implementing strict sanitizing practices, and encouraging our team members to work remotely where possible, while at the same time addressing the financial needs of the households we serve and the community at large. 

There is stress and anxiety in every household, but it’s magnified in homes where people were already struggling to make ends meet before this global pandemic hit. That means the organizations serving at-risk populations are needed now more than ever – even as the challenges and dangers presented by COVID-19 make delivering services all the more difficult. Nonetheless: organizations in Brockton, along the South Shore and in the Southcoast region are making tremendous efforts to reach our most vulnerable citizens.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro South have repositioned their daily meal assistance programs to provide weeknight grab-and-go dinner services for anyone 18-and-under at both their Brockton ad Taunton locations. So far the BGCMS are averaging about 150 meals per night – with a single dinner available per child Monday through Thursday and three meals per child available for pickup on Fridays. Grab-and-go hours are 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.  HarborOne is proud to support the BGCMS, but the need is great, and more support is welcome. 

Food pantries have also shifted into higher gear as they race to meet increased need and address the elevated risk of food insecurity brought on by unemployment, disruptions in food access and supply-chain slowdowns.

Interfaith Social Services – which operates a food pantry in Quincy – has seen both high levels of anxiety and worry among its clients, and unprecedented levels of support and assistance from volunteers.

Interfaith is experiencing a significant decrease in the amount of food it is able to rescue from local supermarkets, as well as a decline in income of more than $10,000 per month from the necessary closing of its thrift shop. Cash donations are desperately needed, and as little as $1 can purchase the equivalent of five meals. Donations of non-perishable food items, toiletries and cleaning products are also needed and can be dropped off at Interfaith Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and also 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays – 105 Adams Street, Quincy.

In Brockton, where The Charity Guild has served the Greater Brockton area since 1971, food pantry clients have adjusted well to an outdoor grab-and-go food distribution system set up to comply with social distancing guidelines. The Charity Guild is seeing a marked increase in new clients, as the COVID-19 crisis places more and more people in economic peril and food insecurity each day.

The food pantry has added an additional day (Mondays) for food distribution –specifically to social service agencies collecting meals on behalf of clients; and the Guild has also partnered with the non-profit Hope & Comfort to distribute soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other personal hygiene items.  Community donations of cash, as well as non-perishable food and personal hygiene items, are always welcome.

Managing household financial stress and accessing emergency financial services are also critical as small businesses, individuals and families cope with the economic shock waves of COVID-19. The Capital Good Fund makes micro loans in multiple states including Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In addition to providing support to food-pantry and other emergency relief organizations, HarborOne Bank has helped support Capital Good’s “Crisis Relief Fund” - which was created to meet the emergency needs of local Massachusetts families due to job loss, unexpected expenses or health issues.

The Fund’s “Crisis Loan” program was implemented in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and provides emergency loans from $300 - $1,500 with a deferment period of three-months with no payments of interest or principal.

HarborOne Bank has also created a safer banking environment for its customers by adjusting drive-through services to better meet needs, increasing communication about its robust online banking platform and managing branch operations carefully to allow for appropriate social distancing.

The bank also recently located a corporate stockpile of 2,000 N95 respirator masks, which were distributed evenly between Brockton Hospital, South Shore Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital and Brockton Neighborhood Health Center.  These donations will help reduce the risk to healthcare workers on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19.

This public health crisis is like nothing we have seen in recent history: an unprecedented event that requires unprecedented cooperation at every level of society. The organizations that provide critical services to keep families safe and healthy deserve our gratitude. And they deserve whatever support we can give them.

James W. Blake

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