Keys to Ending Homelessness ~ Conference #2


Keys to Ending Homelessness

Conference Series
March 5, 2010

CONFERENCE #2:

Education, Employment & Business Incentives

Date:     Friday, March 5th
Place: University of Massachusetts Lowell Inn & Conference Center,
50 Warren Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Time:      Registration & Continental Breakfast 8:30 AM – Conference
Closes 2:00 PM Continue reading

One Family Launches Online Interactive Resource Map

The ICHH Executive Director, Liz Curtis, has officially rolled out the One Family Online Interactive Resource Map, that details where homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing resources are located throughout the Commonwealth..

Please see the link below for a Google map of all ICHH and HPRP resources in Massachusetts, which was launched at a statewide forum on Best Practices targeted to those recipients yesterday. This represents where the $8.25 million in ICHH resources are located as well as the $45 million in HPRP resources that are administered through either entitlement communities or DHCD. When you click on an icon on the map information will pop up about the service provider in that area, the contact information for referrals, the basic types of resources they have available, and the population they serve.

I’d like to thank One Family, Inc. and Emily Cohen for leading this effort, the entitlement communities and DHCD for providing a great deal of information, and Laila Bernstein and Sarah Jensen from the ICHH for helping track down information. I’d also like to thank each of the ICHH and HPRP recipients for their tremendous work and dedication to using these resources effectively and collaboratively.

One Family will work to maintain accuracy of this information over time, and we are very excited to have all of these new resources mapped out in a way that we expect to improve access and coordination. Please forward this along to any of your colleagues or staff.

Click here to view and use the map!


Governor Patrick Release FY11 Budget Recommendations

GOVERNOR PATRICK Releases Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Recommendation

Makes investments to build stronger, better Commonwealth; holds line on spending while making tough cuts

BOSTON – Wednesday, January 27, 2010 – Governor Deval Patrick today released his Fiscal Year 2011 budget, a balanced, fiscally responsible plan that maintains an unprecedented commitment to education, cities and towns, and health care, while also reflecting his Administration’s continued efforts to speed the Commonwealth’s economic recovery and lay a foundation for long-term growth.

Facing a $2.7 billion budget gap in FY11 as a result of the continued global economic downturn, the Governor once again proposes a balanced set of solutions, including nearly $800 million in cuts, federal stimulus funds, modest one-time resources and some additional revenues. The $28.2 billion budget restrains spending to 3 percent over FY10 estimated spending – less than the 3.2 percent growth in tax receipts the state is expected to see in FY11. Continue reading

City of Lowell’s Winterfest Kick – Off

LOWELL WARMS UP TO WINTER WITH CELEBRATION

OF CITY’S ANNUAL FAMILY FRIENDLY WINTERFEST

Massachusetts’ premier winter festival offers new attractions to commemorate its tenth year!

LOWELL, Mass. – The City of Lowell today announced details for its 10th Annual Winterfest, which kicks off on Friday, February 5th and continues through Saturday, February 6th at various indoor and outdoor locations throughout the downtown area.

Join us at the WinterFest Press Conference on Wednesday, January 27 @ 10am in the Mayor’s Reception Room, Lowell City Hall. Speakers on hand will include Mayor James Milinazzo, City Manager Bernie Lynch, representatives from UMass Lowell and the WinterFest fundraising committee, and short entertainment provided by performer/magician Peter O’Malley.

To commemorate the 10th Annual Winterfest, organizers have added many new attractions at City Hall Plaza, including Friday evening’s ‘Lowla’s Dance Party’ and Saturday’s ‘Lowlapalooza’ which features an outdoor skating rink and family friendly interactive games, including a climbing wall. Both events feature “Lowla,” the ever-adorable teddy bear mascot of Lowell’s Winterfest. Continue reading

Part Time Community Outreach Worker Coalition for a Better Acre

Coalition for a Better Acre Job Announcement:

Part-time Community Outreach Position

This position works under the supervision of CBA’s Community Organizer to engage neighborhood residents in activities focusing on community building, civic engagement and leadership development. This is a part-time, flexible position (15 hours/week), with potential to increase hours. Continue reading

Three Hard Words ~ I Need Help ~ Families on the Brink

Throughout the Merrimack Valley and beyond, we’ve heard of  and seen many families who, at one time were comfortable, paying bills, sustaining. Increasingly as wages are cut, jobs lost, etc..these once “stable” are now on the brink.

In this mornings Lowell Sun, Rita Savard has written yet another piece on those struggling in our community

“From the outside, Robert Gallagher has an enviable life: a good marriage, a nice house and two great kids.

But in October, he joined the legions of unemployed workers in Massachusetts. A few weeks ago, so did his wife, Kim.

“We were never rich, but we’ve lived comfortably,” he said. “This was something we just didn’t plan for.”

