RIZE Massachusetts awards nearly $200,000 in Rapid Response grants to support organizations during COVID-19 pandemic

March 23, 2020

RIZE Massachusetts Foundation, an independent nonprofit foundation working to end the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, announced today that it has awarded nearly $200,000 in rapid response grants to support nonprofit organizations strained by the Covid-19 pandemic.  The discretionary grants will be given to 25 existing RIZE community partners.

Experts believe that the Covid-19 pandemic may have a greater impact among people with opioid use disorder (OUD), jeopardizing their access to health care, secure housing and a stable income.  As hospitals and clinics shift staff and resources to address the pandemic and as social distancing guidelines are implemented, many of the organizations that serve people with OUD are adversely affected as well.

RIZE community partners are incurring unforeseen costs as they modify operations to continue providing critical services.  For example, several partners have been forced to move operations to outside tents in accordance with CDC guidelines for social distancing.

“Our community partners are going through extraordinary lengths to support people with OUD during this unprecedented crisis,” said Julie Burns, President and CEO, RIZE Massachusetts Foundation.  “The grants will allow these organizations, some of which are small operations without access to reserves, to adapt their operations to better serve individuals as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds.”

RIZE is distributing grants ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 to the following community partners:


  • Fishing Partnership
  • Learn to Cope
  • Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery
  • NECAT Culinary Arts Training
  • New England Users Union
  • Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative
  • Prisoners Legal Services


  • AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod
  • Boston Health Care for the Homeless
  • Brockton Neighborhood Health Center
  • Casa Esperanza in Boston
  • City of Chelsea
  • Community Healthlink in Worcester
  • City of Everett
  • Fenway Health in Boston
  • Gavin Foundation in Boston
  • Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
  • HRH413 (Western Massachusetts)
  • Kraft Center for Community Health, CareZONE in Boston
  • Life Connection Center in Lowell
  • Lynn Community Health Center
  • City of Malden
  • City of Medford
  • The Phoenix (Boston)
  • William J. Ostiguy High School in Boston

To support RIZE’s efforts to fund rapid response as well as the community partners providing care, services and resources to people with OUD under extremely challenging circumstances like the Covid-19 pandemic or natural disasters, contributions can be made here.

About RIZE Massachusetts

RIZE Massachusetts is an independent nonprofit foundation committed to achieving zero stigma and zero deaths related to opioid use disorder by investing in meaningful solutions and employing broad perspectives that will save lives, reduce harm, and end the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts. For more information, visit rizema.org.