Community Teamwork drives social and economic change. By investing in the potential of low-income families striving for a better life, building affordable housing, facilitating partnerships to create solutions to pressing community needs, identifying the resources necessary to meet the needs, and providing sound stewardship over those resources, Community Teamwork strengthens our community.
Meeting Basic Needs and Beyond
Community Teamwork helps families create a foundation from which to prosper. Nearly 20,000 families throughout Greater Lowell and across the Merrimack Valley access the resources they need to prepare themselves for a brighter economic future. With the help of Community Teamwork and our partners, unemployed workers obtain the skills they need to get and keep a job, parents access safe, quality child care for their children so they can work, children get the strong foundation they need to succeed in school and beyond, families learn to manage tight budgets and save for the future, and our elders are able to stay safe in their own homes.
Increasing the Supply of Affordable Housing
Safe and affordable housing is essential to support a vital community. Homeless families cannot gain a foothold on the economic ladder without first gaining the security of a home. Low and mid-wage workers that serve, teach, and protect us each day need to provide a home for their families. But decent rental housing that is affordable to lower and middle income families is in short supply. In Lowell, a minimum wage worker would need to work more than 120 hours each week to afford the median rent on a two-bedroom apartment. Community Teamwork’s Common Ground Development Corporation works to increase the supply of affordable housing and has added more than 200 housing units in the past 10 years.
Growing Small Business
Small businesses are the engine of job growth in our economy and, for generations of immigrants to our community, they have been the route to the middle class. Since 1998, Community Teamwork’s Merrimack Valley Small Business Center (MVSBC) has provided business development services to a diverse group of entrepreneurs interested in creating, sustaining, and growing small businesses. More than 10,000 would-be entrepreneurs have received one-on-one coaching as well as training opportunities to help them make the right business choices and increase their chances for success. Since our inception, the MVSBC has had a hand in the start-up of more than 320 businesses.
Contributing to a Strong Economy
Poverty stifles the entire community’s prosperity. Investments in poverty prevention and amelioration strengthen our community. Studies indicate that investing in early education yields nine times the investment, that ensuring that homes are weatherized saves seven times the cost, and that providing pregnant women and young children with adequate nutrition has a lifelong impact on the next generation’s capacity to contribute to their community and to the local economy. These investments and others are realized by the community in the form of lower health care and energy costs, reduced crime and special education spending, and more prosperous residents who pay taxes, have the resources to spend with local merchants, and who have the freedom to educate themselves and their children providing the skilled workforce that thriving communities need.
By investing in low-income families Community Teamwork promotes a vital community. Through this work we also infuse more than 47 million dollars into the local economy through direct payments to fuel dealers, local grocers, and landlords. Moreover, Community Teamwork is a major employer in our community providing more than 400 people with jobs, the income from which is spent in our community.