2 City Councilors Resign from CTI Board in Wake of Racism Vote

by Elizabeth Dobbins Lowell Sun

Newly elected and sworn In Lowell City Councilors L-R, front row, Rodney M. Elliott, Rita M. Mercier(Vice Mayor), John J. Leahy (Mayor), John Drinkwater, back row, Daniel P. Rourke, Sokhary Chau, David J. Conway, Vesna Nuon and William Bill Samaras. SUN/ David H. Brow

LOWELL — Veteran City Councilors Rodney Elliott and Rita Mercier said they would step down from Community Teamwork Inc.’s board of directors after voting against a motion to declare racism a public health crisis in Lowell — a declaration CTI vocally supported.

“I thought it would be better if I resigned and I could not be an effective board member,” Elliott said.

CTI Chief Executive Officer Karen Frederick said she intends to reach out to the councilors and speak to them directly.

“I am grateful for the time they’ve been on the board and I respect their decision,” she said.

She said she has not yet received their official letters of resignation. CTI is a prominent Lowell non-profit, which “mobilize(s) 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.”

Elliott said he has been on the board for eight years. Mercier has been on the board 14 years.

CTI issued a statement in support of a letter drafted by Merrimack Valley Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which called for the declaration of racism as a public health crisis among other reforms.

“These declarations are an important first step in the movement to advance racial equity and justice and must be followed by allocation of resources and strategic action,” read a statement emailed out by the organization. “For these reasons Community Teamwork is in support of the efforts of the Merrimack Valley and Lowell Diversity Equity and Inclusion Consortium and is urging the city of Lowell to also take this first step and declare racism as a public health crisis.”

Mercier and Elliott instead supported a resolution regarding racism that stopped short of labeling it as a public health crisis, during a contentious City Council meeting Tuesday night. A sentence on the CTI website said this alternate motion “commits to no actual change in business as usual.”

Elliott said calling for a declaration of racism as a public health crisis in the city exposes Lowell to a “potential liability.”

At the meeting on Tuesday night, City Solicitor Christine O’Connor said a specific finding by the City Council on a declaration of racism as a public health crisis could have an “adverse impact” for future lawsuits against the city. Framing the motion as a response to a larger, national issue would avoid this issue, she said.

Elliott also took issue with an email sent by Carl Howell, which called the resolution Elliott supported “dismissive, tone deaf and non-committal” and urged the council to be on the “right side of history.”

While Howell is an employee of CTI — the division director of housing & homeless services — he sent the email as an individual.

Elliott said he felt calling his resolution “tone deaf” was a personal criticism.

“I feel I am on the right side (of history). … I’ve listened to people for 23 years as a city councilor,” he said.

Mercier also took issue with Howell’s email.

“People shouldn’t have taken this personal and yet they did,” she said.

She said she does not like to be disrespected and she is not a racist.

“You can call me any name you want, Elizabeth,” Mercier said, referring to the Sun reporter she was addressing. “Don’t call me a racist and that’s what that man was implying.”

Howell did not respond to two emails seeking comment.

Prior to the vote, CTI posted on social media a notice reminding residents of the vote. Part of the notice read, “There is an alternate motion that commits to no actual change in business as usual.”

That was Elliot’s motion and he took offense to it.

Elliott said he believes CTI helps many people in need and wishes the organization well.

Mercier and Elliott were appointed to the CTI board of directors by Mayor John Leahy earlier this year, though Frederick said this was an oversight and is not how people are appointed to the board anymore. The two councilors’ appointments continued from previous years.

Frederick said the board meets again in September and is expected to select another councilor, or councilor’s representative, and community member to fill the spots.

She said CTI plans to continue to work with the city.

“We are good partners,” she said. “We differed on an issue. I think that’s just the world.”

Leahy said the resignations during the City Council meeting came off as “foolish” and he believes the councilors could have waited until the next day.

“If you’re in politics, we take the criticism along with the praise,” he said.

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Community Teamwork Received $1 Million in Housing Aid





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; pmarion@commteam.org 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.


