New Bedford Community Connections Coalition

nbccc logo

New Bedford Community Connections Coalition (NBCCC) works to  prevent child abuse and neglect, strengthen families, and build healthier communities. NBCCC takes on a leadership role within the City of New Bedford and supports the work of “Patch,” which utilizes a neighborhood-based welfare practice model for families within two identified areas of New Bedford. Since 1996, United Way of Greater New Bedford has served as the fiscal partner and home of NBCCC.

The coalition is currently focusing its work in the following areas:

Near North End Alliance

NBCCC facilitates a multi-disciplinary team of individuals and organizations working to improve the quality of life within a struggling area of the city. It currently focuses its work in these areas:

  • Ensuring families have access to the supports and services that they need to thrive
  • Ensuring neighborhood youth (including out-of-school youth) have access to the enrichment and recreational opportunities that they need to thrive

New Bedford Strengthening Families AmeriCorps

Beginning in 2019, NBCCC spearheaded the development of an AmeriCorps Program to bring additional support to families with children in New Bedford. The Massachusetts Service Alliance and the Corporation for National & Community Service approved the proposal for the program in 2020. To learn more, visit the NBSF AmeriCorps webpage, click here.

Partners for Foster Care Support (PFFCS)

PFFCS is a collaborative group working to support local foster children and families.

VISION: Successful & Positive Foster Care Outcomes

MISSION: To create a positive web of relationships that will ensure children cared for by the New Bedford Area Office thrive while in foster care and into their adulthood.

Members of the group support foster parent training and support groups held throughout the year.

Foster families are also supported through special programming around the holidays, during Foster Care Awareness Month (May), and through the Take This Child to Heart Fund that provides enrichment support for foster children.


Patch is a community-based approach to child welfare practice and a partnership between the state Department of Children and Families ‘New Bedford Area Office, United Way of Greater New Bedford, and the New Bedford Community Connections Coalition. The Patch model links the protection work of DCF with the prevention work of family support. The NBCCC and Patch Family Advocate (FA) work to assist two “Patch” units and their families of the DCF New Bedford Area Office.

NBCCC supports both DCF Patch Units with various supports and resources throughout the year; including coordinating basic need support opportunities and continuously sharing community resources and event opportunities for families.

Vaccine Connect

In 2021, United Way of Greater New Bedford became a partner in the “Vaccine Connect” partnership with six community organizations, hiring two “Vaccine Navigators” to help residents vaccinate against COVID-19. The Coalition Director provides support to both navigators, who are responsible for raising community awareness of COVID-19 Vaccines, COVID-19 symptoms, locating and accessing vaccine sites, and helping remove barriers to receiving a vaccine.

The Navigators are supported through a Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) grant which is intended to focus on serving priority populations including: Black, Indigenous, People of color (BIPOC) and/or Latinx individuals; people with disabilities; individuals experiencing homelessness; individuals with mental illness; people with substance use disorder; residents who do not speak English or who prefer to speak in another language; residents who do not have access to public transportation or who have barriers getting to a vaccination site; and residents who may not be comfortable accessing vaccine in traditional healthcare settings.

NBCCC Advisory Board

Esperanza Alejandro-Berube - New Bedford Housing Authority
Katlyn Auty - Southcoast Behavioral Health
Lucy Canuel - Massachusetts Department of Children & Families
Ashley Eaton - Office of Housing and Community Development
Nicole Heaney,MSW -  Bristol Community College
Pam Keuchler - PACE
Renee Ledbetter - NorthStar Learning Center
Glenn Oliveira - Carney Family Foundation
Marcelina Pina-Christian - City of New Bedford
John Silva - New Bedford Women’s Center

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) fund NBCCC and Patch

For more information on NBCCC & how to get involved, please contact Stan Brajer at or (508)-994-4521 x 106.