Help Extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation

unemploymentSTILLNearly 60,000 Massachusetts residents are among the 1.3 million people in the U.S. who lost their unemployment benefits when the federal extension program expired on December 29th, 2013.

Congress is back in Washington this week and has begun the debate over the emergency program’s future.

Here at Community Teamwork and at other Community Action agencies across the commonwealth, we are starting to hear the real-life stories of everyday people affected by this cut as they and their families brace for severe hardship in the months ahead, should Congress refuse to reinstate these benefits.

The Boston Globe also has reported the total economic impact to the state could be a loss of $750 million to $900 million over the year, largely due to reduced consumer spending.

We are encouraging you to contact your federal representatives to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compenstion (EUC) program as soon as possible.

To find your U.S. Congressman:


Workers struggle as real wages decline

Read the new report from Mass Budget and Policy Center:

 The State of Working Massachusetts

 2013 is coming to a close, and while our state economy has continued to grow, the poverty rate remains stubbornly high and wages are still lower than they were before the “Great Recession.” MassBudget’s new online version of “The State of Working Massachusetts” presents a snapshot of economic conditions currently facing workers in Massachusetts and across the nation, along with some longer-term trends.


We find, in particular, that: 


·        Even now, four years after the end of the recession, the poverty rate has not begun to decline


·        Since 2007, the statewide poverty rate has increased from 9.9% to 11.9%


·        Over 1 in every 7 children across the state is currently living in poverty


In addition to covering issues of poverty, the various sections of “The State of Working Massachusetts” discuss the jobs situation in our state along with the declining value of the minimum wage, changes in household income, and the important role education plays in all of these. We invite you to read more about any of these areas, and to check back periodically as materials get updated.



x main logo
x main logo

Coats for Kids 2017

x main logoIn partnership with Anton’s Cleaners, Community Teamwork is pleased to announce that families can pick up clean, gently used coats every starting in December (and through January) at Saint Anne’s Church, 10 Kirk Street (the entrance directly on Kirk Street).

Childrens Corner Pix scaled
Childrens Corner Pix scaled

Dangerous and Toxic Toys to Avoid this Holiday Season

Childrens Corner Trouble in Toyland Pix scaled

Mass PIRG advises us to read the “Trouble in Toyland” report before making holiday purchases this year.

Community Teamwork’s Children Corner hosted this year’s public announcement by the Massachusetts PIRG’s (Public Interest Research Group) of dangerous and toxic toys people should avoid this holiday season.  PIRG spokesman Matthew Wellington, referring to the group’s newly published “Trouble in Toyland” report, noted that among the offenders are The Captain America’s Soft Shield that contains 29 times more lead than allowed by law and numerous products by Hasbro and Mattel being sold by Walmart, Kmart, Toys R Us and Babies R Us. The key dangers are toxicity, choking, exposure to magnets and unsafe noise levels. Also on hand to provide testimony on toy hazards were City of Lowell Mayor Patrick Murphy, Professor Ainat Koren of UMass Lowell’s School of Nursing and State Committee Woman Eilzabeth Coughlin.

You can download the full “Trouble in Toyland” report at www.uspirg.org.


Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots

The 2013 Applications for Community Teamwork Clients are available now through the department that you normally work with. Ask for an application and complete it, and return it to the person you normally work with, on or before November 29th, 2013.

When you return it, be sure that you get a receipt for your application that you have submitted. Your receipt will have your pick up time and location.

If you are not a Community Teamwork client you can still go to www.toysfortots.org and apply online.

You will be asked for an email address. We have found that going to www.gmail.com is the easiest way to get an email address.

You can check your gmail at any public computer including the library and at the Community Teamwork Resource Center, located at 17 Kirk Street, Lowell.

Be sure to check your email for information from Toys for Tots regarding where and when your pick up will be.



YouthBuild Dana Street Ribbon Cutting scaled
YouthBuild Dana Street Ribbon Cutting scaled

YouthBuild Rehabilitates Dracut Home, Restores Neighborhood

YouthBuild Dana Street Ribbon Cutting scaledCommunity Teamwork’s YouthBuild staff and students hosted a ribbon-cutting Thursday, November 14th, 2013 to showcase their newly rehabilitated home at 32 Dana Court in Dracut.

