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Community Services / Overview
Department Head: Cynthia Wallquist

Established in 2006, the Department of Community Services is comprised of three offices: the Council on Aging, Human Services and Recreation. Listed below is a “snapshot” of each office and the programs and services they provide.


Council on Aging

Outreach Services
Photo ID
Senior Centers
Senior Transportation
Travel Program

Human Services

Adult Literacy/ESOL
Commission for Citizens with Disabilities
CS2 Communities & Schools for Success
Cultural Affairs
Home Aid
Human Relations Commission
Local Consumer Program
Neighborhood & Community Outreach
No Place for Hate®
Volunteer New Bedford
Face to Face Mediation Program
Saturday Academy
Sunset Social

Council on AgingCouncil on Aging

The mission of the New Bedford Council on Aging is to study the conditions and needs of elderly persons in the community, in relation to housing, economics, employment, health, recreational needs and other matters.   It shall analyze the services for the aged provided in the community, both by public and private agencies, and shall make recommendations to the Mayor regarding the development of such programs and their coordination with programs available through the Massachusetts Department of Elder Affairs.

Funding is made available to the Council on Aging from the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Coastline Elderly Services Title III, and an  “Anonymous” Grant that benefits older women in need.

The New Bedford Council on Aging is dedicated to the concerns and well being of the older individuals, to enable them to maintain independence in their own lifestyle and prove the support needed so that they may remain contributing members of the community as long as possible.   Among the programs sponsored by the Council on Aging in 2011-2012 are:

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Outreach ServicesOutreach Services

Services include:  Medical Benefits, Housing, Food Stamps, Crisis Intervention, Advocacy, Discretionary Funding for women 65+who meet eligibility guidelines; Home Visits to elderly shut-ins.  This program is offered at the Council on Aging Downtown Senior Center @ 5725 Pleasant Street:  Monday thru Friday 9 am - 3 pm; Walk-ins are welcome; appointments are preferred.  For information, call: 508-991-6257

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Photo Program

The Photo ID program serves New Bedford residents 59 years+ and municipal employees. 
Location:  Council on Aging Senior Center @ 181 Hillman Street.
Requirements:  Proof of residency & ID (Passport, Birth Certificate, State ID, Social Security card, MA license or Medicare card).  Appointments are required for Municipal ID’s.
Days of Operation:  Tues – Fri. 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Tel:           508-991-6250
Fee:          $5.00

Press Release - New Bedford Council On Aging Photo ID Program Relocated to Hillman Street

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"Seniorscope” Newspaper

April 2013 - Newspaper - (click here)

SeniorScope is a free, 12-page monthly publication that has become an integral part of the senior community.  SeniorScope’s mission is to inform, educate and advocate on behalf of area elders. For those who are frail, housebound and/or isolated, SeniorScope is a link to their peers and their community.     The paper is available by subscription and at more than 100 sites in the community, including Senior Centers.

SeniorScope is recorded on cassette for the visually impaired, with assistance from the New Bedford Public Library.  Free copies of the cassette are sent to any visually impaired individual requesting them. SeniorScope staff is located at the Council on Aging: 181 Hillman Street. To subscribe or request a cassette, call Jeannine Wilson @ 508-979-1510.

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Senior Travel Program

The SENIOR TRAVEL PROGRAM promotes active recreational opportunities for socializing through sponsored travel. It brings together persons with similar interests and encourages those who have retired, lost a partner or seek out new friends. New Bedford area residents 55+ are eligible to participate. 

Contact:   Jan Barrette - Senior Travel Coordinator
Office:      Hazelwood Senior Center  (553 Brock Avenue)
Phone:     508-991-6171             FAX: 508-991-6163

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Transportation Services

Assistance Offices – Banking – Grocery – Mall Trips
Medical – Nursing Home – Pharmacy

Need a ride to the doctor…..or some other medical appointment?

  • Medical Van ($5 Round Trip)
  • Available for Medical Appointments
  • Monday – Friday 9 am – 2 pm
  • Requires a minimum of 48 hours notice Call 508-991-6271.

Limited Service to Boston available;

  • SRTA provides transportation to many Boston hospitals on Tuesdays with a fee of $25 roundtrip
  • Pickup Location: 181 Hillman St. @8:30AM (Parking lot of Council on Aging)
  • Please call 508-991-6253 for more information or to make a reservation required 48 hours in advance.

