Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant Awards

The Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant Program funds projects and programming located within eligible communities that entail community-driven responses to community-defined economic opportunities.

Table of Contents

FY22 Grant Recipients

Lead Applicant 

City/Town 

Award Amount  

Project Description  

Action for Boston Community Development 

Boston 

$100,000  

The First Steps into Early Childhood Education Careers (First Steps) program prepares low-income Boston residents for high-demand jobs in Early Education and Care (EEC), with starting salaries averaging $17.31. First Steps is designed to enable a diverse population of low-income adults living in Boston, primarily unemployed or underemployed women of color, to enter the essential field of early education. First Steps training responds directly to employer requirements for preschool and infant/toddler teachers in center and home-based facilities. Participants are provided with job readiness training, and industry-standard training for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential-including the Massachusetts EEC StrongStart online curriculum, and the Child Growth and Development college course. ABCD has partnered with Urban College of Boston to help 50 program participants earn credentials that enable them to enter the field of early education. 

Action for Equity 

Boston 

$487,910  

The project strives to provide access to quality jobs for BIPOC along Boston's Fairmount Corridor by gaining access to jobs traditionally held by non-people of color such as the tech industry. The Community Pipeline to Opportunities and Quality Jobs will build on Urban Agenda grant-funded work to expand the number of excluded and disconnected residents connected to opportunities. The goal is to elevate coordinated community leadership to drive the pipeline and communicate that residents have education and skills that are transferable. By strengthening the network of community organizations working together to carry out this work and increasing access to services for returning citizens, employers and experts together will work to develop best practices for hiring people with CORIs and DEI hiring. In this short timeframe, this will contribute to connecting additional residents to quality jobs.   

Agncy 

Boston 

$500,000  

Agncy's pilot program aims to reduce justice system involvement and mitigate the negative impacts of incarceration through education and job training. Build Capacity and strengthen Boston's "Operation Exit" program to increase workforce development programming for those involved in gang violence. The co-design approach shifts power to value the creativity and lived experience of young people. They believe that this will create innovative new solutions while building youth capacity and disrupting old power structures. Agncy seeks to disrupt generational disenfranchisement, inequities in incarceration of Black and Brown youth, and high recidivism rates. Transformational Prison Project (TPP) will be lead collaborator and partner facilitator for the co-design work of this project. The goal is to impact 300 of Boston's most vulnerable and disenfranchised by the justice system. 

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology 

Boston 

$448,855  

The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology's goal through this project is to improve economic mobility through workforce development and entrepreneurship training for systematically excluded residents of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan. During the six-month project period, BFIT will serve at least 100 participants, all of whom will be low-income residents of Dorchester, Roxbury, or Mattapan. Additionally, at least 70% will be people of color and an estimated 25% will be previously incarcerated or in recovery (self-disclosed). 

Black Ministerial Alliance TenPoint 

Boston 

$483,933  

BMA TenPoint and SEED Institute will conduct an innovative design program with and for youth in Boston who have a history of involvement in the juvenile justice system. They will hire 10 youth from the community, providing them with learning opportunities and training that builds their designer, facilitation, and leadership skills. The youth will engage in an intensive co-design process with Boston Medical Center community-based psychiatric and medical clinicians, and youth-serving community organizations. The goal is to break the cradle-to-prison pipeline, design "with" rather than "for" youth, and flip the narrative from young people as the beneficiaries to experts and creators of innovative interventions for their community.  

Boston Uncornered 

Boston 

$50,000  

Boston Uncornered, in coalition with the City of Boston's Office of Workforce Development and others, will provide services to active gang-involved youth and young adults to transition into agents of positive change in their communities. The Uncornered model scaffolds the best practices of mentorship with the proven success of high expectations and financial support in a universal basic income approach to ensure that youth and young adults are able to progress from a past of incarceration to a future of higher education with a goal of unlocking their brilliance and power as positive agents of peace to drive community change.  
They will serve 150 Core Influencers who will be paired with one of eight full-time College Readiness Advisors. Those 150 individuals have an influence on at least 150 others within their networks, resulting in 300 individuals affected. 

CommonWealth Kitchen 

Boston 

$375,000  

CommonWealth Kitchen will organize a Massachusetts Food Show and Summit in May 2022 to showcase diverse restaurants, food trucks, caterers, and product companies. The goal is to help these Boston-area businesses raise their profiles, drive sales and recover from the deep impact of COVID on the food industry. Recruitment will come from CWK extended network of members, graduates and include food trucks, caterers, bakers and restaurants largely based in Boston. The primary target is small, independent businesses, with at least 75% operated by people of color. The show will be paired with a variety of workshops and panel sessions to provide training and professional development to food businesses, plus workshops for community leaders looking to replicate this work and/or be better trained to support food businesses in their community. The Massachusetts Food Summit will create a forum and structure for marketing training, helping businesses secure sales to drive economic recovery, and deepen values-aligned industry connections aimed at strengthening our diverse food business community and meeting a mission of a new food economy grounded in racial, social and economic justice. 