With mounting bills and four mouths to feed, the family had to prioritize. Food. Utilities. School fees for the kids. Something had to fall behind, and unfortunately it was the rent. On Jan. 4, an eviction notice arrived. more here

Family Finance Solutions Night

Family Finance Solutions

Date:                    Wednesday February10, 2009

Time:           6:00 – 7:00 PM

Location:     Stoklosa School- Broadway Street- Lowell

Please join us at this Family Finance Solutions event to learn more about managing your family finances and take home a $25.00 gift card to Market Basket

You will have the opportunity to attend one of the six (6) informative workshops listed below.   To register and attend one of these workshops, call Gladys Santiago at Community Teamwork, Inc. @ 978-654-5080 ext 11.

  1. How To Start the New Year off Right
  2. Credit Cards: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
  3. Basic steps to Creating a Budget
  4. Steps Toward Home ownership
  5. Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Fraud
  6. How Can I Improve My Credit Score?

Class space fills fast, so be sure to register as soon as possible!

Partnered in the Struggle for a Place to Call Home ~ Boston Globe

During the course of my morning ritual of perusing the local and regional news, amid all the chatter about today’s elections, I stumbled across this article in this morning’s Boston  Globe titled “Partnered in the Struggle for a Place to Call Home” , about the therapeutic value of partnering orphaned dogs with homeless individuals.

Anya was neglected, and finally abandoned. Most of the two years of her life was spent locked in a garage. When humans approached, the large, gentle Leonberger-golden retriever mix cowered in fear. .

Stewart Thorpe spent 30 of his 55 years on Boston’s streets, bundled in depression. He used to sleep in subways and on sidewalks. When Pine Street workers eventually reached out to him, he was too fearful to look them in the eyes.

These two homeless creatures – man and dog, both shadows in life – are finding that they have a lot in common – a history of abandonment, trauma, and distrust….read on

Having worked at Pathfinder/Safe Haven in my previous employment life, I saw first hand the value of having a pet on the premises. The men that were housed at Pathfinder, took a shine to the program cat and would all take part in caring for her and their interaction over time with the “Cupcake”, would serve to erode many of the defenses these guys had built up over decades, enabling us (the treatment team) to engage them and move them onto healing and independence that much sooner.

I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did.

This Weeks Right Resources Bulletin ~ One Family

This Week’s News from the ICHH Regional Networks and the Right Resources Bulletin Board
January 15, 2009

Untapped Funding for Education and
Workforce Development Programs:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program /Employment and Training (SNAP/ET)

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program / Employment and Training (SNAP/ET)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is administered in the Commonwealth by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) on behalf of USDA. SNAP includes a component that provides for the employment and training of Food Stamp recipients (SNAP/ET). This program’s purpose is to provide recipients with opportunities that will lead to paid employment and decrease dependency on assistance programs.

The SNAP Federal Financial Participation allows states to claim 50% of qualifying employment and training expenditures for Food Stamp Recipients.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has passed a Bill that allows DTA to contract/work with local governments, community colleges, educational institutions, workforce organizations and nonprofit agencies that provide employment and training services to Food Stamp Recipients to identify any state or third party funds spent on these programs that could possibly be considered for Federal Financial Participation.  DTA will then claim any qualified expenditures and return the funds through UMMS to the entities involved in the project (50% reimbursement, less an administrative service fee of 5%).

Reimbursement received by qualifying entities under this program must be used to support additional education, employment and training services and related program costs. Additionally, up to 5 per cent of these funds may be used for administrative costs incurred by said agency or organization claiming said federal matching funds.  These funds shall not be used to supplant existing services.

MA is allocated $20 million in federal SNAP/ET funding annually but last year only spent $1 million.

To find out more about this program please see the attached documents at: http://rightresources.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=119

**Info for this article was provided by “Fact Sheet: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program / Employment and Training (SNAP/ET).”

***MVRN Seeking Community Assistance***

As many of you may or may not know, the case managers throughout the region have been very busy re-housing chronic homeless men and women.

The Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness has recently housed 37 chronic homeless individuals in the City of Lowell. While we are able to provide assistance to get these men and women housed, there are some needs that have been identified in the process of moving into a new apartment that we are not funded to provide, nor do our clients have the means to acquire these items.

The Merrimack Valley Regional Network is appealing to the community to perhaps fill some of these needs. Tax deduction documentation can be furnished to donors.

Our clients would greatly appreciate any assistance that could be provided.

  1. house hold cleaning products (bleach, ammonia, spray cleaners, etc..)
  2. dish washing detergent
  3. sponges, brillo pads, etc..
  4. buckets, mops, dustpan & brush, brooms
  5. paper towels
  6. toilet paper
  7. shampoo, conditioner
  8. soap
  9. deodorant
  10. toothbrushes
  11. toothpaste
  12. razors
  13. laundry detergent
  14. shower curtains & rings
  15. towels (used, clean are fine)

Should you or your organization wish to donate, feel free to contact me at (978) 459-0551 x326 or email kross@comteam.org.