The Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness began as a regional pilot initiative funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to prevent and end homelessness in 2009.
The MVRN is a collaborative of nonprofit, government, and private organizations dedicated to helping homeless and at risk individuals and families.
The Regional Network is co-chaired by Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini, Lowell City Manager Bernie Lynch, and Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua.
The MVRN through a competitive process was granted funds over a period of 18 months to support family and individual pilot initiatives focused in three geographical clusters: Greater Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill.
The 19 communities span west to east along the Merrimack River Valley: Westford, Chelmsford, Billerica, Tewksbury, Lowell, Dracut, Tyngsborough, Dunstable, Andover, North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence, Haverhill, Groveland, Merrimac, West Newbury, Amesbury, Newburyport and Salisbury.
Community Teamwork Inc. was chosen by the Leadership Council to be the convening agency. Regional Network partners include family and individual shelter organizations, housing and human service providers; Community Action Agencies; housing developers; private businesses; Interfaith Communities; Veterans Organizations; Local Housing Authorities; Lowell & Lawrence Continuum’s of Care and Federal, State and local agencies.
The objective of the MVRN was to break down the organizational and geographic barriers that exist within our service delivery systems across the region. To a great degree we have accomplished this goal in that agencies across the Merrimack Valley are having greater dialogue and this process has provided a means of collaboration and leveraging of resources amongst Network members across the region.
Administration and Infrastructure
- The Network Coordinator is Kristin Ross-Sitcawich and is responsible for Network functioning, meetings, reporting, and accountability.
- Mandated Data Collection and Analysis.
- Coordination of resources that are subcontracted through the Merrimack Valley Regional Network.
- The Network currently has four subcommittees in place and they are; Veterans, Home Base, Early Warning Systems and Discharge Planning. **If any of these subcommittees are of interest to you and you would care to participate, please see Network Coordinator contact information at the bottom of this page.**
- The Merrimack Valley Network to End Homelessness has been able to provide re-housing and homelessness prevention funds and stabilization services to families and individuals across the Merrimack Valley region.
- Direct services were provided in partnership with Community Action, Inc. Community Teamwork, Inc., Emmaus, Inc., Lowell Transitional Living Center, The Psychological Center/Daybreak Shelter and YWCA of Greater Lawrence.
- Funds to provide direct service came from a variety of resources to include: DHCD/ICHH, ESG, EFSP/FEMA, MHSA/HPRP, ARRA/HPRP, United Way and private foundation funds.
Outcomes Thus Far….
As a collaborative we have been able to provide the following services over the past two years (FY12):
- 1,840 households were provided with financial assistance to prevent homelessness
- 1,058 Families re-housed from emergency shelter/motel
- 2, 613 individuals were provided services through any one of three homeless shelters across the region
- 203 homeless individuals were re-housed from homeless shelters across the Merrimack Valley region
- 13,838 Households screened for prevention services
- The expansion of Housing related workshops across the Merrimack Valley region, graciously hosted by the Community Action, Inc (Haverhill), Greater Lawrence Community Action (Lawrence) and Salisbury Housing Authority
- The establishment of a Senior Peer Specialist (pilot) at Community Teamwork, Inc.
In FY13, the Network continues to coordinate a more robust continuum of care across the Merrimack Valley with plans to expand the number of Veterans Peer Specialists across the region, the expansion of senior peer support specialists, linking workforce development to our Home Base families, the creation of an audio/visual homelessness prevention curriculum for providers and clients and identify additional financial resources to provide assistance to families/individuals in need.
If you have any questions, require more information or want to get involved, contact:
Kristin Ross-Sitcawich at firstname.lastname@example.org (978) 654-5617
Ed Cameron at email@example.com or 978-459-0551