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 | jwinkler@nashobavalleyvoice.com | 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

Local artist paints community faces in new light

‘The Power of One’ will show at The Brush through February


Artist Glenn Szegedy talks about the portraits he painted of YouthBuild students and other people he knows, for his exhibit at the Brush Art Gallery, The Power of One. Portraits from left, students Liomare, Luka, Zha and Benyialise, artist Bob (partly hidden), and student Jasmine. (SUN/Julia Malakie)


By NICOLE DEFEUDIS | ndefeudis@lowellsun.com | Lowell Sun

PUBLISHED: January 21, 2020 at 6:02 pm | UPDATED: January 21, 2020 at 6:03 pm

LOWELL — Glenn Szegedy marvels at his faces — all 26 of them, each with their own story.

One is a chef, another a dental hygienist. One was a teenage mother and now manages a catering business. Another is an artist.

Szegedy painted real, “everyday” community members in a new light in his latest exhibit, titled, “The Power of One.” The portraits will be displayed at The Brush Art Gallery & Studios through Feb. 22.

“You don’t have to be a multi-billionaire or movie star to be important,” Szegedy said. His goal was to highlight the value of each of his subjects.

“These people all have mothers… they have dreams and aspirations,” he said. “To put them in an oil painting makes them important.”

About three years ago, the Dracut sculptor tried his hand at painting people. He looked to Google stock images for inspiration, but quickly grew bored. He needed real muses.

That’s when Szegedy began photographing acquaintances and other community members. He collected over 60 photos, and painted the ones that stood out to him. Twelve of the 26 portraits are of students in a YouthBuild student art class he teaches once a week.

YouthBuild provides G.E.D. preparation and vocational training to young adults ages 16 to 24 who have not completed high school. The art program serves as a safe space for the students to express themselves, Szegedy said.

“A lot of these kids have never been exposed to art,” he said. “They (often) go back to neighborhoods that aren’t the best. There’s a lot of pressure… It just gives them a downtime.”

During the weekly art class, Szegedy guides the students in whatever they choose to work on. This past holiday season, they constructed a manger and repaired figures in the city’s nativity scene downtown.

Szegedy pointed around the gallery to several of his former students’ faces, many of whom now have jobs.

“They say painting is three hours of looking and 10 minutes of painting,” Szegedy said. For this project, Szegedy did a lot of looking.

Szegedy painted each of his subjects with a serious demeanor. Some smile just slightly. “I wanted the person without a lot of emotion,” Szegedy said. “But some people are just so happy, you can’t not paint them smiling.”

When Szegedy started the project in 2017 from his home studio, he wasn’t quite sure of his goal, or the message. About midway through, he realized it was about celebrating individuals, while also recognizing our similarities.

“We’re all human beings,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of nice responses,” James Dyment, executive director of the gallery, said of Szegedy’s installation. Passersby have said the large portraits, which can be seen from the gallery’s plate glass windows, are compelling, he explained.

“He (Szegedy) has been like a friend of The Brush for a while and I was excited when he told me he had this body of work…” Dyment said.

While an artist’s work is never complete, Szegedy said he’s happy with the exhibit. He’s proud of sticking with it, he said as he pointed out a dark spot in one of the portraits that would only be visible to its creator. “I find great comfort in just creating something,” he said.

“The paintings kind of take over and you stop thinking about what you’re doing,” he said.

The exhibit’s opening reception will take place Feb. 1 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is free to attend from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

“Being free and part of the National Park, it’s a godsend,” Szegedy said of The Brush. He invited all of his Youthbuild students to see their portraits at the gallery.

Szegedy hopes to take the installation elsewhere after Feb. 22. “I would love to see it out and about and somewhere else,” he said.

But in the meantime, it’s on to the next project — whatever that may be. “It gives me a little sanity in an insane world,” Szegedy said of making art.




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 laidler@globe.com.





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 www.commteam.org 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


Building up bones, together


Building up bones, together

Volunteers lead popular class in Dracut

By Amaris Castillo

acastillo@ lowellsun. com

DRACUT » The trio of instructors greet their students as they amble into the large room with a checkered floor. Together, they make sure the chairs are arranged just so, and that each student wears her name tag. It is Tuesday at the Council on Aging and the 12: 30 p. m. Bone Builders class is about to begin.

