VietAID – Press Release on December 5, 2016

va head (E)Press Release
December 5, 2016

Dear members of the Vietnamese and Fields Corner community:

VietAID was created in 1994 by community leaders who believed that a community-based development corporation would provide comprehensive economic development programs and services to reduce poverty and alienation in the Vietnamese community of Fields Corner. VietAID’s mission is to build a strong Vietnamese community and a vibrant Fields Corner by promoting civic engagement; building affordable housing and commercial development; providing small business technical assistance and micro-enterprise development; and offering high quality child care services.

This has been a time of transition and growth for VietAID. We would like to share recent events to help the community better understand where the organization is in its development.

We are excited to announce that Jeff Katz, MPA, MSW is serving as Interim Executive Director. A senior non-profit consultant, Jeff specializes in organizational development, fundraising, and management. He was Executive Director of two organizations, including Adoption Rhode Island, for 14 years. He has served as an Interim Executive Director for 8 organizations, each time resulting in a turnaround. He has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University. Having stable, professional, leadership will allow the Board of Directors of VietAID to conduct a thorough, national, search for a long-term Executive Director. In the meantime, VietAID’s programming continues to be an anchor, providing strong programs for a community greatly in need.

We are also pleased to announce that Hương Phạm has joined the VietAID team as Director of Community Organizing. Hương is from Los Angeles, California and earned her Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Southern California. She has experience with community advocacy/outreach and has worked to promote social justice with various organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Bay Area Legal Aid.

In addition, Eric Fellinger has joined the team as the Director of Real Estate. Eric brings experience from a diversity of perspectives to this position. As a professional planner, he has worked for agencies at the state, regional, and local levels, and has sat on a number of development and design review boards. Eric has also worked as a private consultant in permitting for real estate and transportation.

Finally, the Board of Directors of VietAID is in a period of rejuvenation, with many new board members and only two board members from before 2016.

While VietAID has clearly been in a period of transition, the organization is building the foundation for a period of stability and growth. We look forward to working with everyone in our community to build a strong Vietnamese community and a vibrant Fields Corner.

VietAID’s $14.5m Upper Washington/Four Corners Project Secures Funding To Start Construction This Year

va headContact: Nam Pham, Executive Director
Telephone: 617-822-3717, Ext. 13
Email: nam@vietiaid.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 4, 2014

VIET-AID’S $14.5M UPPER WASHINGTON / FOUR CORNERS PROJECT SECURES FUNDING TO START CONSTRUCTION THIS YEAR

Dorchester, MA-The community development corporation Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Viet-AID) received funding from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to create 35 units of family housing and approximately 3,000 square feet of commercial space in Dorchester’s Four Corners neighborhood. Governor Deval Patrick made the funding announcement in late March that Viet-AID’s project was one of sixteen projects in Massachusetts to be funded with the goal of starting construction this year.

The development plan includes two buildings: one 3-story building at 331-337 Washington Street and one 4-story building at 322-336 Washington Street. Both buildings will have first floor commercial and community space, with rental units on the upper floors. The project site includes 9 city lots for which Viet-AID has been designated as the developer by the City of Boston and one private lot that Viet-AID purchased earlier this year. “We are excited to see underutilized land in the Fairmount Corridor converted into sustainable, affordable housing,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

“The project aligns with Viet-AID’s vision to build strong, vibrant, and diverse communities; to provide affordable quality housing; facilitate access to decent paying jobs; and strengthen neighborhood businesses. It also fits with Viet-AID’s Transit Oriented Design strategy to building affordable, energy efficient, healthy homes close to transit options” said Nam Pham, executive director of Viet-AID.

The project will produce 35 new, much-needed affordable housing units; provide commercial space that will support local and minority businesses; expand the customer base for existing businesses; and contribute to the ongoing neighborhood revitalization efforts undertaken by the City, the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition, Four Corners Main Street, and the members of the Fairmount Collaborative. “We are pleased that the State is supporting this important mixed use development in the Four Corners neighborhood,” said Theresa Gallagher, Deputy Director of Housing at the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development. “Viet-AID has worked really hard with the community to come up with a great development on City-owned land that will enhance the neighborhood. We are excited to see it move forward into development.”

Viet-AID’s funding application to the State was accompanied by strong support from the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, and from the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC). Besides the 9 City-owned parcels included in the project area, the City has awarded funds to the project. In addition, CEDAC provided an acquisition loan for the purchase of the private lot and predevelopment assistance in order to bring the project to a successful and timely construction start date.

Viet-AID’s team is working towards achieving a construction start date by the end of 2014 and a project completion date at the beginning of 2016.

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The Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Viet-AID) was founded in 1994 to provide comprehensive economic development programs and services to alleviate poverty and advance civic participation in the Vietnamese American community of Dorchester, Boston. Viet-AID’s mission is to build a strong Vietnamese American community and a vibrant Fields Corner neighborhood by: promoting civic engagement and community building; developing affordable housing and commercial space; providing small business technical assistance and micro-enterprise development; offering high quality child care services and after school programs; and developing community youth leadership.

