City Council Hears Plans Tonight for Distributing Haverhill Youth Activities and Mental Health Grants

Haverhill City Hall. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill city councilors tonight hear plans for distributing $750,000 to various groups to help address, what is being called, “the educational, social, physical well-being, substance abuse and mental needs of Haverhill’s youth that have been impacted by the pandemic.”

Councilors recently requested details on what will be the second year the city has offered grants for youth activities and mental health. Two-thirds of the money comes from federal American Rescue Plan Act COVID-19 aid, while the remainder comes from cannabis fees and a national opioids settlement.

A city consultant, Anser Advisory, reports in a presentation provided to the City Council that the intention is to use at least a third of the money to provide “direct mental health and substance abuse counseling and services.”

Those eligible to apply for grants are businesses, nonprofits, civic groups, education providers and others. Applications will be accepted online or via hard copies between Wednesday, March 1, and Friday, April 14, with follow-up agreements expected to be issued during May and June. Anser Advisory is a national firm with a Boston office.

A priority is being placed on programs centered on youth in families earning less than 65% of area median income. Those served by programs must live in Haverhill.

In other business, Councilors Catherine P. Rogers, Melinda E. Barrett and Thomas J. Sullivan are asking for an update on a promised study of the Haverhill Fire Department by an outside consultant.  Councilors will also hear from residents and businesses concerned about ongoing dog waste problems downtown.

The Haverhill City Council meets tonight at 7, 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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