News

Bromfield House

June 22, 2022

We are excited to share a major win for the city of Harvard and the Harvard Neighborhood Support Team (NST). Through their coordination and persistence, significant ARPA funds have been awarded to upgrade the Bromfield House where two Afghan refugee families have been resettled. 
 
Securing and renovating this historic building was only possible because of many hands and hearts in Harvard. The building was once a home for the school district superintendent, but had been converted into an office and then left empty for two years. Terry Symula of the Harvard NST petitioned the city to repurpose the home and host the refugee families. After half a year of court hearings, petitions and an amicus brief of support by Sen. Jamie Eldridge himself, her dedication paid off and a judge approved the new use of the home in June 2022. Then the work of making Bromfield House livable again began. The Lions Club, a “miracle group in Harvard” according to Terry, donated their time and skills to fixing up much of the house. Funds from Harvard NST donors allowed them to install the first shower in the home, and donations of refrigerators and ovens from the Knights of Colombus brought the kitchen the families would share to life. 
 
The two families moved in the week before school started, and the 16 children can now walk to school from their new home. “We just love these kids and the school has embraced them. They are all playing sports, they have friends, they go on playdates, and are always busy with school projects”. Terry continues, “Harvard schools are small enough that everybody knows them, and it’s a very welcoming place”. The ARPA funds, secured by Senator Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Danillo A. Sena, have already been put to use expanding a second bathroom, and the next stage in renovations includes painting the house and adding energy efficient heating. 
 
“I’m so proud of the town” Terry adds, “It’s been a community effort and these are amazing and fantastic people.” 
 
Congratulations to the Harvard NST!

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