Lowell Seniors Count Seeking Volunteers!

Lowell Seniors Count


“Meet seniors, One Door At-A-Time”

The Lowell Seniors Count Committee is looking for volunteers to assist seniors with a city-wide door to door census and needs assessment of seniors 60 and older.  Meet seniors where they live and bring them a gift bag of resources to help them “age in place” with important information from the aging network.

Volunteer to Survey Seniors in Lowell,

on Your Street or In Your Neighborhood!

Flexible Times, No long term commitment required! Continue reading

DHCD Draft Consolidated Plan ~ Available for Review

The 2010-2014 Consolidated Plan Draft is now available. Every five years, DHCD is required to produce this plan for HUD detailing how Massachusetts will use the Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, Emergency Shelter Grant, and Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS funding to advance housing and community development goals. This plan sets out goals and strategies for Massachusetts’ housing and community development priorities over the next five years. The plan is available online at www.mass.gov/dhcd (check the “news and updates” column). Continue reading

A Shelter for Families in Need of a Push ~ New York Times

A Shelter for Families in

Need of a Push

Librado Romero/The New York Times

Wanda Rodriguez, Jose Medina and Destiny Rodriguez in an apartment at a shelter in Queens that helps families return to independent life.

Published: March 21, 2010

Denise Benson runs a no-nonsense, no-frills homeless shelter for the city in Queens. There is no common room for lounging and watching television. Most homeless families meet with their caseworkers several times a week. Staff members escort residents to job interviews and to tour available apartments.

The study room at a next-step shelter in Jamaica, Queens, where residents are reminded often of the importance of moving out.

The Jamaica Family Residence is a shelter where families who

have been homeless for a long time are sent to help them move out of the system.

“We are here to say, ‘Move it along,’ ” she said in a recent interview at the shelter, swinging her arms forward for emphasis.

Ms. Benson is on the front lines of the Bloomberg administration’s unsuccessful war against homelessness. During the eight years that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has been in office, the number of homeless people filling city shelters has sharply risen, currently approaching 38,000, including 8,600 families with children. The number of families entering shelters has increased by more than 50 percent in the past two years. In February, 1,152 families entered shelters. More than 400 had been in the shelter system before. Continue reading

This Right Resources Bulletin ~ One Family

This Week’s News from the ICHH Regional Networks and the Right Resources Bulletin Board
March 22, 2010

Innovation in the Spotlight:
hopeFound’s WorkFirst Demonstration Project

In November 2009, hopeFound launched WorkFirst, a three-year demonstration project that seeks to engage recently housed, formerly homeless, individuals in employment services with the goal of job placement, housing retention and social integration.   WorkFirst, like Housing First, debunks the idea of “readiness” and assumes that everyone is “ready” for something.   WorkFirst integrates specialized employment services with the supports of local Housing First programs.  Over the 3 years of the project, hopeFound will work with 140 newly housed men and women, many with histories of chronic homelessness, in this innovative employment program. Continue reading

CTI Family Finance Solutions Event April 6th.

Lowell Public Schools in collaboration with Community Teamwork, Inc Host an Evening of Family Finance Solutions

Date: Tuesday April 6th, 2010 Time: 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Location: Stoklosa School- 560 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 five (5) 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. Basic Introduction to Investing, Enterprise Bank

2. Debt Management, American Consumer Credit Counseling

3. Basics to Creating a Budget, The Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank

4. Foreclosure Prevention, Coalition for a Better Acre

5. How to Improve my Credit Score, NMTW Community Credit Union


Merrimack Valley Food Bank Seeks Development & Volunteer Coordinator

Seeking Development & Volunteer Coordinator

We are seeking a dynamic candidate for a part time position in our Lowell office to work with businesses, faith based, social and all other  groups to initiate, cultivate and maintain partnerships that lead to donations of food, time and funds for our feeding programs.  Proven track record in building relationships, event planning and coordination and desire to make a difference are necessary.  Successful candidate will be proficient in all MS programs, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher.  Occasional evening and weekend hours are mandatory. Valid driver’s license and use of car required. Salary based on experience.

Please forward resumes to:



Amy L. Pessia

Executive Director

Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Inc.