Personal Van ($2 Per Stop)

  • Available for Personal Business/Errands
  • Wednesday’s and Thursday’s 9 am – 1 pm
  • Call 508-997-4882

Shopping Van ($3 Round Trip)

  • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 9 am – 12 Noon
  • Includes Stores in New Bedford, Dartmouth, and Fairhaven Call 508-991-6250

Our transportation is partially funded by Coastline Elderly Services Title III Grant.

Contact: Felice Monteiro, COA Coordinator
Office: 181 Hillman St., Bldg. 9
Phone: 508-991-6251 Fax: 508-979-1514

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New Bedford Senior Centers

New Bedford Seniors benefit from having a place at every section of the City to socialize and to participate in programs: Brooklawn Center (North End); Buttonwood Center (West End); Downtown Center; Ashley Park (South End) & Hazelwood Center (far South End).

Whether you wish to keep in shape, learn a new skill or develop a talent, the New Bedford Senior Centers have a variety of programs and activities to suit your lifestyle. Activities include painting, scrapbooking, line dancing, chair yoga, aerobics, strength and conditioning, chi kung walking, and bingo and computer classes. Amenities offered at the accessible centers include: a computer lab at the Hazelwood Center, a billiard table at the Brooklawn Center, treadmill and exercise bike at the Downtown Center. Health education and services are also available, including monthly blood pressure checks, diabetic clinic, hearing aid checks, and special guest speakers for topics such as fall prevention, Alzheimers support, and healthy eating & cooking demonstrations. Call the Senior Program Manager or any of the Senior Center Coordinators for seasonal program updates and upcoming special events.

Phone: 508-991-6250

Senior Center Calendar and Special Events

Senior Center Hours of Operation

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Center Coordinator


Brooklawn Center
1997 Acushnet Ave.
New Bedford 02745

Pat Foley


Buttonwood Center
1 Oneida Street
New Bedford 02740

Karen Main


Downtown Center
5725 Pleasant Street
New Bedford 02740

Jordan Duarte


Hazelwood Center
553 Brock Avenue
New Bedford 02744

Marisol Grant
Jan Barrette


Ashley Park Center
543 Rivet Street
New Bedford 02744

Olga Williams
Ernie Severino


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Human Services

WELCOME to the HUMAN SERVICES Office of the Department of Community Services! The Division has staff members who:

  • Design and implement innovative programs to improve the “human infrastructure” and quality of life for New Bedford’s residents
  • Discuss human service needs and related issues with community-based organizations, educational institutions, neighborhood associations and area agencies to assist the City in developing policy and programs
  • Provide Information & Referral services to constituents, linking them with appropriate agencies and services
  • Seek outside funds and resources to support City/community projects
  • Serve in leadership positions local organizations such as the Massachusetts Municipal Association Human Services arm: LOHSC (Local Officials Human Services Council) and the US Conference of Mayors Human Services Conference

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Among the programs sponsored by the Human Services Division in 2014 are:

Adult Literacy: Shining Lights ESOL Program

The Office of Human Services began its “Shining Lights” ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Program in 2002 to meet a need for newly arrived immigrants who were not ready for traditional ESOL classes.  Shining Lights focuses on basic English conversational skills, and is staffed by volunteer teachers.

Since its creation, Shining Lights has served over 400 adult learners to date and provided structured out-of-school programs for over 100 infants and school-aged   children while their parents are in class.

Shining Lights is a program offered by the City of New Bedford, offering basic English classes for beginning-level adult students.

Shining Lights  classes are 2 hours long, twice a week, for  24 weeks from September  2013 to May 2013. The Shining Lights curriculum is focused on conversational English and students learn at their own pace.   In addition to English lessons, Shining Lights also offers life- skills seminars (e.g. Tenant & Consumer Rights), as well as History & Civics workshops and Citizenship preparation.

Childcare is available for free.

