Dept. Public Safety creates volunteer group to help
The Massachusetts Department of Public Safety has created the
Boston Survivors Accessibility Alliance to help survivors of the
April 15, 2013, marathon bombing rebuild their lives, both
figuratively and literally. The brainchild of Commissioner of
Public Safety Thomas Gatzunis, the BSAA is comprised of individuals
from the construction, design and building industries, all of whom
have volunteered their expertise and materials to help victims
transition to their new lives.
"For anyone, a kitchen remodel is a daunting task. But, remodeling
an entire home, especially after a serious life-altering injury,
can be an insurmountable one," said Gatzunis. "These victims may
not be able to access their kitchens, their bathrooms or their
closets. We recognized a need and knew we were in a unique
situation to help them."
The BSAA has organized volunteers from more than 50 groups,
including plumbers, electricians, contractors, architects,
designers and suppliers, to help make victims' homes accessible.
The BSAA has also received commitments from building inspectors
across Massachusetts and beyond to expedite permits and waive fees.
The Massachusetts Bar Association will offer victims pro bono legal
help in drafting and reviewing work contracts.
So far, two victims have applied, and there are several other
applications from victims in the pipeline. The military-assistance
group Homes for our Troops is providing mentors for the victims.
These mentors have experience working with disabled veterans
adjusting back to life after loss of limbs or other severe
injuries. The BSAA is reaching out to victims, either directly or
through Spaulding Rehabilitation Center, where many victims are
"It's amazing to see the strength of this community as it comes
together to help those in need," Gatzunis said.
Lawyers wishing to volunteer their legal services may contact the
MBA at (617) 338-0695.
Survivors interested in applying, should go to the state's
Executive Office of Public Safety website at www.mass.gov/eopss or
call (617) 727-3200.