Community Work Services (CWS) 

Boston 

$500,000  

Starting prior to their release, CWS will support the re-employment of currently incarcerated individuals through reintegration services focused on employment re-entry.  CWS will provide 8-week vocational trainings in Commercial Cleaning or Forklift Operations/Customer Service onsite at Suffolk County correctional facilities. Upon release, individuals come to CWS to complete a 2-week job readiness training program. Following job training, individuals will complete a 1-week financial literacy course. Career coaching, job placement, and case management services will also be provided. Upon completion of each training segment, individuals will receive a stipend. This innovative program will seamlessly integrate behind the wall training and post-release job readiness and placement services. Partner Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) will provide legal assistance with Criminal Offender Record information (CORI) related barriers. 

Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation 

Boston 

$407,377  

Boston Workforce & Reentry Coalition's project will create a comprehensive onramp for socially and economically disadvantaged residents and returning citizens in Boston's most underserved neighborhoods so that they can create a gratifying, economically viable, and socially constructive life. Coalition partners Project Place, Tufts MyTERN program, Charlestown Adult Education, and MassHIRE Downtown Boston Career Center/Jewish Vocational Services will work together to create a comprehensive service inventory and inter-agency referral outreach system. Partners will deliver direct services to 592 Boston residents and returning citizens who will receive pre-to-post employment counseling and social, public, and mental health resources and 447 citizens who will participate in training programs to increase growing industry job-qualifying skills. 

Dreamcatcher Initiative 

Boston 

$75,000  

Dreamcatcher Initiative, Inc. will provide three programs for underserved youth ages 15-25 in Boston whose life experiences have been affected by adverse factors, including involvement in the justice system. DreamCutz intervenes in the lives of justice-involved youths and reduces recidivism by promoting entrepreneurship through barbering. POWER (Preparing Our Women for Everyday Readiness) is a series of conversations and workshops in partnership with high schools that help young women address the ebbs and flows of everyday life. Educating Dreamers (E-Dreamers) is a pilot program that will introduce entrepreneurial skills to system-impacted youth with CORIs. 

English for New Bostonians 

Boston 

$500,000  

The Immigrant Economic Recovery & Resilience Initiative (IERRI) will boost economic outcomes for limited English speaking workers and entrepreneurs. IERRI will inject job coaching into Boston's grassroots ESOL system and boost capacity for employment and digital literacy ESOL at 7 agencies in East Boston, Dorchester, Allston, Roxbury. IERRI targets needs identified by ESOL students/staff to prep limited English speakers for business ownership, employment, advancement. 

Family Nurturing Center of Mass. 

Boston 

$112,235  

The established neighborhood collaborative, Bowdoin Geneva Alliance (BGA), will address the social determinants of health within the Bowdoin Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester, an area at disproportionately high risk of criminal legal system involvement and incarceration. The project will support the member agencies of the BGA in their efforts to decrease residents' likelihood of criminal legal system involvement through education, increased access to community resources, and social capital. Support from EOHED will support existing and new programs designed to engage the community, provide nurturing alternatives to gang involvement or incarceration, and connect residents to the resources they need. 

G{Code} 

Boston 

$242,360  

G{Code}'s project serves women and nonbinary people of color interested in the tech sector in Boston. The project's first goal to scale up their introduction-to-tech programming to run four cohorts per year (from two cohorts per year), serving 80+ individuals per year. The project's second goal is to complete the build out of an 1800 square foot tech center and incubation space. There, they hope to serve 14 individuals through the co-living space, with 93% acquiring jobs in tech before transitioning out of the co-living component. With an open concept and empowering design that affirms the presence of communities of color, this space will be home to both their introductory programming and to personal and professional development workshops as well as other events open to the public. The third goal is to cultivate a lasting community that promotes belonging, safety, and personal and professional development for all G{Code} participants and members of the larger Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan neighborhoods. 

Greater Boston Latino Network 

Boston 

$400,000  

Greater Boston Latino Network's College & Career Pathways Initiative will connect 250 young people ages 14-21 from Boston's Latinx community to free year-round holistic career readiness and postsecondary success programming. The Greater Boston Latino Network outlined three main goals: 1) Youth successfully transition to high school and are on-track for high school graduation, 2) Youth experience successful transitions to and persistence in postsecondary education, 3) Youth strengthen social-emotional competencies that supports success in middle and high school and postsecondary educational and professional goals  

Hispanic-American Institute 

Boston 

$350,000  

The Hispanic-American Institute's East Boston-focused project has two primary goals: 1) engage, train and mentor East Boston youth who are vulnerable to dropping out of high school and lack the required skills for employment, and 2) bolster the business capacity, English and technological skills of the immigrant business owners thereby creating employment opportunities for the youth and residents of East Boston. The intensive Summer Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Program, The Dancing Elotes, integrates arts and culture with business education and practical entrepreneurial experience. Up to 20 youth 15–18-year-old Latinx immigrants from East Boston will participate in this project-based learning activity that will run 20 hours per week for 6-weeks. Youth will be trained to run the business from July through November 2022. Partners on this project will be East Boston Chamber of Commerce, Main Streets of East Boston and the Massachusetts Office of Business Development. 