Contact : Catherine Verdadeiro
Phone: 508-997-4889

Contact : Olga Rodriguez
Phone: 508-997-4889

  • Para información en Español llame a la Oficina de Community Services a 508-997-4889 o 508-961-3136

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Home Aid Program

The “Clear Paths” project is part of the Commissions for citizens with Disabilities HomeAID Program.   The program provides snow removal  for disabled homeowners who need access to/from home to obtain critical medical treatment or receive caregivers.

click here for more information

Contact:   Department of Community Services
Phone:      508-961-3136
TTY:         508-979-1638

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Commission for Citizens with Disabilities

Established by the City Council in 1983, the Commission for Citizens with Disabilities is a 9-member body appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.  All members serve three-year terms and at least five members shall be persons with a disability.  The Executive Director, appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council, carries out the administrative functions of the Commission.  The Commission is charged with exploring issues relating to citizens with disabilities, providing information, referral, technical assistance, and taking action to ensure the equal status of persons with disabilities.  The Commission supports a variety of programs, including:

  1. Home Aid (snow removal for disabled homeowners)
  2. Out-of-school time activities for youth with disabilities
  3. Sunset Social (evening supper for persons with disabilities)

The Commission is also actively involved in raising funds for the City’s first wheelchair-accessible playground @ Buttonwood Park. 

Commission Members

Kimberli Bettencourt, Chair
Martha Bouchard, Vice Chair
John Tyson, Treasurers

Brooke Miller, Secretary
Gloria Hill
Rev. Pam Cole
Marsha Fernandes
Dennis DeMarinis, Jr.

Contact:         Cynthia Wallquist, Executive Director
Phone:            508-997-4893

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"CS2" Communities and Schools for Success

Lynne LaBerge, Human Services Program Coordinator/CS2
Since 2003, my mission has been to help raise students’ academic achievement while providing access to real-world activities such as summer work and learning experiences, job shadows and career days, volunteer/community service opportunities, and after school programs, especially for those students who are underserved and disengaged. I continue to work with community and school partners such as administrators, teachers, students, employers, and civic leaders to address and identify the priorities of the school district. I operate through the City of New Bedford’s Department of Community Services with an office in New Bedford High School.
Three primary objectives include:

  • To implement and sustain new programs and strategies that improve engagement and motivation for students, particularly those placed at risk
  • To mobilize community support for schools involving families, businesses, and community organizations
  • To expand financial and in-kind resources for schools and communities

Current activities include:

  • Grants research and writing – Each year grant funds and resources are secured for programs and professional development opportunities that directly benefit students and teachers in our district.
  • Coordinating the College and Career Readiness Family Engagement Center at New Bedford High School. Includes supervising staff and scheduling center activities, communicating with families in relation to specific student related concerns, high school events, clubs and after school programs, and college and career information, and nurturing existing and new partnerships with agencies and school personnel to enhance and promote existing college and career readiness programs including NBHS Guidance Department, teachers, GearUp, Talent Search, Your Plan for the Future, Immigrants Assistance Center, and Upward Bound.
  • Design and coordinate innovative after school and summer programs for high school students such as: The 21st Century Community Learning Centers After School at New Bedford High and the Summer Work and Learning Programs for underserved youth that has included art programs at ArtWorks!, entrepreneurship programs, NBWNH Park Stewards Program, and science programs at the Ocean Explorium. All of these programs target underserved youth, focus on college and career readiness, and provide academic enhancement for students who need extra help.
  • Assist teachers each year with the Entrepreneurship Program and E-Center at New Bedford High School. The E-Center is used to enhance the classroom experience and serves as a business incubator where entrepreneurship students can create and sell products. Over the years, I have worked with hundreds of students teaching them how to market their own business, create logos, and present their business plans.
  • Lead role on the organizing committee for the annual Credit for Life Fair at NBHS. Over 80 volunteers from the business community and staff from NBHS are recruited to plan this highly interactive experience that placed NBHS students in the position of a 25 year old adult in charge of making their own purchases and daily living decisions. Over

300 students each year are truly excited and engaged while they learned an incredible amount about financial planning and budgeting for the future.

  • Work closely with the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement at UMass Dartmouth both on their Advisory Board and as members of SouthCoast Serves - a regional collaborative focused on increasing volunteerism and service-learning in our region.
  • In partnership with the United Way of Greater New Bedford and the NBHS J.R.O.T.C. program, I have recruited and supervised high school students for the annual Youth Day of Caring. Students are also encouraged to become effective volunteers in the community by using the Volunteer Solutions website and following up on my recommendations for volunteer opportunities in the community.
  • College Mentor/Tutor Placements - In a partnership with UMass Dartmouth, Bristol Community College, and other local colleges and universities, I have facilitated the placement of college tutors in the high school’s entrepreneurship courses, summer, and after school programs.
  • Community Partners and Committees include: ArtWorks!, Bristol Community College, Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board (WIB), New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, New Directions South Coast, Inc., OceanExplorium, Immigrants Assistance Center, One Stop Career Center, SouthCoast Serves, United Way of Greater New Bedford, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and many more.