The instructors — Mary Horne, 65, and Dottie Cheney, 84, both of Dracut, and Claudette Bernier, 70, of Nashua, N. H. — volunteer their time to teach the senior strength training and balance exercise program. It’s been three years since they teamed up together to lead the class.

Dottie Cheney, 84, of Dracut, works out during the Bone Builders class she helps lead as a volunteer instructor along with Claudette Bernier, 70, of Nashua, N.H., and Mary Horne, 65, of Dracut.

Bone Builders is designed to combat osteoporosis, a bone disease. The disease occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

The instructors’ volunteer gig at the senior center in Dracut was unintentional, at least in the beginning. Horne, Cheney, and Bernier say they wanted to take the class as students for the many health benefits, but there was a long wait list due to the program’s popularity. Cheney says she had been waiting for a year to get in.

“They called and said ‘Would you like to lead the class? There’s a training starting up,’” Horne recalls. “And so I said ‘Sure. If it means I get to take the class.’ I enjoy it. We always laugh.”

Dracut COA Director Bethany Loveless says Bone Builders has become so well known that some doctors recommend it.

“It is run out of Community Teamwork in Lowell. They’re the ones who train the instructors and it’s at a number of senior centers,” Loveless says. “It is so popular here that we now have four different groups of Bone Builders. Each group meets twice a week, so that’s eight sessions altogether of just Bone Builders.”

It’s now 12: 32 p. m. and several students have sat down on chairs that now form an oval shape in the room. Most have their 2 pound dumbbells beside them.

“OK. Now let’s start,” Horne announces to the small group. “Get up behind your chair.” The women follow. Soon each instructor and student is holding onto her chair with her right hand, for support. They move their left legs in slow circles, counter- clockwise.

“1, 2, 3, 4,” they count in unison.

“And right leg,” Horne says.

They turn around.

“1, 2, 3, 4,” they count again.

“And clockwise hulas,” Horne says.

Now standing behind their chairs, the women move their hips.

Cheney and Bernier later take over the class to focus on different exercises. In all, they hope to improve bone and muscle strength and balance not only for themselves but for their students.

Horne says she likes the abdominal exercises. Cheney likes the weights.

“I have a bad back, so I’m trying to use my arms and my legs,” she explains.

Bernier likes working on her legs and says Bone Builders has helped strengthen them. “I always was afraid to go up and down stairs, so it’s amazing,” she says. “They (students) say that it’s a great improvement.”

It’s been about an hour when the program wraps up with stretches. Betty Anne Richardson, 79, says she feels better now“ I feel like I’m a little bit more flexible,” she says. “I have a tendency to get all stiffened up and it takes me a little bit to get going, to talk. This kind of makes it a little easier, for a while anyway.”

Richardson says she’s been coming to this Bone Builders class since it began nearly four years ago. “They’re excellent,” she says of the instructors.

Virginia Laferriere, another student, says she likes the class because she gets her exercise in. The 72- year- old Lowell resident gets to stretch her right leg. “My leg is really bad. I have no feeling in that leg, so I don’t want to lose what little I have,” Laferriere says. “I want to strengthen what I have left.” Amaris Castillo: @ AmarisCastillo on Twitter

From left: Claudette Bernier, 70, of Nashua, N.H.; Mary Horne, 65, of Dracut; and Dottie Cheney, 84, also of Dracut. The three women are volunteer instructors for a Bone Builders class at the Dracut Council on Aging.


“They called and said ‘Would you like to lead the class? There’s a training starting up.’ And so I said ‘Sure. If it means I get to take the class.’ I enjoy it. We always laugh.”

