Merrimack Valley Magazine Article March Mill City Mentors
Merrimack Valley Magazine Article March Mill City Mentors

Lasting Legacy – Mill City Mentors

community profile

m e r r i m a c k  v a l l e y  m a g a z i n e     March |  April 2020

text and photos by Deborah A. Venuti


page 18     

When Nathan Timm was 9 years old, he and his twin brother, Nick, were recommended to be matched with mentors from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Lowell (now Mill City Mentors). Their living situation at the time, according to Nate, was “not the best.” Originally from the Lowell-Dracut area, the boys lacked positive male role models. They often went without food or proper clothing. Nate was matched with a big brother named Tim, who saw the void at home and strove to fill in the gaps in his life. Tim helped provide clothes and food. He made sure the brothers had lunch money for school and introduced them to his  own  family. He spent time with them, took them places and encouraged them to be their best.

Eventually, the lives of the two brothers improved. A family friend took them into her home. With the support of Tim and his family, the boys completed high school and were accepted into colleges.  Nate graduated  from Fitchburg  State University in 2014 with a degree in business management and is currently a systems analyst. Nick graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology in 2015 with a degree in mechanical engineering, and Southern New Hampshire University in 2018 with an MBA.

Mill City Mentors (MCM) is a mentoring program of Community Teamwork in Lowell. Formerly known as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Lowell, th e nonprofit organization was rebranded last year. It is designed to assist youths in 17 Greater Lowell communities: Ashby, Ayer, Billerica, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton , Lowell, Pelham , Pepperell, Shirley, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsboro and Westford.

MCM serves about 40 families a year and focuses on children and young adults ages 7 to 22. These individuals are at-risk, facing adversity and in need of support. They often have behavioral issues or are homeless. They can be referred to the program by families, support agencies, school principals or guidance counselors. Recently, MCM has begun moving from traditional referrals to site-based school programs. This change allows mentors to be accessible on-site once a week and to engage with more children of different ages and genders.

Ed Banks, the program coordinator for Mill City Mentors, joined the MCM team in May 2019. Ed connects youths with­ mentors, and also acts as mentor-match support. Mill City Mentors is partially funded and supported by Mass Mentoring Partnership and the United Way. In 2019, the Mass Mentoring Partnership gave MCM the opportunity to have an  AmeriCorps  ambassador of mentoring, Kyle Cregg, on-site.  Cregg works with Banks and Bridget Quinn, the director of volunteer services, on marketing, rebranding and fundraising.

Nate, now 26, has been involved with the organization for,- 7 years and is a mentor himself. Nick is also involved with MCM and is a member of the charity  golf  fundraising  committee. Rather than spending money on the individuals they are assisting, mentors are instead encouraged to give their time. Nate and Josh, the boy he is mentoring, go bowling, play at the  arcades,  take their dogs to the dog park, or just hang out at  home  and  play video games. Nate often sees his longtime big brother, Tim, for breakfast. Josh’s mother sent mvm a photo of Tim, Nate and Josh , a legacy of support and empowerment.

Get involved!
Mentors are everyday people who want to have fun and make a difference in the life of a child or young adult.
For information on how to become a mentor or how to refer an individual from Greater Lowell, go to
or email Bridget Quinn at



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Baker-Polito Administration Awards $14.6 Million in Skills Grants to Educational Institutions Across the Commonwealth ~ Including $182,572 to YouthBuild Lowell at Community Teamwork Inc.

GLOUCESTER — Community Teamwork’s YouthBuild of Greater Lowell Program received a Skills Capital Grant in the amount of $182,572. This will allow YouthBuild’s Culinary Arts vocational program to purchase a catering van and expand the program by 50 percent and improve the quality of its program for at-risk youth who participate.

