Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
I thought I would share this quick heads up that came via email:
Elizabeth Warren will be in Lowell this Sunday to celebrate Khmer New Year. She will be meeting at Pailin Plaza on Middlesex Ave at 2pm and then head to Pailin Park.
If you want to point out a major factor in reducing gang presence more than a decade ago in Lowell, you have only to point to the teens themselves, and the United Teen Equality Center. And now their “Streetworker” program is getting national recognition because of a study being published by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
From UTEC’s press release:
The study’s interviews with UTEC staff and local community groups found five major contributing factors to UTEC’s success in the SW program: involvement of youth in hiring SWs; investment in quality training for the SWs; providing SWs with a comprehensive benefits package and team retreats to prevent staff turnover and burnout; establishment of community partnerships; and incorporation of peacemaking into outreach.
“These features should be considered both by communities with existing street outreach worker programs and by communities in the process of establishing one, as they have demonstrated importance for both program success and sustainability,” said Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and the paper’s lead author.
Congrats to an excellent community group on the getting the recognition it deserves. We know it works; now the rest of the nation’s cities can learn from UTEC.
In Lowell civic life, that is. If the answer is yes, here is your chance. The City is seeking volunteers for the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). The committee is responsible for reviewing grant applications and recommending funding allocations to the City Manager for the HUD programs, CDBG (Community Development Black Gran), HOME, and ESG (Emergency Shelter Grant). The City is also seeking volunteers for another Citizens Advisory Committee. This one reviews grant applications and recommends funding allocations to the City Manager for the HOPWA Program.
The HUD program grants are “distributed annually through a competitive proposal process. CAC members review written grant applications, hear testimony from applicants at a public hearing, and meet during the winter months to formulate a recommended plan for awarding grants.”
And the HOPWA grant program is “designated to serve persons throughout Middlesex County who are living with HIV/AIDS and their families. Funds are distributed annually through a competitive proposal process to non-profits countywide whose programs serve this population. “
The CDBG/HOME/ESG CAC not only reviews the applications but listens to each applicant make a public presentation. In the past, I have attended a few of these marathon sessions and the CAC and the DPD should be commended for their efforts. Most of the non-profit organizations in this City present a proposal and because these past few years, funding has been cut back or eliminated in some cases, I would think next year’s process will be extremely competitive.
Here is the link to the current roster of the two CACs. I see that there will be at least one available position. City Council-elect Frankie Descoteaux will have to resign from the CAC since it is the City Council that has the final approval of the disbursement of these funds.
Obama and his incoming administration are renewing interest in the National Day of Service, which is a “federally designated day of service” which this year falls on MLK day. With his encouragement, many of his campaign’s dedicated volunteers are turning to volunteerism, and the Inaugural Committee has a website dedicated to listing volunteer opportunities in your area. (Unfortunately, something is wrong with the Google map on the page, but if you get the error message, just click OK and then scroll down for the text list.)
Please seriously consider joining in one of these efforts. Some interesting events listed in our area include:
Martin Luther King Day Head Start Program Enhancement Project (Day of Service - January 19)
The CTI Senior Corps and Volunteer Programs would like to recruit over 50 intergenerational volunteers (school-age, young adults, and older adults) to update the Houlares Center, a Head Start program serving over 300 children under the age of 5. The project at the center would include cleaning and repairs, building a gross-motor skills indoor activity room, creating an inviting age-appropriate reading room, and having volunteers continue on the be “community readers” to children in the new reading room throughout the year.
Time: Monday, January 19 10:00 AM
Host: Connie Martin
Location: Houlares Early Childhood Center (Lowell, MA)
126 Phoenix Ave.
Lowell, MA 01852
Prepare Survival Kits for Lowell Transitional Center (Day of Service - January 19)
Join us early in the morning to prepare breakfast with members of the Lowell Transitional Living Center, Inc, which provides a safe, temporary shelter for 90 homeless men and women, ages 18 and older. Then, return to the United Teem Equality Center to prepare survival kits for these residents. Feel rewarded by returning to the Center to had out the kits.
