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Bronx Community Advocate Making a Difference


Every day, Paola Martinez is fighting against evictions, bridging the digital divide for kids and tackling food insecurity in one Bronx development. / Pix11

By: Monica Morales, Pix11 

Posted at 5:31 PM, Oct 08, 2020 and last updated 7:50 PM, Oct 08, 2020

THE BRONX — Every day, Paola Martinez is fighting against evictions, bridging the digital divide for kids and tackling food insecurity in one Bronx development.

These are resources Martinez says are available to all NYers. Paola Martinez’s official job is the Social Services Director for Catholic Charities. But in this neighborhood, she’s known as "Ms. Fix It." Martinez helps the residents of the Betances houses in the Bronx which has 41 buildings with over three thousand residents.

Martinez, 32, is always busy troubleshooting, looking out for the needs of her community. Originally from the Dominican Republic, the daughter of a single mom, she came from humble beginnings. Since the pandemic, Martinez says more and more families in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx need food.

“On an average week, we feed 500 people,” said Martinez.

Martinez has also helped dozens of families facing eviction connect to city programs, grants, and legal help.
Another big issue is remote learning, and the digital divide. Martinez started the Betances e-mentoring program that has helped dozens of kids get laptops, school supplies and mentors.

For more info on eviction prevention services and food distributions in your neighborhoods, visit their website and their help page.

For more info about the Betances e-mentoring program, reach out to Paola at paola.martinez@archny.org