In rehabbing the home, students worked alongside licensed professionals in various construction trades, gaining valuable experience and work credits toward their graduation. Below, from left are YouthBuild’s Charlie Liebermann, YouthBuild Program Director Thula Sibanda, Community Teamwork’s Executive Director Karen Frederick, YouthBuild student Jose Gomez and YouthBuild Construction Supervisor Joe Braga.

Thula Sibanda, YouthBuild Director, noted that, “The students took pride in restoring this home that had been abandoned and neglected, causing blight on the entire neighborhood. They also fully appreciated that they were creating an “affordable” home for a family of more modest means.

Executive Director Karen Frederick praised the YouthBuild students for the hard work they put into developing their work and leadership skills, noting that a number of them also went on to earn their GED high equivalency diploma.

Retiring Dracut Town Manager and Community Teamwork Board Member Dennis Piendak remarked how the rehabilitation had “restored the entire neighborhood” and that he was “pleased to be part of the ribbon cutting as one of my last official duties.”




new pov measure
new pov measure

Median Income in Lowell Plummets as Poverty Rises

Associated Press Reports on New Poverty Measure

The U.S. Census Bureau released new poverty data this week.  Based on a revised formula that considers not only income but also benefits and expenses, more people are experiencing poverty than originally understood.

Even without this adjustment, the poverty rate in Lowell increased by more than 17% from 2011 to 2012.  Today nearly 1 in 5 Lowell families live in poverty.  In addition to climbing poverty rates, Census Data indicate that Lowell families have experienced a staggering reduction in household income. The median household income in Lowell dropped from $52,131 in 2011 to $45,271 in 2012.new pov measure

When families have less money to spend at area businesses and contribute less to the collective coffers the economy suffers. Businesses struggle, fewer jobs are created, public safety is jeopardized, and our community deteriorates.  We’ve come too far to let that happen.  A strong economy benefits everyone.

Community Teamwork is working to strengthen our economy by  acting as a catalyst for social change and by delivering vital services and collaborating with key stakeholders to create housing, education and economic opportunities.

Please join us to keep Lowell vital and to ensure that every Lowell resident has the opportunity to contribute to a stronger economic future for us all.

Consider contributing to this effort by visiting our DONATE page.

Read the full report here.


Number of homeless children rising in MA schools

Education Department Releases Numbers on Homeless Youth

In Massachusetts, the public schools identified more than 15,000 homeless children attending classes during the 2011-2012 school year.  This number represents a 15% increase in the number of homeless children served by the public schools in the past two years.

Over the 2011-2012 school year, 1.166 million school age children and youth across the country experienced homelessness as defined by the Department of Education (ED), according to a new report. The report found that the vast majority of the children, 880,000, are doubled up. Another 287,000 reside in emergency shelter or transitional housing programs, motels, or are without shelter altogether. While this report focused on school-age children, homeless school liaisons typically report working with 30,000 preschool children and 15,000 children under the age of 2 who also experience homeless as defined by ED over a school year.

 Read the report

New Community Teamwork Video!

Learn about Community Teamwork from those who know us best. We partnered with our terrific web development team to capture the heart of Community Teamwork through the eyes of our staff and those we serve.

View Community Teamwork’s New Video here!

housing development
housing development

Housing Consumer Education Center Financial Assistance Workshop

iStock MediumHousing Consumer Education Center Financial Assistance/SMART Tenant  Workshop

Are you homeless and need financial assistance to be rehoused? Do you need some help finding and apartment?

This ONE HOUR workshop will provide a brief overview of services offered by Community Teamwork, discuss eligibility for financial assistance, review housing search, tenancy preservation, eviction prevention, Fair Housing, Tenant’s Rights and termination of tenancies.


Monday –Friday 12:00pm–1pm and Wednesdays 5pm-6pm

Workshops located at  Community Teamwork – 17 Kirk St. Lowell, MA


                                                                                              Questions about this workshop, call 978-459-0551.