A successful Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant requires strong partnership with both area employers and the workforce development system.  YouthBuild Lowell was strongly supported in its’ application for this grant by two of its Employer partners, Aramark, which operates kitchens and food services for UMass Lowell, Tewksbury Hospital, and the Lowell Public Schools; and Stones Hospitality Group, which operates Cobblestones and Moonstones restaurants.  Additionally the MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board and the MassHire Greater Lowell Career Center supported the application to continue to assist YouthBuild Lowell to expand and increase the quality of its youth occupational skills training program.

YouthBuild’s Program Manager, Siobhan Sheehan said, “YouthBuild Lowell is very appreciative of this grant award which supports our efforts to expand our programming, and helps us grow our social enterprise efforts through catering, in addition to our culinary occupational skills training program.  We will serve more at-risk youth in a state of the art vocational kitchen with this equipment grant.”

The program is a 10-month vocational training program which offers education, training, work experience, and life skills training that maximize the likelihood that participants will be employed in the culinary industry. Students earn HiSet, OSHA 10, Allergen Awareness, the nationally recognized Hospitality/Culinary NRAEF Restaurant Ready credential, and Serv Safe Manager’s certification.

YouthBuild is one of the 54 educational institutions that Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced Tuesday as recipients of the Skills Capital Grants which totaled $14.6 million. The Skill Grants are used to update equipment and expand student enrollment in programs that provide career education. Also in attendance at the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute (GMGI) were Education Secretary James Peyser, Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.

The competitive grants are awarded to educational institutions that exhibit partnerships with local businesses, as well as support curriculum and credentials with industry demand to maximize hiring opportunities in each region of the state.

About YouthBuild of Greater Lowell

 Community Teamwork’s YouthBuild program offers a path forward to independence and self-sufficiency to these at-risk youth by providing career pathways and alternative education for those who do not succeed in traditional educational settings. They can chose between two tracks: Construction and Culinary Arts. All of YouthBuild students are low-income and in need of a High School Equivalency (HiSet) and comprehensive support to address their barriers to employment. Mentoring and strong adult role models within the program are critical.

About the Skills Capital Grants awarded by Governor Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet

The Skills Capital Grants are awarded by Governor Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, which was created in 2015 to bring together the Secretariats of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development to align education, economic development and workforce policies in order to strategize around how to meet employers’ demand for skilled workers in every region of the Commonwealth.

Program and Event Contact:

Siobhan Sheehan, Program Director, YouthBuild


Media Contact:

Julia Ripa, Communications and Marketing Manager



PICTURE CREDIT: Credit for the picture should be attributed to Joshua Qualls/Governor’s Press Office.


Request for Proposals for Professional Audit Services ~ Fiscal Year Ending 6/30/2020

Request for Proposals

Professional Audit Services

Community Teamwork, Inc. is requesting proposals from licensed Certified Public Accounting firms to audit its financial statements for fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. Specifications with instructions for applicants for annual audit services are available upon request from: Phyllis Marion, Purchasing Coordinator, Community Teamwork, Inc. 155 Merrimack Street 2nd Floor, Lowell, MA 01852; 978-654-5656

All required submissions must be received by March 31, 2020 by 4:00 PM. Community Teamwork, Inc. reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals not deemed in the best interest of Community Teamwork, Inc. This notice is provided for informational purposes only, applicants shall be subject in all respects to the terms and conditions contained in the actual request for proposals. CTI is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.


politos visit to discuss grants given to ec and others totalling K
politos visit to discuss grants given to ec and others totalling K

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Announces Awards to Spur Job Creation and Small Business Growth

Grants to seven organizations will lower barriers for accessing capital, enable substantial private and federal matching funds



  • Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

LOWELL — February 6, 2020 – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced grant awards to spur job creation and small business growth across the Commonwealth by lowering the barriers to capital access. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) President & CEO Larry Andrews joined Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue, Lowell Mayor John Leahy, Representative David Nangle, Representative Stephan Hay, Community Teamwork CEO Karen Frederick, and grant recipients to announce $550,000 in awards to seven organizations through the Community Development Capital and Microlending programs, a procurement of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) and Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC).

