Block Grant Monies Awarded to Local Agencies

January 26, 2011
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Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. was happy to meet with the recipients of this year’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG.) The CDGB program is a federally funded, competitive grant program, which helps small cities and towns meet a broad range of community development needs.  Everett receives funds for housing, community, and economic development projects that assist low and moderate-income residents, or to revitalize areas of the city.

This year’s award recipients are: The Everett Boys and Girls Club, Mystic Valley Elder Services, Everett Food Pantry, Everett Adult Learning Center, and Tri-City Community Action Program (TriCap.)

“These organizations provide a great service to the people of Everett,” says Mayor DeMaria, “I’m glad that they are part of our grant funding this year so together we can help those in need.”

The City’s portion of the grant funds typically goes to infrastructure repairs, or rehabilitating streets and sidewalks.  This year the City will focus on repairing Malden Street, Reynolds Avenue, County Road, and Evelyn Road.  In years past, the city also rehabilitated parks, funded planning studies and funded housing rehabilitation.

The additional funds provide the city’s organizations a chance to improve the social health of the city.   The Mayor works closely with the Human Services Department and Community Development to assess the needs of the community.  Each organization presents it’s priorities in the application process, the following is a capsule of each organizations goals:

The Boys and Girls Club serves teens in Everett providing a flexible drop-in program after school.  Teens now have a space to voice opinions, forge relationships with supportive adults and peers and enjoy an environment where they feel physically and emotionally safe. Structured Club programming focuses on five core areas: Character and Leadership, Education & Career Development, Health & Life Skills, the Arts and Sports, Fitness & Recreation. Staff members also provide directive guidance to help youth explore new opportunities within a safe positive environment.

The Everett Food Pantry will only serve low- and moderate-income residents of Everett and will provide free groceries, referrals, and advocacy twice per month. This will meet a need that was identified last year by the Everett Mayor’s Office, Mystic Valley Elder Services and other human services providers. The Everett Pantry will improve the nutrition of Everett residents, decreasing health and learning problems, especially among the elderly and children. The pantry will provide perishable and non-perishable foods, including, as available, foods used by Latin-American, Asian, and other communities within Everett.

Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) will provide vital home and community based care to an estimated 20 Everett elders who need home care and supportive services including: grocery shopping, personal care, home-delivered meals, housekeeping, laundry, adult day care, medical transportation and other urgently needed assistance. MVES operates with the belief that with the right home- and community- based services offered at the right time, elders can continue to remain safe and independent in their own homes.

The Everett Adult Learning Center will provide two adult, beginner classes of English (for speakers of other languages.)  The classes will run 36 weeks (January 2011-June 2011) and (September 2011- December 2011).  As students make progress with their English skills they will transition to higher-level classes funded by the Massachusetts Department of Education.

TriCap’s Pro Bono Legal Project (PBLP) goal is to assist low-income families and individuals secure basic civil rights under the law.  The program provides free legal information, advice, advocacy, referrals and representation people who would otherwise be unable to gain access to legal services.  The project focuses on non-fee generating civil cases, which substantially impact the lives of low- income residents through legal advocacy and representation.

Legal services are provided by Tri-CAP’s Professional staff of three, third-year law student volunteers and by a pro-bono panel of attorneys.  Mediation services are provided by Mediation For Results, a program of Just-A-Start Corp.