Contact: Cynthia Wallquist, Director, Department of Community Services Phone: 508.979.4893
Contact: Lynne LaBerge, New Bedford High School, Room B-281 Phone: 508.997.4511 X 2361

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The Neighborhood and Community Outreach Unit - (NCOU)

The Community Outreach Unit is comprised of representatives of the Community Service Department and was developed with the intention of being proactive to residents needs in the community. The NCOU, which meets weekly, attends all neighborhood meetings and special events in the community. The purpose of attending all events and meetings is to represent the City of New Bedford, and bring back information to be disseminated or to have questions answered. The Unit also responds to constituent’s needs in the community and assist those with extenuating circumstances.

This unit includes a Constituent Services Liaison and Ombudsperson for Elder & Disabled Services. These positions, funded by the City of New Bedford & the Office of Housing & Community Development, focus on addressing the needs of New Bedford’s elders, persons with disabilities, and non/limited English Speaking low-income residents.

View our Newsletter
Neighborhood and Community News

Volume 17 - Spring 2014
Volume 16 - Fall 2013

Volume 15 - Winter 2012-2013
Volume 14 - Winter 2012
Volume 13 - Fall 2011
Volume 12 - Summer 2011
Volume 11 - Fall 2010/Winter 2011
Volume 10 - Fall 2010
Volume 9 - Summer 2010
Volume 8 - Spring 2010
Volume 7 - Fall 2009/Winter 2010
Volume 6 - Fall 2009
Volume 5 - Summer 2009 - Special Edition
Volume 4 - Summer 2009
Volume 3 - Spring 2009
Volume 2 - Winter 2009
Volume 1 - Fall 2008

Nora Andino, Constituent Services Liaison, is a bi-lingual staff (Spanish) member who:

  • Provides case management, information & referral services to constituents with emphasis on the Latino Community.
  • Assists Constituent with housing needs
  • Processes referrals from constituents, social service agencies, religious, fraternal and community organizations
  • Assists City departments with constituent needs
  • Attends agency and community meetings that pertain to constituent needs
  • Collaborates with other agencies/organizations

Phone: 508-979-1516
Office hours: M-F 8 AM – 5 PM City Hall, Room 219

  • Para información en Español llame al 508-979-1516 o 508-961-3136

John Lobo – Neighborhood Liaison

  • Provides assistants to Neighborhood Groups, attends meeting, solves Neighborhood issues
  • Assist with special projects.
  • Assist residents with quality of life issues.
  • Collaborates with other agencies/ organizations.
  • Process referrals from constituent to City Departments.
  • Coordinate Graffiti removal.

Contact: John Lobo
Phone: 508-979-1692
Office hours: Mon. - Fri. 7:30-4 City Hall, Room 220

Pauline Macedo, Ombudsperson provides:

  • I & R to N.B. low-income residents about local, state and federal programs
  • Assists with housing related matters, Snap Benefits etc.
  • Non-legal translations/interpretations (Portuguese)
  • Serve as a liaison on behalf of City Departments and constituents for their needs
  • Collaborates with other Social Service Agencies by attending agency & community meetings.

Contact: Pauline Macedo
Phone: 508-961-3135
Office Hours: Mon thru Fri 8 AM – 5 PM; City Hall, Room 219
Home, Hospital and Nursing Home Visits available upon request

  • Para informação em Português chame o Escritório pelo tel. 508-961-3135.

Marci Pina-Christian, Human Services Coordinator (Neighborhood Outreach, Human Relations:

  • Attend and provide support to neighborhood initiatives
  • Facilitate NCOU weekly meetings
  • Coordinate monthly NCOU meetings with mayor
  • Liason to city council on neighborhood issues
  • Editor of neighborhood and community newsletter
  • Host monthly neighborhood show
  • Local consumer program mediation

Neighborhood United Meeting Schedule

Neighborhood Update can be viewed on Cable Access Channel 18 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday’s 11:00 am and 8PM

Have a community program that you will like to promote? We would like to here from you.

Contact: Marci Pina-Christian
Office Phone: 508-979-1464
Fax: 508-991-6262

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Cultural Affairs

The Cultural Affairs Office works to:

  • Improve and help streamline the delivery of City services to minority, migrant & underrepresented communities -- especially those unfamiliar with the mechanics of City departments.
  • Assist limited-English or non-English speaking constituents by being their direct link to all City departments.
  • Assist with planning, organizing, and coordinating community programs and cultural special events relating to diversity and multicultural issues and needs.

