North Shore Community Action Programs Roundtable
It is the anti poverty agencies across the state that are keeping countless people afloat during this rough economic period, offering services, training and, above all, support. North Shore Community Action Programs (NSCAP) is no exception and its stimulus funding of $1.1 million was put to good use to help its growing list of clients make it through the recession and emerge with the ability to sustain themselves.

Recovery Act Impact: NSCAP

  • Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing: $390,239

  • Community Services Block Grant: $545,280

  • Weatherization Assistance Program: $104,000

  • Services for Adult and Youth Dislocated Workers: $76,630

  • Total: $1.1 million

Indeed, according to Beth Hogan, NSCAP's executive director, said that the agency, which services Salem, Peabody, Beverly, Danvers and 25 cities and towns on the North Shore, helped about 16,000 people this year, up 2,000 from two years ago.

Recently, Jeffrey Simon, director of the Massachusetts Recovery & Reinvestment Office, paid a visit to NSCAP at the behest of Governor Deval Patrick, to see firsthand the impact of stimulus funds on this agency.

Hogan noted that the $390K the agency received in Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing funds helped them keep 1200 households from becoming homeless. NSCAP also received $545K as a Community Services Block Grant with which they were able to provide many services including English for Speakers of Other Languages classes, afterschool programs and financial counseling.

North Shore Community Action Programs
The weatherization assistance program received $104K and helped people like Ann and Bob Buttes of Salem who had both lost their jobs and couldn't afford to insulate their cold and drafty old house.

Their contractor, Darren Palm of Salem-based Atlantic Weatherization was able to hire eight new employees thanks to the increase in work.

The agency also received $77K to provide services to adult and youth dislocated workers.

North Shore Community Action Programs Roundtable
One of these programs -- Ready to Work -- provided 64 unemployed clients with training, job readiness skills and financial literacy. Joanne Rosario, a mother of two, attributes her new job to Ready to Work. "They helped me learn to represent myself," she said. That involved learning how to write her resume, a cover letter and interviewing. Rosarion also took a course in the program on learning to use Excel and Microsoft Word, skills she said she needed to get her job.

"They helped me to better myself," she said.

This sentiment was echoed again and again by the participants in the program. "I came in with a good resume and I came out with a better one," said Donna Carr another Ready to Work participant. "I learned about cover letters, follow up thank you letters. I am getting more interviews now."

North Shore Community Action Programs Roundtable

Kevin Levesque heard about Ready to Work when he applied for emergency housing. "I was unemployed, no money and I have two kids I have to take care of," he said. "They gave me a lot of confidence, they helped me put my resume together and build a network. I have gone on informational interviews. I have options now."

Lynda Tully said the program showed her and her fellow participants that quitting is not an option. "We are all proof that when chances are given, great things will happen," she said.