– Instructor Mary Horne


Baker Polito Admin Awards Funding for Seven Affordable Housing Projects for Vulnerable Communities may
Baker Polito Admin Awards Funding for Seven Affordable Housing Projects for Vulnerable Communities may

 Baker-Polito Administration Awards Funding for Seven Affordable Housing Projects for Vulnerable Communities


Press Release

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Funding for Seven Affordable Housing Projects for Vulnerable Communities

Supportive housing provides critical services to help families, veterans, and individuals with disabilities thrive

WORCESTER — Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Senator Harriette L. Chandler, YWCA of Central Massachusetts Executive Director Linda Cavaioli, and local officials to celebrate the production and preservation of 147 units of supportive housing for vulnerable populations, including homeless families and individuals, veterans, survivors of domestic violence, and individuals with disabilities.

Supportive housing provides residents with social and health services, including childcare, job training, case management, healthcare coordination and more. All 147 units are affordable to low and extremely low-income people. Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has supported the preservation and production of hundreds of supportive housing units.

“Our administration firmly believes that affordable housing is fundamental to our success as a Commonwealth and have been pleased to invest over $1 billion in the affordable housing ecosystem over the last four and a half years and propose Housing Choice legislation that would significantly increase housing production throughout the state,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are committed to working with our partners in the legislature to give our communities the tools they need to increase housing production to meet the needs of current and future Massachusetts residents, especially the most vulnerable.”

Today’s awards will fund seven projects, supporting the preservation or production of 147 units of housing with $6 million in grant funding, $2.5 million in federal funding and state project-based housing vouchers. Housing will also provide a myriad of social services tailored to the population, including mental health support, childcare, and accessibility.

“Families and individuals deserve access to the stability that permanent housing offers, and we are pleased that this funding will also give our most vulnerable residents, including veterans and survivors of domestic violence, the supportive services they need to thrive in the face of challenges,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “I’m proud of these efforts to increase the amount of affordable housing for people with the greatest need, and today’s awards are part of a commitment to ensuring Massachusetts is a place where all residents can succeed.”

“We understand the great need for more housing for extremely low-income populations. While there is no one strategy to close the gap, our funding for supportive, permanent housing, is part of the solution, and we are thrilled to support projects across Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “We are committed to working with communities and private-sector partners to create pathways to stability for vulnerable populations, through housing, emergency assistance, job training, and social services.”

“Today’s awards will reach families, veterans, survivors of domestic abuse, seniors, and individuals with disabilities in need of reliable, quality housing they can afford,” said Acting Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Jennifer Maddox. “Our people are our greatest asset, and we will continue to advocate for programming and resources to help residents reach their potential, ensure children have access to permanent housing, and support municipal efforts to create healthy communities.”

“Massachusetts is fortunate in that we have a strong network of non-profit organizations providing quality supportive housing to vulnerable populations throughout the Commonwealth and the kind of public/private infrastructure that helps develop these important projects,” said Roger Herzog, Executive Director of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation. “The developments funded today will provide much-needed housing and services to veterans, seniors, survivors of domestic violence, formerly homeless individuals, and more.  CEDAC is honored to work with the Baker-Polito administration, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and our non-profit partners to provide the state bond funds and early stage financing that turns supportive housing projects from an idea into a reality.”

“This incredibly generous award will afford the YWCA Central Massachusetts the opportunity to increase our capacity to serve more women in more effective and efficient space that ultimately helps them achieve independence and economic self-sufficiency,” said Linda Cavaioli, Executive Director of the YWCA of Central Massachusetts.

“I want to thank Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for their continued support for Worcester organizations like the YWCA that does invaluable work,” said Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “Congratulations to Linda Cavaioli and the entire YWCA family on this announcement.  These funds will allow the YWCA to continue and expand the vital work it does every day here in the City of Worcester.”

“Providing supportive housing options to vulnerable populations in our community is a constant priority,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “We’re excited about the YWCA’s renovation project taking place in the heart of our City and we thank the Baker Polito Administration for their continued investment in producing more supportive housing units across the Commonwealth.”

“The awards that were announced today help communities who need stable housing the most. Stable housing allows people to ground themselves, to build a life, and to grow within their communities,” said Senator Harriette L. Chandler. “I want to thank my housing policy partners in the administration, in the legislature, in local government, and to thank all of the advocates and activists who fight for affordable housing every day.”