Contact: Mali Lim, Human Services Coordinator
Phone: 508-961-3020
Office Hours: Monday -Friday from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Para información en Español llame la Oficina de Asuntos Culturales a 508-979-1516

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Human Relations Commission

The Human Relations Commission is charged with promoting mutual understanding and respect among, and encourage and assure equality of opportunity for, all people of the City without regard to their race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation or national origin; to conduct such programs of education, study, research, investigation, and action as will contribute to carrying out that mission.

  • administrative support to human relations commission
  • conduct intake, process complaints, make referrals to MCAD

Contact: Marci Pina-Christian
Phone: 508-979-1464
Office: City Hall, Room 113
Hours: Monday thru Friday from 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

Meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month at 6:00PM in Room 314 at City Hall.  If you would like to come before the commission or contact the commission you can email or call the office at 508-979-1464

Commission Members

  • Estella Ribeiro Interim Chair
  • Carol Walsh, Secretary
  • Jessica Wildman
  • Janice Baptist
  • Robert Schilling
  • Jeff Costa
  • Maria Mojica
  • Marci Pina-Christian, Human Services Coordinator and Executive Director of Human Relations Commission

Section2-130 of the City Code: established 10/26/76.

Consists of nine members, each of whom shall reside or be employed in the City of New Bedford. Commission members shall serve without compensation and shall be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council for THREE YEAR TERMS.

For information visit the Human Relations webpage.

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Winter 2013 Brochure


In October 1998, the City of New Bedford received $200,000 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Targeted Cities Initiative for junior high after-school activities. The City subsequently issued an “RFP” (Request for Proposals), funding 11 programs in the spring of ’99. In June 1999, New Bedford was awarded $200,000 in Targeted Cities funds; the City added $250,000 to support more than 40 activities. In 2000-01, City/State contributions exceeded $400,000. During FY02, when State funding ended, the City’s $265,000 maintained the initiative. The City funded $200,000 in FY03 and FY04; $250,000 in FY05. Since FY06, the City has had a $200,000 program City budget for the Invest-in-Kids Program. For the past two years, the City has been fortunate to receive funding through State Senator Mark Montigny enabling the office to expand its program offerings, including Saturday Academy.

Through the RFP process, the Office subcontracts with 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations and cultural/educational institutions to implement out-of-school-time programs for students in Grades 5 through Middle School. During 2011-12, priorities include:

Arts Bridging Cultures “ABC” art/dance/drama/journalism/music/photography/theater/video)

Diversity Appreciation & Understanding/”No Place for Hate

Integrated Activities for Youth with Special Needs


Positive Youth Development. Funded programs must offer activities that are innovative, high quality, and reflective of positive youth development. This approach sets high standards for all youth in education, socialization and citizenship -- and helps young people achieve them. Programs must produce measurable positive outcomes, including acquisition of competency skills. Essential to positive youth development is the inclusion of young people in planning and decision-making. Parents, neighborhood organizations, faith communities, and the widest possible diversity of community groups/informal systems participate in planning/implementing youth services, including the process of developing formal objectives of your program. Positive youth development encourages programs that:

Involve collaborations (are multi-agency)

Include families and youth

Involve young people in program planning and monitoring

Include youth and adult partnerships

Promote youth competencies

Each year, the Invest-in-Kids Program is evaluated by Brandeis University to ensure high standards of program design and best practices are maintained. A complete program listing is found through the “Invest-in-Kids” link on the City’s web page.

Contact: Monica Castro and Olga Rodriguez
Phone: 508-997-4889
E-Mail: /

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The New Bedford Local Consumer Program

The New Bedford Local  Consumer Program (LCP) operates out of the City’s Department of Community Services. Funded by and working in cooperation with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts   Office of the  Attorney General, the LCP provides free information and mediation to area consumers. A consumer having problems with a business may request mediation services. Staff mediators act as an intermediary between the consumer and merchant, attempting to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

Download Brochure - English -- Portuguese -- Spanish

Podcast/P.S.A.: Consumer Guide: BASIC RETAIL RiGHTS

Podcast Transcript

The Local Consumer Program cannot provide legal advice or representation.

How much does it cost?

