Haverhill’s Working Cities Team.
Haverhill’s Mount Washington Neighborhood will benefit from a $475,000 Working Cities Challenge grant aimed at closing a “social and economic opportunity gap” between it and the rest of the city.
A new group, called Mount Washington Alliance, comprised of governmental, non-profit and private organizations, represented Haverhill, and helped the city become one of five to be awarded a grant Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The premise behind the grant, as WHAV first reported last November, is groups that “work together” have a better chance of reducing poverty and achieving other goals.
“I want to congratulate the winners of the Working Cities Challenge. Collaborative leadership is at the heart of this competition, and these five cities demonstrated significant capacity to reach across sectors and advance efforts on behalf of low-income residents in their communities,” said Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren. “I look forward to following the progress in the communities in the coming months and years.”
Besides Haverhill, other cities receiving $475,000 grants over three years are Lowell, Pittsfield, Springfield and Worcester. Last fall, the cities were among 10 in Massachusetts to receive $15,000 each to strengthen their bids in the competition.
Mount Washington Alliance will use the money and related technical assistance to “improve employment, education and an array of neighborhood conditions including housing, health and safety. Residents will play a prominent role in shaping and evaluating the work of this Alliance,” according to the federal reserve.
The alliance was said to be composed of residents of Mount Washington, mayor’s office, Haverhill Public Schools, Rehoboth Lighthouse Full Gospel Church, Northern Essex Community College, Fantini Baking Company, Community Action, Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board, Merrimack Valley Music and Arts, Team Haverhill, Mann Consulting, Haverhill Bank, Pentucket Bank, POSE, Urban Kindness, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, Emmaus, Veterans Northeast Outreach Center, St. James Church, Jaffarian Toyota, Tilton Elementary School, Haverhill YMCA, Girls Inc., Haverhill City Council, and Massachusetts 2020, a statewide educational group.
“Together with our partners in the private, philanthropic and non-profit sectors, we are proud to leverage greater resources to support and prepare communities for success,” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. “The Working Cities Challenge elevates local leadership, amplifying solutions from the community level to increase cross-sector collaboration and improve economic outcomes for low-income residents.”
Mount Washington is defined as a two-square-mile area near the top of Washington Street. It has about 11,000 residents. It includes Swasey Field—scene of a double-shooting last month between purported rival gang members. A 16-year-old was charged with the crime that left two people with non-life-threatening injuries.
Grant money comes from a consortium of partners including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Barr Foundation, the Smith Family Foundation and Living Cities. The winners of the competition were selected by an independent jury that does not include the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
A celebration of these five cities’ initiatives takes place July 18 in Boston.