“We have made it a priority to support small businesses and downtowns, which are central to the Commonwealth’s economy and its communities, and today’s awards will empower local organizations to provide entrepreneurs from underserved communities with access to capital,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “From low-interest loans to technical assistance, these awardees are giving local small businesses, especially women- and minority-owned enterprises, the support they need to be successful.”

“Supporting business competitiveness and equitable opportunity are two central tenants of the Commonwealth’s new economic development plan, and today’s capital and microlending awards support entities that are on the ground supporting small businesses in their communities,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Our administration will continue to enhance access to capital, space and networks for women- and minority-owned businesses to help to unlock economic growth in all regions of the Commonwealth.”

The Community Development Capital and Microlending programs provide awardee organizations with funding to lend to small businesses that are outside of the scope of regular banks, or hard to reach because they are underserved communities. The awardees have shown the ability to garner significant matching funds from non-state entities such as the US Treasury CDFI, private foundations, USDA and SBA. Some of the awards include Technical Assistance to help the small businesses overcome deficiencies in accounting, marketing, licensing and other key aspects of business. Since FY2017, over 200 businesses have been served through the Community Development Capital and Microlending programs, with state investments of $1.5 million leveraging more than $17.2 million in matching funds from non-state entities.

“Expanding opportunity and growth to people and places that have not benefitted fully will have significant positive effects on families and communities, and today’s awards will go to directly towards achieving this goal of Partnerships for Growth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “In order to expand on progress made over the last few years, the administration will continue to increase outreach to small businesses and entrepreneurs in order to understand their needs and address their challenges.”

“Many of Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp.’s most effective partners are CDFIs located across the Commonwealth in which we share a common purpose of promoting economic revitalization and community development through investment and assistance,” said Larry Andrews, President and CEO of MGCC. “Supporting CDFIs through these matching grants bolsters the ability to reach the under-resourced and under-served with trusted and local leadership.”

Today’s event was held at Community Teamwork, Inc. (CTI) in Lowell, the Community Action Agency of Greater Lowell that mobilizes resources for low-income people, providing opportunities for them to achieve stability, self-sufficiency and have an active voice and participation in the decisions that affect their lives. The award will support Community Teamwork’s Entrepreneurship Center’s efforts to provide business development services to entrepreneurs from ethnically and economically diverse groups within the Merrimack Valley with the training, tools, and resources needed to create, sustain, and grow viable small businesses.

“Congratulations to all the Community Development Capital awardees,” said Karen Frederick, CEO of Community Teamwork. “Community Teamwork and its Entrepreneurship Center is honored to be a recipient of this grant, among other highly qualified candidates. We are proud to serve our community in a Commonwealth where the administration, specifically the Governor’s Office, is committed to supporting small businesses and the technical service providers that work tirelessly to ensure that local entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.”

This grant will go a long way to ensure that small business owners in our communities are successful.

“The unmistakable impact that Community Teamwork has had on business ownership and entrepreneurship for people from all economic backgrounds for the City of Lowell has been exceptional,” said Lowell Mayor John Leahy. “With this grant, CTI’s Entrepreneurship Center will continue to stimulate economic growth and support small businesses here. On behalf of the City of Lowell, I congratulate Community Teamwork for the continued success that this grant award will reflect.”

“The Community Development Capital and Microlending programs have proven to be credible forces for economic development and have provided a gateway to success for business owners in cities and towns across the Commonwealth,” said Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue. “The significant grant being awarded to Community Teamwork, Inc. will complement the excellent work that the organization does to support emerging businesses and extend the opportunities of entrepreneurship to people of all backgrounds, further strengthening the economic vitality of the City of Lowell.”

“I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation for awarding this significant grant to Community TeamWork,” said Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr., Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. “These funds will allow CTI’s Entrepreneurship Center to build upon its decades-long experience in providing business development services to a diverse group of small businesses and entrepreneurs and to further contribute to the economic revitalization of the Greater Lowell area.”

