Just-A-Newsletter   
Creating Opportunity  |  Strengthening Community  |  Improving Lives
May 2019  
A message from the Executive Director
On any given day, you'll find Just-A-Start staff and community members on job sites, teaching and learning in the classroom, collaborating in City meetings, and so much more. As winter gave way to spring, scaffolding on the side of the Close building indicated the extensive improvements underway for residents while YouthBuild students installed siding on 152 Fifth Street and painted a new front door for the home's future owners. Thanks to a group of JAS's generous corporate partners and neighbors, residents finally returning to 50 York Street were greeted in their new apartments with Welcome Home Baskets filled with apartment essentials. Meanwhile, JAS staff joined hundreds of advocates at MACDC's Lobby Day at the State House to champion the crucial work that CDCs accomplish for their communities.
 
As you can tell, there is no quiet season at Just-A-Start! We remain focused and energized as ever, as we work to create more access to opportunity in Cambridge. Read on for more recent updates, and for invitations to connect with us in person soon.

Sincerely,
Deborah Ruhe
Executive Director

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New Director of Real Estate Development
 
Just-A-Start recently welcomed Noah Sawyer as the organization's new Director of Real Estate Development. Noah comes to JAS from The Community Builders, one of the nation's largest developers of affordable and mixed-income housing, where he worked as Senior Project Manager for more than a decade. Noah will lead the Real Estate Department as JAS continues to preserve affordable housing in Cambridge and identify new opportunities for projects in alignment with JAS's mission. Welcome, Noah!  
Just-A-Start Featured in NBCNews Report
"But now some workforce organizations, researchers and regional civic leaders are pushing back - persuading companies to look beyond academic credentials and to instead hire people based on their skills. A growing number of businesses are listening." Just-A-Start's adult workforce development programs were featured in an NBCNews article about skills-based training and hiring, a model that boosts sustaining career opportunities for workers without a four-year degree while addressing talent gaps for employers. Read on to hear from Faisal Africawala, a 2018 graduate of JAS's Biomedical Careers Program! Click here to read the article.
Newly Released: 2019 Community Investment Tax Credits Allocation
Just-A-Start is pleased to share that it was awarded $200,000 in Community Investment Tax Credits (CITC) by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development for 2019! The CITC program provides a 50% refundable state tax credit to donations of $1,000 or more to JAS. Credits enable donors to double the impact of their contribution, helping JAS to leverage increased support for its programs. Interested in learning more about CITC or becoming a donor? Please contact Kathleen Carney ( kathleencarney@justastart.org) for further information. Thank you, CITC donors!
Squirrelwood Groundbreaking
On May 9, Just-A-Start invited partners, neighbors, residents, and community members to celebrate with a groundbreaking of the Squirrelwood project. The project includes the refinancing and rehabilitation of two existing JAS properties, Linwood Court and Squirrel Brand, as well as the construction of 23 new units. Residents will benefit from energy and accessibility improvements, and a range of unit sizes will allow families to more easily "right-size" their apartments based on their household needs. JAS is excited to provide more opportunities for residents to live safely and affordably in The Port, in partnership with the City of Cambridge and many supporters. 
Introducing: Just-A-Start's Young Professionals Group
Are you curious about volunteering at Just-A-Start? Do you want to meet new friends and neighbors who live and work in Cambridge? Then join JAS's Young Professionals Group! Members will make an impact on the Cambridge community, network with like-minded young professionals from a broad range of industries, and develop and refine skills through their volunteer efforts on events and other projects. Want to be involved? Join us at the Kickoff Meeting on Wednesday, May 29 at 8am! Click here to RSVP.
Event Previews: Save the Date!
You're invited to join JAS for two upcoming celebrations:

Celebration in Honor of Executive Director Deborah Ruhe
May 22, 2019, 6-8pm
Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge

50 York Street Ribbon Cutting
June 27, 2019, 12:00-2:00pm
50 York Street, Cambridge
(Invitation with link to RSVP to follow)