Keith Boucher of Urban Kindness. (WHAV News photograph.)
Mount Washington residents have a chance this fall to talk about what it is “really like” to live in Haverhill.
The focus groups, “Let’s Get Real Life Talks,” invites neighbors to share information at one of three meetings—either Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 11 a.m.; Friday, Oct. 6, at 5:30 p.m.; or Saturday, Oct. 7, at 9:30 a.m. Keith Boucher of Mount Washington’s Urban Kindness neighborhood group explains the goals.
“Tell us what it is they need, what they’re looking for, how we can make things better for them and kind of bring that back to the governance committee for the Mount Washington Alliance,” he said.
The Mount Washington Alliance, comprised of governmental, non-profit and private organizations, represented Haverhill in 2015 the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s “Working Cities Challenge.” It received $475,000 over three years—one of five groups to be awarded a grant. Money and related technical assistance is being used to “improve employment, education and an array of neighborhood conditions including housing, health and safety,” according to the federal reserve.
Boucher talked to interested residents last week at the National Night Out event, sponsored by Haverhill Police, at Swasey Field. He explained outside groups can’t possibly know what neighbors need.
“Obviously, if you don’t live in Mount Washington, you don’t know what we need. So, what we need to do is get more people involved—people that live in the neighborhood—and tell us what it is they need and how we can positively impact that.”
Boucher explained the role of the neighborhood group. “Urban Kindness works with the Mount Washington Alliance. Mount Washington Alliance does a great job of bringing all of the agencies together. Urban Kindness tries to be more on-the-ground with the residents and bring people together that way.”
Focus group participants will receive a $10 gift card if they remain for an entire meeting. Groups meet at Rehoboth Church, 409 Washington St.