“This grant to CTI through the community development capital program highlights the successful partnership local social service organizations have with the Baker-Polito administration and their economic development team,” said Representative David Nangle. “Initiatives like this provide critical assistance to small, advocacy-based agencies, and allows them to expand their staffing, outreach, and development efforts.”

In December 2019, following nine public engagements sessions and 17 deep-dive listening sessions, the Baker-Polito Administration officially released the economic development plan for the Commonwealth entitled Partnerships for Growth: A plan to enable the Commonwealth’s regions to build, connect and lead. This plan aligns the administration’s economic development programs, funding, and legislative efforts within four central pillars—Respond to the Housing Crisis, Build Vibrant Communities, Support Business Competitiveness, and Train a Skilled Workforce—to address challenges and foster opportunities over the next four years. By focusing on business competitiveness, Partnerships for Growth seeks to enable robust economic growth across communities, businesses, and sectors. Over the next four years, the Administration will increase outreach to small businesses and entrepreneurs, with a focus on helping businesses access the capital, space, technical assistance, and diverse workforce needed to grow.

Community Development Capital and Microlending Program Awards:

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation – $150,000

Community Teamwork – $100,000

Franklin County CDC – $100,000

Coastal Community Capital – $50,000

Cooperative Fund of New England – $50,000

Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation – $50,000

Quaboag Valley BDC – $50,000


Media Contactfor Baker-Polito Administration Announces Awards to Spur Job Creation and Small Business Growth

Ryan Boehm, Director of Communications

Email Ryan Boehm, Director of Communications

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development 

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development promotes vibrant communities, growing businesses, and a strong middle class.




Rock n’ Roll for the Homeless

3rd Annual Mayor’s Rock n’ Roll Holiday Fest for Youth Homelessness

State Sen. Ed Kennedy, front left, hangs out with his posse at the event he founded.

By Dacey Zouzas, The Z-List | |

PUBLISHED: February 11, 2020 at 1:50 pm | UPDATED: February 11, 2020 at 1:59 pm

“As a rock star, I have two instincts, I want to have fun, and I want to change the world. I have a chance to do both.” — Bono

The city of Lowell was rockin’ ’n’ rolling at the third annual Mayor’s Holiday Fest for Homeless Youth Rock ’n’ Roll Fundraiser to benefit Community Teamwork Inc., on Dec. 12.

The fun fest was hosted by then-Mayor William Samaras in the Zorba Music Hall at the Olympia Restaurant in the Acre. Bill continued the fundraising effort started two years ago by former Mayor Ed Kennedy, now Lowell’s state senator.

More than 250 groupies gobbled up plenty of homemade Greek food and pastries while listening, dancing and singing along to the phenomenally talented artists, guitarists, singers and bands who sang their hearts out to help end homelessness. The rock stars included Love Train, the Zorba’s house band, Abbie Barrett, All D’s Boyz, Emily Desmond, Funrazrs, Mickey Kanan, Kelly Knapp, Peter Lavender, Jenna Markard, John Powhida, Silvertongue and Kevin Wall.

Youth homelessness is a persistent problem in Lowell. CTI estimates that more than 100 young people in Lowell each year experience homelessness for a variety of reasons.

This single event raised $30,000, and the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund offered a Challenge Grant to CTI, matched that amount to raise the total to $60,000, which will support transformation of CTI’s Youth Opportunity Center.

From left, Rich Sarmento of Hampton, with Sun Charities President Terry McCarthy and Leo Sheridan, both of

From left, Lee Gitschier, Ben Martello and Justin Robinson, all of Lowell

From left, state Rep. Tom Golden, Brian Poitras and City Councilor John Drinkwater, all of Lowell

From left, George Duncan, Jim O’Donnell and then-Mayor William Samaras, host of the party, all of Lowell

All D’s Boyz provides entertainment.

