Brittany Campbell
For Brittany Campbell, Community Teamwork Inc. (CTI) -- the Lowell-based anti-poverty agency -- has consistently been there for her through all her times of need.

The organization was there when she was going through a rough financial period and needed rental assistance to avoid eviction. It was able to help provide her with child care for her first born son through its Head Start program when Campbell needed to work. "CTI has been my backbone for so many years," she says.

Recovery Act Impact: Community Teamwork Inc.

  • Head Start/Early Head Start Expansion: $2.1M

  • Child Care Development Fund: $163K

  • Community Services Block Grant: $824K

Since graduating from high school, Campbell has worked first at a bank and then at CVS but when she saw a job opening as a program assistant in the WIC department she jumped on it. The job was to help pregnant woman, mothers and children get access to free nutritional information and here, Campbell says, was her opportunity to give back.

Ironically, shortly after Campbell got the job at CTI, she discovered she was

photo: Brittany Campbell and Family
pregnant. Campbell told Emily Proctor, the director of the WIC program at CTI. "This is what we do here. We help women and children," Campbell says Proctor told her. But Campbell was most concerned over her her ability to get affordable childcare and return to work after she had her baby.

"I didn't want to lose my job but I couldn't work without childcare," says Campbell.

Julie Salois, CTI's associate executive director of its Child and Family Services division, was worried also. The Head Start program was struggling thanks to the recession. "This past October, we were $250,000 in the hole," says Salois.

She was forced to tell Campbell that without additional funding the program could not accept more children But there was a ray of hope: She told Campbell the agency had just applied for a stimulus grant.

A short while later CTI's Early Learning Center learned it had received a total of $1.3 million in Recovery Act awards for its Head Start program. "The stimulus funds saved our division," says Salois.

What this meant for Campbell was priceless: Her daughter would get a child care placement and she could keep her job.

Brittany Campbell with Ramesh Advani and CTI clients
"I would have had to leave if I didn't get the childcare," says Campbell. "If CTI didn't get the stimulus money I would not have my job and I don't know where I would be. I can go to bed at night knowing I can go to work and support my family."

Campbell is now applying for another position at CTI, as a client services specialist. The position involves directing people to utilize services that are available to them and helping them to become more self sufficient. Campbell also plans on returning to school this coming September at Middlesex Community College where she will major in human services.

"All I want to do now is help people," she says.