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They hear the desperation in people’s voices — federal stimulus needed now

Coffins were displayed during a rally at Boston Housing Court outside the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse on Oct. 29 amid concerns that evictions could lead to an increase in coronavirus cases in the state.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Is this holiday season shaping up as a replay of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” without the redemption and joy of that story’s ending? It looks that way from David Abel’s pre-Thanksgiving story of food pantries across Massachusetts (“ ‘I’ve never seen anything like this kind of need,’ ” Page A1, Nov. 25).

We at Action for Boston Community Development are seeing the same painful need at our food pantries, and thousands are calling our fuel assistance hot line. Frantic requests for housing aid are accelerating, with many tenants six months or more behind in rent. ABCD’s rental assistance director said it breaks her heart to hear the desperation in their voices.


This is a job for the federal government. It’s way past time for the second major coronavirus relief bill. People’s lives are at stake here. Millions of hard-working Americans who lost jobs in the pandemic are helpless to ward off hunger and homelessness. Children are going to bed hungry.

We ask the federal government to get these children, families, and seniors the funds needed to survive — and to keep the economy from tanking. A Biden administration relief bill could be two to three months away. We call on our federal government to act now.

John J. Drew

President and CEO

Action for Boston Community Development