The program is funded by the Office of the Attorney General and there are no fees or income guidelines for this program.

Who is eligible for mediation?

Residents of the following towns, filing against a business:

Fall River

New Bedford
North Attleboro

We cannot mediate if a consumer has already initiated legal proceedings or if the complaint is against a government agency, charity or private individual.

Contact 508-961-3020 /508-979-1464 or to request a complaint form or download one from the following link: English -- Portuguese -- Spanish

Complaints will be reviewed once all paperwork is received. If it does not fall within the LCP jurisdiction, it will be referred to the appropriate agency. If it does fall within the purview of the LCP, staff will mediate the complaint through an informal process via phone or mail.

Please be aware that mediation is voluntary; a business has the option to refuse to participate in the process. If LCP staff are unable to resolve a complaint, consumers are advised on other options, including how to file in Small Claims Court or how to contact the local Bar Association to find a private attorney.

Nos falamos português
Hablamos español

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The New Bedford Face to Face Mediation Program

The New Bedford Face to Face Mediation Program operates out of the City’s Department of Community Services. Funded by and working in cooperation with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, the face to face mediation program provides free mediation services based on referrals from PIAC and the New Bedford Local Consumer Program.
What is FTF Mediation?
Face to Face Mediation is a non adversarial process in which parties to a dispute are supported by a neutral third party (the mediator) in identifying the disputed issues, developing options, and seeking their own fair settlement. As a neutral party the mediator has no advisory or decision-making authority.
Which types of disputes are mediated by the Face to Face Mediation Program?


  • Neighbors
  • Public Interest Issues


  • Owner / Contractor
  • Seller / Buyer
  • Landlord / Tenant

NBFTFMP has been approved by the Trial Court of MA to provide mediation services to the Fall River, Attleboro District Courts and Wareham District Court.
NBFTFMP offers presentations customized to specific customer needs.
For more information: Contact New Bedford Face to Face Mediation Program at 508-979-1464 or 508-979-1693 or by e-mail at

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No Place for Hate®

The City of New Bedford is a No Place for Hate ® Community. Certified by the Boston regional office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), New Bedford conducts at least four initiatives annually to prevent hate crimes and promote understanding to retain its certification. The Office of Human Services has been the New Bedford lead in this program. The ADL has provided the Office with annual matching grants that have funded:

KidsWeave a diversity quilt displayed made by the participants in the Invest-in-Kids Program

No Place for Hate® - Shining Lights a 16-month calendar made by children whose immigrant parents were enrolled in ESOL classes

Together at the Table – a multicultural cookbook and oral history project where local elementary students interacted with immigrant families to learn about culture through food.

Culturally diverse cookbook by middle school students and a sculpture project by children who have disabilities

Dolls for Darfur a doll-making project by middle school students at the New Bedford Art Museum. The dolls were fashioned after New Bedford historical figures and sent to children in Darfur

During 2012 – 2013, the No Place for Hate Committee will explore topics relevant to current events in New Bedford, including interfaith peace initiatives, and efforts to reduce homophobia, racism, bullying, and anti-Semitism.

For regional material, go to the Anti-Defamation League’s website: For more information on New Bedford’s No Place for Hate® Program:

Contact: Mali Lim, No Place for Hate
Phone: 508-961-3020

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 Volunteer New Bedford

Volunteer New Bedford is a citywide initiative dedicated to responding to community needs and improving the quality of life for city residents by fostering and encouraging a culture of volunteerism and community service.

Created in 2008 with assistance from the Massachusetts Service Alliance, the GIVING Network (as the initiative was originally called) was a collaboration of City departments, regional community organizations, and local agencies united by a common interest in promoting volunteerism in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Renamed Volunteer New Bedford after the City joined the nationwide Cities of Service initiative in 2009, VNB continues to work with local organizations, government departments, and educational institutions to engage citizens in community service. 