Philippines Relief Fund (PRF)


Dear members of Vietnamese American communities, organizations and compatriots:

While much of the world struggles to grasp the enormity of the catastrophic destruction from the super typhoon Yoland (Haiyan), the Filipino people are desperately trying to meet their most basic needs. By many estimates, over 9 million people are affected by the devastation, including 4 million children. The super typhoon has displaced over 600,000 people in its wake, and may leave a death toll of up to 10,000. With sustained wind of 175 mph, this historic typhoon has left behind immeasurable damages.
One can see that the Philippines and Vietnam are quite similar in many ways. Each year around October, the Filipinos and Vietnamese—especially those from Central Vietnam alike must endure the distressing effect of cyclones and typhoons. Many Filipino and many Vietnamese people also live in poverty. Yet, both the Filipino and Vietnamese people are bound to their respective motherland, to their homes, and to their ways of life for generations.
More importantly, in the last quarter of the 20th century, the people and government of the Philippines have reached out to help tens of thousands of Vietnamese refugees fleeing the Vietnamese communist government. The Philippines, of all other South East Asian countries, was the most generous to the Vietnamese refugees despite the fact that many Filipinos were struggling with their own bare necessities of life. The Filipino people had generously shared their clothing, food and compassion to our “boat people” compatriots. Aside from Bataan, where tens of thousands of Vietnamese exiles found refuge, Palawan Island’s historic Vietnamese Village has also sheltered tens of thousands of Vietnamese refugees.
Throughout the years that span decades after 1975, thousands of rafts have drifted in the open Pacific Ocean, carrying packed cargoes of starving, helpless and desperate Vietnamese refugees. Many Filipino fishing boats had rescued the refugees and helped to renew their hope in humanity. If not for these fishermen, the Cap Anamur waiting in the oceans off the Philippines, the Filipino naval vessels from Manila and the US naval ships from the Subic Bay, our fellow Vietnamese refugees would have been buried alive in the bottomless make-shift coffin of the Pacific Ocean. Moreover, while many refugee camps across other South East Asian countries were forced to close, the Philippines continued to shelter some of the Vietnamese refugees as late as 2012.
We, as Vietnamese refugees, owe a tremendous debt to the people of the Philippines for their kindness and generosity regardless of whether we sought refuge at the Filipino refugee camps. The Philippines and her people have reached across vast oceans to help us as a caring sister would in our most difficult and despairing times. There is an old Vietnamese proverb: one is there to support her sister when she falls.
Kindness and generosity rise from despair and desperation. Please join us in this important tribute to the Philippines government and the Filipino people as a token of our appreciation and to let them know that we would never forget their kindness and generosity. Reaching out to the Typhoon Yoland (Haiyan) victims is not only our Vietnamese traditional value and responsibility, but also a truly rare opportunity to extend our profound gratitude to the country that has opened her arms and heart to welcome our “boat people” compatriots. Although many of the Vietnamese refugees now enjoy a life of freedom and food security, we can never forget the make-shift homes in the Philippine refugee camps that sheltered us and gave us hope. As important, reaching out to the Typhoon Yoland (Haiyan) victims is our chance to let the world know that we, the Vietnamese boat people or refugees, will not turn our back while our brothers and sisters suffer.

Sincerely,
Vietnamese Americans for Philippines Typhoon Yolanda Victims

NATION’S FIRST VIETNAMESE-AMERICAN COMMUNITY CENTER TO CELEBRATE 10TH ANNIVERSARY

BOSTON – September 10, 2012 – Viet-AID, a non-profit organization in the Fields Corner of Dorchester – Boston, will host its first ever-gala event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Vietnamese-American Community Center (Viet-AID Center). The “Mỹ Gala” is the culmination of decades of civic participation by Vietnamese immigrants and refugees who, since 1975, have worked to build a strong and contributing community in Massachusetts. The Mỹ Gala (so named because, in Vietnamese, America is called Mỹ or beautiful country) will be held from 6 to 11pm on September 29th at the Boston College High School at 150 Morrissey Boulevard, Dorchester, MA.

“The Viet-AID Center was the first of its kind in the nation,” said Viet-AID Executive Director Nam Pham. “The Center has provided a multigenerational and multicultural home for not just the Vietnamese-Americans in Boston area, but also other diverse groups in Dorchester. Over the past 10 years the Center has become a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization. It helps to connect our children to the past and prepares them for the future. This event will provide us with the support necessary to continue providing vital services that empower our community for the long-term and make better citizens.”

Three individuals will be honored at the event including United States Navy Retired Captain, Paul Jacobs. Captain Jacobs commanded the USS Kirk that rescued over 30,000 Vietnamese refugees after the Fall of Saigon in 1975. To honor him and other veterans, tickets are being offered to veterans for $50 each, half the regular event price. Veterans who attend will also be recognized during the program ceremony. Others being honored are Ms. Elizabeth Smith, Executive Director of the Hyams Foundation and Mr. An Ton That, former chair of the Viet-Aid Center steering committee. All proceeds from the event will go toward funding family and youth initiatives, including the After School and Early Education programs, Summer Camp, and Parental Support Services. More information about the event and the work of the Center can be found at http://www.vietaid.org or by calling 617.822.3717×15.

About Viet-AID

Founded in 1994, Viet-AID is the first and only grassroots community development corporation in the U.S. founded and operated by Vietnamese refugees and immigrants. Located in Boston’s Fields Corner-Dorchester neighborhood, Viet-AID’s mission is to build a strong, contributing Vietnamese-American community in Boston. For over fifteen years, Viet-AID has worked with mainstream organizations and residents to improve the lives of hundreds of Vietnamese immigrants and refugees; increase their participation in civic life; revitalize the once blighted Fields Corner residential area; and contribute to the economic vitality of the neighborhood. To learn more about Viet-AID please visit http://www.vietaid.org.

Contact:
Nam Pham – Executive Director – Viet-AID
Office: 617.822.3717×13 or Mobile: 857.919.7153
Email: nam@vietaid.org