For more information, visit

Soul Sista: Rock ’n’ roll is always good for the soul! The Z-List dressed like a rock star, wearing a shining, silver, glittered miniskirt and black suede over-the-knee boots. Happy Presidents’ Day!Dacey Zouzas is founder and creative director of The Z-List, highlighting nonprofits, and host and producer of the “Dacey’s Divas” TV show, featuring “Women Making a Difference.” Follow @Mass_Women on Twitter.

Dacey Zouzas, The Z-List

Dacey Zouzas is Founder and Creative Director of The Z-List, highlighting non-profits, and TV Host and Producer of Dacey’s Divas TV Show, featuring “Women Making a Difference.” Follow @Mass_Women on Twitter.




polito speaking at podium
polito speaking at podium

In Lowell, Polito announces grants for small business groups

$550,000 in grants announced at Community Teamwork headquarters

Jon Winkler


Lt. Governor Karyn Polito speaking at the Community Teamwork headquarters in Lowell

By JON WINKLER | | Nashoba Valley Voice

PUBLISHED: February 6, 2020 at 9:11 pm | UPDATED: February 6, 2020 at 9:12 pm

LOWELL – The Baker-Polito administration continues its support of small businesses throughout the commonwealth with Thursday’s announcement of $550,000 in community development capital and microlending grants.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced multiple recipients of the grants at the headquarters of the Community Teamwork Inc., a nonprofit organization on Merrimack Street. Polito was joined by Mayor John Leahy, City Manager Eileen Donoghue and Larry Andrews, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation.

“What we’re celebrating today are the ideas that come from the community,” Polito said. “Think about the cultural diversity that makes up what Lowell’s history is and what you continue to be: a welcoming place for people with different backgrounds and cultures and dialects come to. They come with that diversity of thought, which is a real asset. When individuals come to this community, they have ideas that they want to bring forward.”

The biggest grant of the collective $550,000 total was awarded to the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation in the amount of $150,000.

Other grants ranged from $100,000 each to $50,000 each. They were awarded to groups including Community Teamwork’s Entrepreneurship Center, the Cooperative Fund of New England, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and the Franklin County Community Development Corporation.

Andrews described the grants as a means for organizations spread throughout the state to offer matching funds to small business owners in need. He added that the amount in each grant and the number of grants awarded each year depend on yearly appropriation from the administration.

“The federal government wants to be sure that the state is involved, but more importantly we want to make sure that these community development corporations and community development financial institutions are supported in other ways,” he explained. “It is up substantially this year. However, it’s still not enough so we’re trying to look at a trajectory that’ll actually go up. There should be more.”

Andrews noted that the receiving corporations address communities with various demographics and needs, referencing how for example the Franklin County Community Development Corporation has a commercial kitchen that offers microlending for people wanting to start restaurants and catering businesses.

“Every recipient has a great story,” he concluded. “If you look at why people come to Lowell, they’re looking to make a a better life for themselves. You just have to go down Merrimack Street and there’s a Spanish restaurant and a Cambodian restaurant, some of that is just the flavor of the international population. You look at Lowell and its educational institutions and its financial institutions. It truly is a renaissance city that can come back from a dormant past. What you’re gonna start seeing is that international flavor of Lowell and I think there will be more inclusion of businesses.”

Jon Winkler

Jon Winkler is a 25-year-old reporter covering government, education and human interest in Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, Shirley and Townsend for the Nashoba Valley Voice. He previously covered education and local government in East Hampton and Southampton, New York. Jon is a New England original, born in Nashua and raised in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

 Follow Jon Winkler @MrJW595

yb grant ged
yb grant ged

Grant boosts job training and GED program for struggling youths

YouthBuild, a Lowell-based organization will be able to continue and expand its work helping troubled young people continue their education and prepare for jobs, as a result of new federal funding.

By John Laidler Globe Correspondent,Updated January 17, 2020, 7:49 a.m.

Students enrolled in Community Teamwork’s YouthBuild program work in the kitchen.

LOWELL – Community Teamwork was awarded $1.44 million by the US Department of Labor to support its YouthBuild initiative, the largest of three 40-month grants announced in Massachusetts to organizations offering the federal program.