Volunteer requests from city departments and local non-profit agencies are posted weekly on Facebook at Volunteer New Bedford, on the VolunteerSolutions database at the, and on Twitter @VolunteerNB to help more residents connect to service opportunities more easily, and a  volunteer application form is available for download on the City’s website at

Volunteers who serve at non-profit organizations located within downtown New Bedford are eligible to apply for a Volunteer Parking Pass, which offers free parking in the Elm Street Garage and Zeiterion Garage while participants are working their volunteer shifts. Downtown organizations with volunteers who wish to participate in the Volunteer Parking Pass Program should contact Mali Lim in the Department of Community Services at

Mali Lim
Human Services Coordinator for Community Education & Diversity / Volunteer Coordinator
City of New Bedford Department of Community Services
133 William Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Tel:      508.961.3020
Fax:     508.991.6262

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Portuguese Annual Senior Conference

On June 5th, 2013 the Portuguese- Speaking Elder Network - PSEN presented its eleventh Portuguese speaking conference held at the function hall at SER - Jobs for Progress in Fall River. This is the 1st event PSEN organized in Fall River. This event was sponsored by the Governo Regional dos Acores, Senior Whole Health, Senior Medicare Patrol Program with Elder Services of Merrimack Valley and the Prince Henry Society- Fall River Chapter.

Know Your Rights is a annual 1-day Conference for the Portuguese-Speaking Elder Community presented by Bristol Elder Services Inc., Coastline Elderly Services Inc., Immigrant’s Assistance Center Inc. (IAC), Ser – Jobs for Progress, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. and the City of New Bedford’s Office of Human Services was a success.

Approximately 100 elders attended from the Greater New Bedford, and Fall River areas including Taunton, which also included Brazilian and Cape Verdean individuals. The theme for this year’s “Conhece os Seus Direitos XI conference was “Social Security Administration Benefits and its interactions with Portuguese Pensions”. The target audience was the “younger” elder, under 65 years of age and disabled individuals, who are thinking of applying for retirement and disability benefits. In addition to the above, information was given about benefits, federal, state & local programs and how to access them in their native language. This event was live broadcast by the Portuguese Radio Station “O Voz do Emigrante” to benefit those who were not able to be physically present.

The next Portuguese Elder Conference “Conhece os Seus Direitos XII” will be held in May or June 2014.

Contact: Pauline Macedo
Phone: 508-961-3135

Para informação em Português chame o Escritório pelo tel. 508-961-3135.

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Saturday Academy

As part of its mission to provide high quality, positive “out-of-school-time” activities, the City of New Bedford Department of Community Services offers a weekly, no-fee Saturday Academy Program for 4th and 5th grade boys from Parker, Swift, Ottiwell, Kempton & Phillips Ave Schools.  The Saturday Academy Program is a 31-week program for students of promise referred by the school principal.  The program coordinator along with the Saturday Academy lead teachers keep close communication with the school teachers.  We serve the students a hot breakfast in the morning followed by Academics.  After academics students have lunch then activities are held, which include going on fieldtrips, which incorporate education and fun, such as the New England Aquarium, Harvard Museum and the Children’s Museum.  We also have speakers come in and talk to the students regarding various topics such as proper hygiene and making good choices. We have the students do community service related activities, which in turn will help them appreciate their community.  We have taken the students to Nursing Homes to sing to the elderly during Christmas time.  We provide different kind of activities such as an Easter egg hunt and a scavenger hunt. As part of the enrollment process, parents agree to have their son attend Saturdays with their Saturday Academy t-shirt, which is provided, and also agree to have their child attend the program from October - June (9:00 am - 2:00 pm). The program is based at the Dennison Memorial Center.  Breakfast and Lunch are provided.   Round-trip transportation from the schools is available at no cost. 

Saturday Academy Pamphlet - click here for details

click pictures to enlarge

Contact: Jason Perry @ 508-472-3632 or Monica @ 508-997-4889

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Sunset Social

The Sunset Supper & Social is a 16 week program for “downtown” seniors and residents with disabilities.
Hosted by the Office of Human Services, 35 participants gather weekly for a nutritious meal with an opportunity for socialization at the Grace Episcopal Church of New Bedford (community room- side entrance) from 4:30 – 7 p.m. This program gives elder residents who usually don’t venture out at night the opportunity to gather one evening a week in a safe and comfortable environment. Downtown residents 62+ and residents with disabilities are invited. This Program is funded by the City of New Bedford. Pre-Registration is required.

Spring Session: May 1, 2014 - June 19, 2014
Pre-registration – April 17, 2014

Contact: Pauline Macedo
Phone:     (508) 961-3135

Para informacion en Espanol llame la Oficina de Asuntos Culturales @ 508-979-1516.

Para informacao em Potrugues chama pelo tel. 508-961-3135.

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133 William St - Rm 220 - New Bedford, MA 02740 - Tel: 508-961-3136 - Fax: 508-991-6262
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