January 27, 2021

Dear Friends,

There is always light . . . what beautiful words we heard from the nation's Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, on Inauguration Day. In these trying times for so many, we remember there is light and goodness in the world, and we strive at Community Teamwork to be the light for those in our community experiencing hardship, to offer hope and assistance where ever possible.

As the year begins, our staff continues to respond to ever increasing needs. Our Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program (ERMA) and Rental Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Program are processing four times the volume of normal applications each week. Our Fuel Assistance Program (LIHEAP) continues to outreach and work to keep people warm this winter. Early Education Staff and Childcare Providers are busy serving more than 100 children in multiple safe locations, while adhering to strict COVID protocols. Youth Services and our Division of Housing and Homelessness continue to work to house and care for those most needy, and our Financial Education Center is getting ready to provide vital tax preparation through our VITA program.

Information on these and other programs can be found below and also on our website at www.commteam.org or, for immediate assistance, please call 978-459-0551.

We remain so grateful to many of you who have donated, volunteered, purchased raffle tickets or Sponsored the recent Mayor's Holiday Fest. Your generosity allows us to continue to fulfill our mission; we could not do it without you. You continue to be our "light".
We wish you continued health,
Karen Frederick, CEO
Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA)
AND Rental Assistance for Families in Transiton (RAFT) Application Update as of December 15, 2020

Community Teamwork is pleased to offer new financial assistance programs for our 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.

In order to be eligible for ERMA, a household must:

Please click here for our flyer: RAFT/ERMA_Flyer AND Dec 15th Update - ENGLISH
For more information, visit: www.commteam.org/covid-erma

Since July 1, 2020, Community Teamwork has provided more than $3.5M in Rental or Mortgage aAssistance to more than 1200 households, representing 2990 individuals. To assist in processing this volume of applications, an additional 13 Case and Housing Managers have been hired since September alone, with 9 more staff in the pipeline to be hired.

Community Teamwork is experiencing a huge influx of applications submitted through COGNITO. As of December 15th, there are 4863 applications in process. Applicants can expect to receive a notification from Community Teamwork within 3 – 5 weeks after completing their COGNITO application. Many times, delays in processing applications result from incomplete applications – meaning, Community Teamwork does not have all the necessary information to process an application. 

In order to insure COGNITO applications are complete, please be prepared to provide the following information as part of your application:

  1. Identification for Head of Household (examples: photo ID, license, birth certificate, passport)
  2. Documentation of current housing and primary residence (examples include: lease, tenancy at will agreement, mortgage statement)· Documentation of eligible housing crisis (examples include but are not limited to: notice of arrears (unpaid rent), court summons, letter from host family if doubled up, utility shut off)
  3. W-9 from payee (landlord, moving company etc.)
  4. Proof of ownership from property owner if funds to be used to pay property owner
  5. Verification of amount owed or due for any funds being covered

And please remember to hit the SUBMIT Button. You will know you have submitted your application correctly if you receive an email soon after from COGNITO thanking you for your application.

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: ERMA

Landlord Applications:
Fuel Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Energy Conservation Programs

Do you need help keeping warm this winter? Y​our family ​may qualify for payments towards  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 through our Fuel Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Energy Conservation Programs. ​

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

For more information, visit www.commteam.org/liheap.

Contact our office for maximum gross income amount for families with more than 6 members.

CTI Fuel Assistance serves the following cities and towns: Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Billerica, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Lexington, Lowell, Pepperell, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, Waltham, Watertown, Westford, and Wilmington 

Recently, we mailed out 10,000 applications. Applications for those with heat included in their rent will be mailed out in January. Anyone applying for fuel assistance will be helped on their heating bills for November 1, 2020 - April 30, 2021. You must apply by April 30, 2021.

Call the CTI Fuel Assistance Program at 978-459-6161 today to make an appointment and to learn more.

Fuel assistance applications can also be mailed, emailed (FuelAssistance@commteam.org), faxed (978.458.8594) or dropped in a specially marked mailbox outside the Fuel Assistance office at 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 Monday February 1, 2021 - Saturday April 10, 2021


Community Teamwork, Inc. (CTI)                 MASSCAP    
Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc.   MASSCAP    

Available for Drop Off/Pick Up Later Saturday February 6 - Saturday April 3, 2021
SATURDAYS ONLY - Between 9am and 12am - 17 Kirk Street, Lowell MA 01852
For more information:

Visit www.commteam.org/vita or call 978.941.3702 or email CTIVITACovid@commteam.org
4th Annual Mayor's Holiday Fest Raffle Fundraiser for Homeless Youth
Pictured Left to Right: Frank Heslin, Amanda Mallardo from CTI, State Senator Ed Kennedy, James Ostis, Carl Howell from CTI, John Geer, Mayor John Leahy, and Lucy the Dog
Thank you to ALL of the Mayor's Holiday Fest Committee Members!
In spite of this year’s limitations on social gatherings, Mayor John Leahy did not want 2020 to end without keeping up the Mayor’s Holiday Fest for Homeless Youth tradition begun by Senator Ed Kennedy and former Mayor Bill Samaras. Instead of the usual line-up of local bands, singing and dancing, Mayor Leahy held a fun-filled Raffle instead. With the generosity of our Sponsors and Raffle donors, and the hard work of the Mayor's office and Community Teamwork's Marketing office, we were able raise more than $22,000 for this important cause.

Community Teamwork estimates that there are over 100 young people in Lowell each year who are experiencing homelessness for a variety of reasons, including family conflict and abuse, sexual identity, pregnancy, addiction or mental health issues, contact with the juvenile justice system or aging out of foster care. This at-risk youth population is often overlooked. In response to the need, Community Teamwork’s Youth Services Program has built out the Youth Opportunity Center (YOC), a trauma-informed space at 167 Dutton Street, to provide low barrier services and crisis intervention to homeless and at-risk youth between the ages of 16-24.

Facebook Live Feed 12/22/2020: https://fb.watch/2y6N0tX9Yh/

We thank all those who donated and purchased Raffle Tickets to help make this year a success!

Congratulations to our raffle winners:

  • Guitar Signed by Country Music duo Martin and Kelly, including Prize Pack Winner: Tom Golden
  • A Day of Beauty by Joni’s Makeup and Skincare Boutique Winner: Glenn Goldman (Lowell Five)
  • A Day of Beauty, Haircut and Coloring by Swank Boutique Winner: John Chemaly (Trinity EMS)
  • 1 Free Lenzi’s Famous Chicken Pie per month for 12 months Winner: Kathy & Scott Plath (Cobblestones)
  • Various Iconic Items from Local Radio Station 980 WCAP Winner: Terrence McCarthy (Lowell Sun Charities)
  • Gift basket worth $150 from Red Antler Apothecary at Mill 5 Winner: Eastern Salt
  • Two nights stay at Stonehurst Manor in No. Conway (Compliments of Trinity EMS) Winner: Judith Durant
  • Four Awesomeness is Lowell Board Games: Winners: BPB Realty, Penny Judd, Nancy Donahue, George Duncan (Enterprise Bank)

Thank you to our sponsors

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

We appreciate your continued generosity.


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

978-459.0551 |