YouthBuild provides job training and education toward a GED for students who have either dropped out of high school or were at risk of doing so. Those completing the nine months of training and classes also receive job placement and retention help.

“We are extremely excited,” said Carl Howell, division director for housing and homeless services for Community Teamwork, an anti-poverty agency that has served nearly 400 students in its YouthBuild program since taking it over from another organization 12 years ago.

Howell said it is notable that the new grant came just as Community Teamwork’s previous YouthBuild grant — in 2017 — was expiring. He said agencies typically have to wait a year or more for new funding.

“It shows what we are doing is appreciated and well-regarded in the federal eyes,” he said.

The fresh funding will enable his agency to enroll a new cohort of students in February, and to increase the number of participants from 64 to 80.

Community Teamwork, which assists about 50,000 people annually with services ranging from emergency fuel assistance to early education, runs its YouthBuild program out of its Youth Opportunities Center in downtown Lowell.

Participating students can choose between hospitality/culinary arts and construction for their job training, which is offered on alternating weeks with their GED classroom instruction.

A spacious workshop at the Lowell building provides room for construction students to frame walls and other training work, and for the culinary/hospitality students to learn cooking and other skills.

Students earn a $125-per-week stipend to help cover their living expenses and are not charged fees. But each week they take part in community service projects, from repairing fences to assisting with Habitat for Humanity home building projects. (Students learning construction also work at other times on Habitat projects as part of their training).

About 85 percent of students in the nine month-period achieve the goals of completing their job training — which earns them certificates to work their fields — and earning or moving toward receiving their GEDs. After they graduate, students remain in the program up to two more years for help in finding and keeping a job, and other services as needed.

“I think it’s the non-traditional setting that really helps,” Howell said of the program’s good results, noting that the more intimate setting discourages the kind of disruptive behavior students might exhibit in a large high school. He said their hands-on work, the services available to them, and the fact that the program is voluntary are also factors.

Rafael Cotto, 21, had been expelled from two area high schools when he enrolled in the program in 2018. Through his job training and the help of YouthBuild staff, he was hired as a cook at a local restaurant, and later as a school bus driver. That led to his current employment as a construction trainer in the YouthBuild program.

Calling it his “dream job,” Cotto said, “I love working with kids” and using the example of his own experience to motivate them. “I strive for excellence every day and to show them it is possible to do what they want to do.” Meanwhile Cotto has earned his GED and now attends classes nights at Middlesex Community College.

Cotto credits YouthBuild for the strides he has made.

“It’s a life-changing experience,” he said of the program.

John Laidler can be reached at



COMMUNITY TEAMWORK, INC. ,155 Merrimack Street, 3rd Floor, Lowell, MA 01852


Community Teamwork, Inc. (CTI) announces the opening of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Mainstream Program for one week beginning Wednesday January 15, 2020 at 8:30 AM through Wednesday, January 22, 2020 until 7:00 PM. On Wednesday, January 15, 2020 we will begin accepting applications from 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM.

In order to participate in the Mainstream Program the head of household, spouse, co-head, or spouse must be a non-elderly person with a disability.

There is no advantage to being first in line as the waiting list will be established by the above criteria.

To obtain an application you may 1) Visit the offices listed below; 2) Call CTI’s Intake Department at 978-654-5819; 3) Submit a written request that an application be mailed you. CTI will not be responsible for the applicant’s receipt of mailed applications: 4) Visit our web site at to print a Mainstream Housing application.

Applications will not be sent or accepted by e-mail or FAX. Only one application per household will be accepted. Completed applications must be returned to CTI no later than January 22, 2020 by 7:00 PM or postmarked no later than Wednesday January 22, 2020 by 7:00 PM. No applications will be accepted after that time.  Applications will be accepted without regard to race, color, creed, sex, religion, handicap, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin.  Applying for this program will not affect your placement on any other rental assistance or public housing waiting list.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Mainstream Program APPLICATION

Applications will be distributed at:

Community Teamwork, Inc.

