State Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Grant will Help to Connect the Community during Climate Disasters  

(MEDFORD) – The City has secured a $400,000 Municipal Vulnerability Grant from the state that will help improve climate resiliency throughout the community, expand the City’s emergency preparedness strategies, and increase accessible communications to non-English speakers in Medford, Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn announced.  

With this funding, the City is enhancing its climate resiliency and emergency preparedness efforts through “Medford Connects.” Climate vulnerability and resiliency refers to how sensitive a community is to climate emergencies, and how quickly it can rebuild afterward. This is especially relevant to communities that have been marginalized and are therefore more sensitive and cannot rebuild as quickly due to a lack of resources. Medford Connects, headed by Prevention and Outreach Manager Penny Funaiole, will seek to expand and strengthen resources for community members who are most marginalized to build the community’s ability to withstand and recover from climate crises in the future. 

“Equitable access to critical communications and resources is essential to protecting our entire community, especially our most vulnerable,” said Mayor Lungo-Koehn. “The MVP funding for Medford Connects will make it possible to better support communities before, during, and after climate emergencies, as well as increase and expand communications, allowing everyone to be included and engaged in these conversations.” 

Medford Connects will be connecting community partners to build resources throughout the community. By connecting partners, the project will build local communication systems for speakers of other languages (ESOL), expand communications to engage a more diverse senior population, invest in young families and youth social-emotional skills, elevate Black, Indigenous, Residents of Color in local leadership positions and to economic security, and empower residents experiencing food insecurity to help shape the local foodscape.  

“We are seeking to create a more equitable and connected Medford for all those who live here and call Medford home, while also preparing our community for climate change,” said Penelope Funaiole, Prevention and Outreach Manager. “The next step is to hire more community liaisons to work with the five we’ve already hired to inform community needs and communicate city services.” 

The MVP grant will be used to revitalize Medford Connects by partnering with city departments and community-based organizations at the forefront of resilient services. The focus of Medford Connects for FY23-24 will be to begin setting up a virtual resilience hub, centralize local services information, formalize a network of community partners, and set the foundation for resilient communications. 

To learn more about the Medford Connects program or the MVP grant funding, please visit or contact Penelope Funaiole at [email protected].