Haverhill Council to Hear Plans for Distributing Youth Activities and Mental Health Grants

George Moriarty previously served as executive director of workforce development and corporate relations at Northern Essex Community College. (Courtesy photograph.)

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

The fruits of last summer’s Haverhill city budget compromise are scheduled to be discussed Tuesday night when city councilors invite nonprofits to apply for Youth Activities and Mental Health grants.

On the last day of June last year, the City Council approved the half-million-dollar fund after then-President Melinda E. Barrett negotiated with Mayor James J. Fiorentini. The arrangement, using money from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, also allowed the city’s $217 million spending plan to take effect the next day.

Councilors originally defeated the mayor’s budget by a vote of 5-4 last year when the two sides were unable to agree on establishing the fund and how the city would pay for it. At first, Barrett urged the mayor to commit all cannabis money to the revolving fund, saying “You’re really close. We’re not asking for millions.”

George Moriarty, chairman of the mayor’s Youth Activity and Mental Health Advisory Committee, is expected to detail for councilors how groups may apply for the money. Councilors and the mayor previously committed to using $42,000 to pay for youth risk surveys through the schools and $50,000 for retired U.S. Army Lt. General Jack Gardner’s Haverhill Public-Private Partnership, known as HP3 for short.

According to the city’s solicitation notice, the Youth Activities and Mental Health initiative seeks to “counteract the devastating effects of isolation experienced by youth, due to the pandemic and due to disparities in family income and other barriers that limit access to activities; promote youth’s social, educational, developmental and personal well-being and improve mental health.; and ensure equitable access for all youth, especially low income and minority youth who traditionally have lacked access to a broad range of youth development activities.”

Those seeking grants may email mayoral Chief of Staff Allison Heartquist at [email protected] with Youth Activity Application written in subject line.

The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m. remotely and in-person at the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., As a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to carry the meeting live.

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