Rental Assistance, 3rd Floor, 155 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA 01852

Open: 8:30AM-5:00PM: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday Open: 8:30AM -7:00PM Wednesdays

The Northeast Independent Living Program, Inc.    

20 Ballard Road, Lawrence, MA 01843

Open: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday

Lowell Transitional Living Center

193 Middlesex St., Lowell, MA 01852

Open: 9:00AM-5:00PM: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday


Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Mainstream Program APPLICATION



Community Teamwork Launches Needs Assessment Survey ~ Available online/in print through February 2020


PUBLISHED: January 5, 2020 at 3:09 pm | UPDATED: January 5, 2020 at 3:13 pm

LOWELL — Starting Tuesday, Community Teamwork will once again collect responses from those in Lowell and neighboring towns on issues surrounding poverty.

The community action agency conducts a Community Needs Assessment every three years to guide its programs and services. The last survey, conducted in 2018, spurred two summits and a city task force to address youth homelessness.

This year, CTI hopes to more than triple participation in the survey.

“We have the resources to respond to the needs (of the communities), but we need to know what they are,” CTI Director of Development and Marketing Kathleen Plath said.

Most questions are multiple choice, with the exception of one open-ended response. Community members can submit the survey anonymously, Plath said.

After collecting responses, CTI will compile and analyze the data to form a Community Assessment Report and Strategic Plan, which will be published and released to the public.

“We really use this as a way to really engage the whole community and share what we’re seeing as some of the needs,” Plath said.

CTI will collect responses from those in Lowell, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro and Westford.

The agency hopes to achieve as much diversity as possible in the responses, Plath explained. The survey can be accessed online in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Print versions are available in each of those languages, as well as Khmer.

Grants Coordinator Miranda Allan urges those from all participating communities to take the survey.

“What poverty looks like Lowell might be really different to what it look like in Westford, for example,” she said.

Those who complete the survey have the option to enter a raffle for a $100 Visa gift card.

“It’s important at this stage of the game that we get as much feedback … as possible,” Plath said.

The survey can be found at CTI will also disperse print versions to local libraries and municipal buildings.

Organizations that wish to receive print copies can contact Miranda Allan at





 Congresswoman Lori Trahan Announces $1.4 Million Federal Grant for Lowell Community Teamwork Inc.’s YouthBuild program

 LOWELL, MA Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA-03) announced a $1,440,000 federal grant for Lowell Community Teamwork Inc.’s YouthBuild program.

The grant will support programs that help young people learn occupational skills in construction, health care, information technology, and hospitality. YouthBuild participants assist with building or rehabilitating affordable housing in their communities while receiving educational support and training as they complete their high school degrees or equivalent.

“Since 1999, Community Teamwork has been helping at-risk youth train for careers that will provide them with a lifetime of success. Through their volunteer work in the community, these students receive quality apprenticeships and learn entrepreneurship skills that will empower them to support themselves and their families,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “This funding represents a solid investment in our youth and their families, our workforce, and our regional economy. As a Member of Congress, I will continue to fight for important investments like this.”

“We are thrilled to have again received the Department of Labor’s YouthBuild Grant and are thankful to Congresswoman Trahan’s continued support of this important program,” Community Teamwork’s CEO Karen Frederick said. “This funding will allow us to continue YouthBuild’s mission, which provides vital tools and skills to help our young people become successful in our community, by helping them reach their education and career goals.  We have seen firsthand how YouthBuild helps to transform and advance young people’s lives and are grateful to be able to continue this work.”

Community Teamwork Inc. currently provides training in construction and culinary arts to 34 young people but will be able to expand thanks to this funding. The program has a waitlist of about 40 youth.

More information about the federal YouthBuild program is available at DOL’s website here.


December 19, 2019
Contact: Mark McDevitt, (610) 463-4827

Congresswoman Lori Trahan Announces $1.4 Million Federal Grant for Lowell Community Teamwork Inc.’s YouthBuild program