“The YWCA of Central Massachusetts continues to empower women and girls to achieve their best,” said Senator Michael O. Moore.  “The renovations made possible through this investment will increase access to many critical programs and services.  Congratulations to the entire team at the YWCA for their ongoing efforts to better the surrounding community, and to provide meaningful opportunities for our neighbors.”

“The YWCA of Central Massachusetts provides our community with valuable housing, education, and health programming,” said Representative Jim O’Day. “Worcester prides itself on investing in programs that support families and foster community, and so I am thrilled to hear of the building renovations, as they expand access to essential services for women and children.”

The Baker-Polito Administration has shown a deep commitment to increasing the production of housing across income levels. Since 2015, the administration has invested more than $1 billion in affordable housing, resulting in the production and preservation of more than 17,000 housing units, including 15,000 affordable units. In 2018, Governor Baker signed the largest housing bond bill in Massachusetts history, committing more than $1.8 billion to the future of affordable housing production and preservation. The Baker-Polito Administration has also advanced the development of more than 11,000 mixed-income housing units through the successful MassWorks Infrastructure Program, reformed the Housing Development Incentive Program, and worked with communities to implement smart-growth development and planning efforts.

Award Recipients:

123 Crawford St., Boston

This existing 24-unit Single Room Occupancy (SRO) project for formerly homeless individuals is located in the Trotter Garrison neighborhood of Roxbury. DHCD is awarding funds to the Commonwealth Land Trust to repair and upgrade the building’s envelope and major systems. Two live-in staff and case managers will provide intensive supportive services to a high need target population including individuals with major medical and/or mental health challenges.

112-116 Emerson St., Haverhill

This existing 21-unit project provides permanent, supportive sober housing for homeless elders and individuals with disabilities at three properties and is owned and operated by Emmaus, Inc. DHCD is supporting the project with MRVP vouchers with supportive service funding. These enhanced vouchers will assist Emmaus in providing robust housing supports to both CSPECH and non-CSPECH eligible residents.

Opening Doors, Lowell

Alternative House provides emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing to survivors of DV. DHCD’s capital funds will finance the construction of a new eight-unit DV shelter that will accommodate eight women and up to 14 children. Their existing shelter, an aging single-family home, will be sold and the sales proceeds will help defray the cost of the new building.

420, 423, and 445 Broadway, Lowell

This existing 29-unit project consists of three multi-family properties on Broadway in Lowell. DHCD’s funding will allow Common Ground Development Corporation, an affiliate of Community Teamwork, Inc., to undertake exterior improvements to all three buildings, and convert two standard units into accessible units for residents with mobility impairments.  

2033 Ocean St., Marshfield

Marshfield Veterans House will provide supportive housing for eight homeless veterans. With DHCD’s financial support, Neighborworks Southern Massachusetts will convert a town-owned historic property into eight studios and a small archive room for the local historical society. Father Bill’s & MainSpring will provide comprehensive supportive services to the residents.

26 Moulton St., Randolph

Father Bill’s & MainSpring developed a partnership with Envision Bank to construct 10 studio apartments for homeless veterans on a vacant parcel behind the bank. DHCD will provide state and federal funds to finance the construction. In addition to the land, the bank is providing grant funding.

One Salem Square, Worcester

The YWCA of Central Massachusetts is renovating its main building in downtown Worcester including an existing SRO program for women, 12 child care classrooms, and its health and fitness program areas. DHCD funds will allow the YWCA to renovate 41 existing SROs and add six more rooms, for a total of 47 units. The organization has undertaken a capital campaign to renovate the non-residential portions of the building.


Housing and Community Development 

DHCD oversees funding and resources to help people in Massachusetts live affordably and safely.


CTI Now Accepting Bids for Acquisition of School Buses

Community Teamwork, Inc., is now accepting bids for the acquisition of School Buses.

All bids must be submitted by Wednesday, May 10, 2019 at 2:00 P.M.

Please contact Linda Ardis  at 978-654-5659 for exact specifications or Community Teamwork’s website at www.commteam.org.

Community Teamwork, Inc.

155 Merrimack St.

Lowell, Ma.01852.