735 Broadway Street

Lowell, MA  01854

DHCD EA Toolox & Shelter Diversion Funds Have Been Suspended~

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Department of Housing & Community Development

March 1, 2010

TO:                  All DHCD Family Emergency Shelter Providers

FROM:            Robert Pulster, Associate Director

RE:                 Housing Stabilization Flexible Funds Announcement

I am writing to update you on the status of the Housing Stabilization Flexible Funds Program.  As you know, DHCD has prioritized moving families out of shelter and into housing as quickly as possible.  To that end, we were excited to allocate resources for this purpose through the new Housing Stabilization initiative announced on July 27, 2009.

I am proud that since August 1st and through the end of February, we have moved 1,144 families into housing at a total cost of $10.4 million through the Housing Stabilization Flexible Funds Initiative.  In addition, we have assisted another 757 families with toolbox relocation assistance at a cost of $1.06 million.  In sum, 1,901 families have exited shelter as a result of this new initiative.

The Division of Housing Stabilization works closely with our fiscal partners to respond to the urgent need for housing while meeting our budgetary constraints.  I understand that we have asked all providers to take advantage of Flexible Fund resources and have continued to do so right up to the point when we now need to take action to address our critical financial position.  Therefore, it is with regret that I need to inform you that as of March 2, DHCD is suspending the Housing Stabilization Flexible Funds program including both the Toolbox and Shelter Diversion programs. Continue reading

MRVP Action Steps ~ Homes for Families

Passed on to me from Homes For Families…

Dear Friends:

As you know, Massachusetts continues to face incredibly challenging fiscal times.  In the middle of all this are the people that we seek to serve: families and individuals faced with increased housing instability.  As you also know, the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) provides a life-line to 5,100 of these households by allowing them to maintain housing that is affordable to them.

The upcoming fiscal year again presents a challenge for us in our advocacy because legislators are faced with incredibly difficult decisions regarding which programs will be able to sustain funding cuts.  We know that if MRVP is not adequately funded, we will have to force households currently using MRVP off the program and straight into a very expensive and already over-burdened emergency shelter system.

Therefore, I am asking you (actually, I’m pleading with you) to contact your state representative to relay the importance of MRVP.  Representatives are meeting with leadership to discuss their budget priorities, and we must be certain that as many as possible are telling leadership that MRVP is a top priority of their constituents – and you are those constituents.

Please take the following action steps to ensure support for MRVP:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.      <!–[endif]–>Ask your state representative to prioritize funding for MRVP at $35.4 million.

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.      <!–[endif]–>Ask your state representative to contact Representative Paul Donato’s office to sign onto his letter to Chairman Murphy requesting funding for MRVP (the representatives have received a copy of this letter directly from Rep. Donato’s office).  The deadline for adding their names to this letter is Friday, March 12, 2010.

Click here to review a letter generated by the Housing Solutions Campaign and let us know if your organization is willing to sign on (you can simply respond to this email).

If you are uncertain how to contact your state representative, click here.

On behalf of homeless and at-risk households across the Commonwealth, thank you for your continued efforts!

Diane Sullivan

Policy Director

USICH Announces Website for Stakeholder Input on Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

Contact Us

USICH Announces Website for Stakeholder Input on Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

USICH has launched a new interactive website called USICH Preventing and Ending Homelessness – fsp.uservoice.com.  This is one element of the transparent process of developing the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. The HEARTH Act called for USICH to deliver to the Plan to Congress no later than May 20.

This site is not just a repository for ideas.  Once an idea has been posted, anyone can vote and comment on the suggestions and the most popular ideas will be displayed at the top of the list.  USICH Preventing and Ending Homelessness will be reviewed by USICH staff and the ideas that receive the most votes and comments will be assessed for possible inclusion in the FSP.

USICH strongly encourages you to forward this opportunity to any interested parties so they too can submit their input via the electronic feedback process. We have icons that your organization can add to your website if interested. Users will need to provide basic information to register in order to submit their responses.

Visit site

USICH Mission
. . . to coordinate the federal response to homelessness and to create a national partnership at every level of government and with the private sector to reduce and end homelessness in the nation while maximizing the effectiveness of the Federal Government in contributing to the end of homelessness.