February 24, 2021

Dear Friends,

As you are probably aware, a 3-alarm fire broke out at 98 Westford Street in Lowell at about 5:25 a.m. Wednesday, February 10th and extended to two other structures - gutting all 3 multi-family homes.

Despite the extraordinary efforts of Lowell firefighters who rescued several residents, including one woman, from an upper story window engulfed in flames, a 77-year-old man died, three others were severely injured and 45 residents ranging from toddlers to grandparents were left homeless!

The City of Lowell and Community Teamwork Inc. have created the Relief Fund for the Westford Street Fire to accept financial donations for victims. To date, we have raised close to $8K.

If you’re able, please help these victims. They need many personal items such as warm clothing, bedding, general living and hygiene items as well as school supplies.
To donate items, please contact The Wish Project (http://www.thewishproject.org) and Catie's Closet (http://www.catiescloset.org). Community Teamwork, Inc. has set up the “Relief Fund for the Westford Street Fire”. Checks may be mailed to 155 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA 01852 or donations made online at www.commteam.org/donate and select OTHER from the optional pulldown.

Please also see our updates on Fuel Assistance, Rental Assistance and Tax Assistance programs below, as well as two exciting additions to the Community Teamwork Staff, who will help us continue to carry out our mission.

As always, we thank you for your support.

We wish you continued health,
Karen Frederick, CEO
Fuel Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Energy Conservation Programs
UPDATES: Increase in Deliverable Benefits and
Application Deadline Extension

You work hard. Heat is expensive! Do you need help keeping warm this winter?

Y​our family ​may qualify for payments toward winter heating bills, discounts on monthly​ utility bills, a no-cost ​home energy ​assessment, free ​appliance replacement, and other energy-​saving improvements for your home, all at no cost to you. ​

A ​Massachusetts family of four earning up to $75,201 may qualify.

UPDATES: To assist deliverable LIHEAP households who receive deliverable fuel (oil, propane, kerosene, other), a $235 increase in deliverable benefits for all eligible income levels has been applied.  This increase is to ensure those households can secure at least a minimum delivery (typically 100 gallons).  


The application period has been extended from April 30th to May 28th. The heating season remains November 1st through April 30th. Applications may be updated with any changes to household size or income through May 28th.     
 
NEW ~ Clients can now start a pre-application online by clicking on the client public portal: https://toapply.org/CTI

OR ~ Schedule a telephone interview by calling 978.459.6161 today to make an appointment and to learn more! Applications can also be emailed to FuelAssistance@commteam.org or faxed to 978.458.8594 or mailed / dropped in a specially marked mailbox outside the Community Teamwork Fuel Assistance office 45 Kirk Street, Lowell MA 01852.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Free Tax Preparation For Low Income Families
We are happy to announce that we have partnered with Greater Lawrence Community Action Council (GLCAC) to be able to offer free tax preparation to our communities of Middlesex and Essex Counties.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will not be offering in-person or face-to-face appointments. Please continue below for the options we will be offering through our partnership.

Available Online through Saturday April 10, 2021:
Community Teamwork, Inc. (CTI)  MASSCAP    
Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc.   MASSCAP    

Available for Drop Off/Pick Up Later gtp, Saturday February 6 - Saturday April 3, 2021 - SATURDAYS ONLY - Between 9am and noon - 17 Kirk Street, Lowell MA 01852

For more information:

Visit www.commteam.org/vita or call 978.941.3702 or email CTIVITACovid@commteam.org
Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA)
AND Rental Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Application
UPDATE: Stats as of February 16, 2021

Community Teamwork is pleased to offer new financial assistance programs for families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and state of emergency.

The Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) Program, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development, provides up to $10,000 of direct funding to eligible households. ERMA can help to fund payments for rent or mortgage arrears accrued no earlier than April 1, 2020 or upcoming rent or mortgage payments. LEARN MORE

Client Flyers:

Begin here to start the Application process: https://www.cognitoforms.com/CommunityTeamwork1/RAFTERMAApplicationCTI
 
Applications can also be printed and faxed to: 978-459-0513, emailed to: CovidResponseCTI@commteam.org, or mailed to:
Community Teamwork, 17 Kirk Street, Lowell MA 01852 ATTN: ERM
 
Landlord Applications:
Community Teamwork Hires Bonnie Greenwood at the new Director of the Financial Education Center
Bonnie Greenwood, Director of the Financial Education Center at Community Team work, is excited to be a part of such an impactful organization that is working so hard for the communities she has been a part of for 30+ years. 

Bonnie comes to Community Teamwork with 15+ years of education experience including but not limited to, teaching in the private and public schools, directing programs and teaching English language learners at the university level, and directing education programs for immigrants and refugees for a nonprofit in Downtown Boston. 

She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Management and Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell as well as two Master’s degrees in Education from Cambridge College and the American College of Education, respectively. 

Bonnie shared, "I am passionate about helping others by providing educational and economic opportunities and resources which will create sustainable stability and success for themselves, their families, and the community." 

The Financial Education Center is currently promoting America Saves Week, February 22 - 26, 2021.

Since 2007, America Saves Week has been an annual celebration as well as a call to action for everyday Americans to commit to saving successfully. Through the support of thousands of participating organizations, together we encourage our local communities to do a ‘gut-check’ on their finances and saving behaviors. The America Saves pledge is the framework that allows savers to set a goal and make a plan to achieve better financial stability.

During the week, the focus is on the following themes:

  • Save Automatically
  • Save for the Unexpected
  • Save to Retire
  • Save by Reducing Debt
  • Save as a Family

The Entrepreneurship Center at Community Teamwork Hires Popular Local Business Owner,
Ani Vong
The Entrepreneurship Center at Community Teamwork Inc., a Lowell-based group that teaches entrepreneurship and financial skills to local business owners, has hired Ani Vong, owner of Humanity Boutique in Lowell.

Vong, a Khmer American woman, will help manage $650,000 in funding as the Specialized Technical Assistance Team’s (STAT) Program Coordinator. “The Entrepreneurship Center @CTI, with its mission and all that it has accomplished in support of small businesses and the local economy, is an organization I see myself growing with, and with my experience I can help further their mission,” Vong said. “I am passionate about supporting others on their entrepreneurial journey.”

The funding Vong will manage comes from a variety of sources, including a highly competitive Small Business Administration (SBA) PRIME grant.

As the STAT Program Coordinator at the Entrepreneurship Center, Vong will provide culturally and language competent consulting to underserved restaurants and retailers across Lowell, focusing in Cambodia Town, The Acre, Downtown and Back Central. The Entrepreneurship Center at Community Teamwork will work with local partners to identify consultants, including the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association (CMAA), Coalition for a Better Acre (CBA), Working Cities Challenge, African Community Center of Lowell (ACCL), Portuguese American Center, the LatinX Community Center for Empowerment and others.

The goal of the STAT team is to work with the business owner to resolve current business challenges and to help them achieve future business goals.


Thank you to our Partners who help Community Teamwork fulfill our mission each and every day.

We appreciate your continued generosity.

WILLIAM MANNING







GEORGE DUNCAN
BPB REALTY
EFTHEMIA POULAKOS DRAGON
MARINA SCHELL - SCHELL REVOCABLE TRUST
DON WASHBURN
CONNIE MARTIN - LOWELL SCHOOL COMMITTEE
There are ALWAYS Ways to Help
If you find yourself in a position to help, your contribution will aid our efforts on every front as we work together to defeat COVID-19, care for our clients and families in their hour of greatest need, and emerge stronger than ever. 

To make a donation to help Community Teamwork fulfill its mission, please

COMMUNITY TEAMWORK
978-459.0551 |