Sen. Elizabeth Warren visits Chelsea, a community hit hard by the pandemic

BOSTON — Finally, a possible light at the end of the tunnel for those here in hard-hit Chelsea.

I have been reporting in Chelsea day after day about the needs of the people here. Finally, the message for help has been heard loud and clear by local politicians, who said help is on the way.

“Right now, I don’t have job. It’s very hard. COVID-19,” said Oscar Irias of Chelsea.

Irias is one of the thousands of essential workers in Chelsea who is struggling to put food on the table, ever since the pandemic hit. He was working in the cleaning service industry, where his job has been cut.

We met him at the La Collaborativa food bank.

“It’s very hard because I have three kids,” said Irias.

His story resonates with so many in the immigrant city that was hit hard by the coronavirus.

On Thursday afternoon, Sen. Elizabeth Warren walked the streets of Chelsea to hear their stories.

It’s a community that remains in the red zone, and strangers are forced to live with each other because they can’t afford the rent.

I asked the senator about that, about how we can help the essential workers that are losing their homes, and living with strangers at this point.

“I have an essential workers’ bill of rights that identifies people that are on the front lines,” said Warren.

They’re on the front lines, waiting to get vaccinated.

And, that’s the population of Chelsea, many undocumented immigrants from Central America working essential jobs.

Warren also took a tour of the food bank, where many were lined up waiting for food boxes.

“Essential workers are keeping our economy going,” said Warren.

City leaders are asking Warren to make Chelsea a top priority city for getting vaccinated.

“It’s about being vaccinated, and Chelsea being vaccinated,” said Gladys Vega, the director from La Collaborativa.

“They are putting their health, and lives on the line every day,” said Warren.

Iris is among those who have hope for a better future.

“I think it will be better tomorrow, praying every day? Yes,” said Iris.

The main thing here now as we are slowly getting back up and running in Chelsea is, don’t be afraid to get help. Local leaders want people to know that no, if you’re getting vaccinated, ICE will not come after you. Leaders are assuring the public in hard-hit communities, that it’s about getting the essential workers vaccinated so we could get the economy up and running.

Download the free Boston 25 News app for up-to-the-minute push alerts

>> Complete local and national coronavirus coverage here

RESOURCES:

- Complete local and national coronavirus coverage here

- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter | Watch Boston 25 NOW

- Download our free apps for your phone and smart TV