Time: Monday, January 19 5:30 AM
Host: Masada Jones
Location: United Teen Equality Center (Lowell, MA)
34 Hurd Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Volunteer at Lowell Transitional Living Center (Day of Service - January 19)
From 5:15-7:15 PM we will serve dinner at at the Lowell Transitional Living Center in Lowell, MA. LTLC is a community supported, non-profit organization that provides a safe, temporary shelter for 90 homeless men and women, ages 18 and older, in the Greater Lowell area.
We need people to make salad, cornbread, desserts, and to bring milk to drop at the center for the dinner. We can let you know if there is a need for more volunteers to serve food. Capacity for volunteer servers is 8-10 people and currently slots are taken. Capacity for making food to drop at the shelter is currently listed as 25 and we could use your help.
Please write what you would like to bring and drop off. I will get back to you about quantities. If you want to be put on a list for serving, let me know and I can contact you if there is an opening.
Thanks very much!
Time: Monday, January 19 from 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM
Host: Susanne curry
Location: Lowell Transitional Living Center (Lowell, MA)
189 Middlesex Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Citizen’s Sort it Out Day (Day of Service - January 19)
9-12pm Monday: Our furniture, home and baby goods bank has piles of clothing for all ages, bedding, home goods and more and it all needs to be sorted, grouped and shelved to go out to clients in need. We will train, ages 9 and up. We have a large warehouse and can handle large groups up to 150 volunteers that day. Help our local moms and kids get warm coats, school clothes, pots to cook in and more. The jobs are fun and all the goods sorted will go out in the following week. We provide $1million in goods to 27,000 clients a year. We welcome volunteers all year long www.TheWishProject.org
PLEASE CALL FIRST IF WE HAVE A STORM TO BE SURE WE CAN STAY OPEN. THERE WILL BE A MESSAGE ON OUR MACHINE BY 7:30AM MONDAY AT 978-441-9474.
Time: Monday, January 19 from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Host: Donna Hunnewell
Contact Phone: 978-441-9474
Location: Wish Project Warehouse (Lowell, MA)
1 A Foundry St.
Lowell, MA 01852
Martin Luther King Jr. Day HeadStart Enhancement Project (Day of Service - January 19)
Community Teamwork Inc. YouthBuild program of Lowell will be volunteering along with CTI’s Spindle Corps. volunteer students and CTI’s Senior volunteers to rehab an unused storage space at the agency’s HeadStart program.
The new space will be used as a reading room for HeadStart students. YouthBuild students will build new bookshelves, refurbish doors, storage space, install new carpet, and assist in design and painting of a wall mural.
Time: Monday, January 19 9:00 AM
Host: Kelli Fish
Location: Houlares Center, Headstart (Lowell, MA)
Lowell, MA 01854
Help with Disaster Prevention (Weekend Events - January 17 or 18)
In 2008, the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay implemented a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service project in partnership with HOPE worldwide, an international charity that provides sustainable, high-impact, community-based services to the poor and needy. Volunteers from HOPE worldwide and ARCMB teamed up to conduct door-to-door outreach to promote fire prevention and fire safety in high-risk communities.
Last year, the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay’s Disaster Services team responded to nearly 500 separate incidents, mostly single-family house fires. In responding to these incidents, we provided emergency assistance to almost 3,200 residents in the form of food, clothing, shelter, case management, and referral services. Yet, effective disaster response is only one component in ensuring the safety of the communities we serve. We must also educate the public to prevent and prepare for disasters such as house fires, particularly in the communities that experience the highest number of incidents year after year.
On January 17, 2009, the Red Cross will partner with HOPE worldwide to conduct outreach to high-incident communities in Lowell, in eastern Massachusetts to inform them about fire prevention and safety. Volunteers will go from door-to-door speaking with residents about fire safety and distributing door hangers that provide important fire preparedness and prevention information. During an orientation, volunteers will be provided with talking points to help them engage community residents in brief conversations regarding fire preparedness and prevention.
Time: Saturday, January 17 from 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Host: Megan Dickman
Location: Butler Middle School (Lowell, MA)
1140 Gorham St.
Lowell, MA 01852
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