Haverhill Distributes $750,000 in Youth Activities and Mental Health Grants; Aim to Provide Opportunities

Retired U.S. Army Lt. General John D. “Jack” Gardner speaks before Haverhill City Council in 2019. (WHAV News file photograph.)

As part of its mission, WHAV provides information and resources targeting health and wellness, food insecurity, after-school programs, education and housing to residents of Greater Haverhill and the Merrimack Valley. To submit news of events, fundraising appeals and other announcements, click on the image.

A jobs program aimed at matching students with living wage careers, reading, career development with a senior housing developer, camperships, mentoring, sports and other youth activities are sharing in $750,000 from the city’s second year of Youth Activities and Mental Health Grants.

As WHAV previously reported, applicants were solicited this spring to apply for grants—$500,000 coming from the federal American Rescue Plan Act and $250,000 from cannabis fees and a national opioids settlement.

“The social and educational isolation of the COVID years imposed a terrible burden on our kids,” Mayor James J. Fiorentini said. “This funding is a chance to do some very meaningful and necessary things to improve the lives of our children and teens.”

The goal of the fund is to support youth activities and youth who traditionally lack similar opportunities as children from more affluent families. Low-income and minority children, and groups that support them, were given priority among applicants. Participation fees, uniforms, equipment, summer camps and other expenses such as transportation are among eligible expenses.

The single largest grant, $75,000, went to the 21st Century Jobskills Project conceived by retired Army Lt. General John D. “Jack” Gardner of Alexandria, Va. The program helps student identify a career and career plan development to achieve a “true living wage job.” Next up, Mount Washington-based Somebody Cares New England was awarded $55,000 to address “social-emotional wellness and practical life skills, in addition to physical development through sports.”

Former mayoral Chief of Staff Allison Heartquist, now director of Gardner’s HP3—Haverhill-Public Private Partnership, served as chair of the group evaluating grant requests. According to Fiorentini Communications Director Shawn Regan, Heartquist and any other committee members with a potential conflicts of interest, did not participate in discussions of those applications.

Another large grant, $54,000, was awarded to Bethany Community Services for a Youth Career Development program in partnership with the city’s Gateway Academy. It introduces 17 students to careers in senior housing.

Haverhill Promise, focused on increasing grade-level reading by the third grade received more than $20,000 for its “Book Buddies” and “Upstart” programs.

ARPA manager Kathleen Lambert City was responsible for making sure payments were ready for recipients by the end of the June. Lambert, along with the city’s ARPA consultant, Anser Advisory, and additional city staff worked with applicants navigating the online application process and federally required paperwork.

A complete list of grant awards appears below.

21st Century Jobskills Project$75,000
Somebody Cares New England$55,000
Bethany Community Services$54,000
YMCA of the North Shore$52,162
Leaving The Streets Ministries$50,000
Haverhill Hammers Youth Wrestling$30,000
Urban Village Montessori$29,500
Creative Haverhill Inc. (Industry Workforce Exposure)$25,000
Riverside-Bradford Baseball League$25,000
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Haverhill (Campership)$24,000
All Saints Parish$22,500
Haverhill Public Schools (Premier Martial Arts)$21,792
Haverhill Downtown Boxing$20,000
Whittier Middle School PTO$20,000
Elliot Community Human Services (The NAN Project)$20,000
Haverhill Public Schools (Girls Empowered Means Success “GEMS”)$16,700
Haverhill Public Schools (GRIT)$16,230
Haverhill Promise Upstart$15,000
YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts$14,456
Haverhill Public Schools (Mr. K’s Auto School)$13,500
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Haverhill (Music Program)$10,000
Haverhill Public Schools Wellness Committee$10,000
Presidential Gardens Neighborhood Association$9,000
Ruth House$9,000
The Salvation Army$8,625
Haverhill Promise Book Buddies$8,185
Dawns Here Health & Wellness$7,750
Urban Bridges$6,965
Bradford Swim Club (Swim Lessons)$6,000
Elizabeth Rose Palma Polvere$6,000
Haverhill Parents Athletic League (Haverhill Youth Soccer)$5,075
Creative Haverhill (Murals Project)$5,000
Haverhill Public Schools (Cedardale Health Center)$5,000
Bradford Swim Club (Lifeguard Training)$4,900
Creative Haverhill Inc. Craftism Class)$3,000
Creative Haverhill Inc. Tis The Season To Give Tree)$1,720
Creative Haverhill Inc. (Mas Fuertes Unidos)$1,600

Comments are closed.