Justice For Housing Inc 

Boston 

$210,000  

Stable Housing and Reintegration Pilot Program (SHARPP) will ensure stable housing for formerly incarcerated BIPOC parents returning to their communities, using Section 8 vouchers provided through a partnership with the Boston Housing Authority. Participants receive comprehensive, peer-led case management and re-entry support, including homeownership education. Upon graduation from SHARPP, participants will have an opportunity to enroll in BHA's Self Sufficiency Program, with a goal of homeownership. This approach builds community assets & stability, addressing economic inequities and re-investing in BIPOC communities targeted by mass incarceration.  

Local Enterprise Assistance Fund 

Boston 

$475,000  

Supporting Equitable Enterprise Development (SEED) is a coordinated approach between a BIPOC-led Boston Community Development Financial  Institution (LEAF), Boston Medical Center, and a non-profit community-based organization, Dudley Neighborhood Initiative. Together they will develop a system to support wealth creation by BIPOC owned small businesses in a severely underserved small business district in Boston: the triangle between Nubian Square, Upham's Corner and Grove Hall districts of Roxbury and Dorchester and adjacent vicinity. This project strives to increase the accessibility of business resources in the community by providing low-cost financing and free of charge technical assistance.  

Louis D. Brown Peace Institute 

Boston 

$128,700  

This Dorchester project will launch an innovative entrepreneurship training program for young people aged 14-22, designed to spark their career visions and motivate them to pursue their goals through academic achievement and practical work experience. Their approach will use a "flipped classroom" model of learning, where instead of classroom lectures and at-home homework and problem solving, video content can be viewed by the participants on their own time, while in-person instruction focuses on problem solving and discussion. Course materials will highlight the experience of MBK617 mentors and leaders who have started their own businesses, as well as mentors from the Fairmount Innovation Lab's network, giving the participants many real examples of Black and POC entrepreneurs from their own community to look to for mentoring and inspiration.   

Louis D. Brown Peace Institute 

Boston 

$157,192  

The Community Reentry Services Program is a three-year comprehensive program that specifically targets high recidivism and aims to provide guidance, mentorship, resources, mental and emotional health services, and training to prisoners from Massachusetts Houses of Correction. With an initial focus on Suffolk and Plymouth Houses of Correction, the program assists these individuals in returning to society, preventing recidivism and keeping them out of prison, and building a life they feel is worth living. Nine men are currently enrolled in CRSP, 12 more will enroll in 2022, and 15 more in 2023. 

Massachusetts Community Action Network 

Boston 

$100,000  

Massachusetts Community Action Network's Greater Boston Re-entry Task Force Project will bring together many organizations to create two reentry resource fairs and a reentry summit and thereby expand workforce development and supportive services resources for assisting returning citizens with a successful transition back to the community.  

Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce 

Boston 

$1,000,000  

The Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce (MALGBTCC), the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA), and Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) have long been champions of justice in the Commonwealth. The proposed program will run from January to June of 2022 and service Boston and Easthampton. MALGBTCC, BECMA and LCR will work with existing community partners to widen the reach to 2000 more Black, Brown and LGBTQ+ businesses and individuals who will engage in their services and programs, strengthen 250 Black, Brown, and LGBTQ businesses, and work with a subset of 250 of these individuals with one-on-one coaching. They will also launch a pilot re-entry program in collaboration with the MA Department of Correction, Pink and Black, the City of Boston, the city of Easthampton and the Suffolk County District Attorney.  

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition 

Boston 

$100,000  

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition's Trans Leadership Academy strives to create a new generation of intersectional and multigenerational transgender leaders, work to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline for transgender individuals, and create new opportunities for transgender individuals in employment and education. The primary means to accomplish these goals are workforce development, community support, mentoring and training, and material and financial support. MTPC will host virtual focus groups and informational sessions throughout MA with members of the trans community who are BIPOC, system-impacted, or returning from incarceration to learn more about specific areas of interest and workforce development needs. The second phase will focus on program development. MTPC, the MA Transgender Emergency Fund, and Black and Pink will recruit a cohort of community members to develop a curriculum based on the information gathered from the focus groups. The final phase focuses on participant recruitment and program launch. 

Maverick Landing Community Services 

Boston 

$103,460  

Maverick Landing Community Services will lead this workforce development project to support digital literacy, job seeking, coaching and emotional support for adults who have been impacted by trauma due to former incarceration, multi-generational complex poverty trauma, or trauma that has resulted from immigration, adaptation, and previous worker exploitation. MLCS has been working with lead partners the Mutual Aid Eastie (MAE), the Transformational Prison Project (TPP), and the EBNHC Neighborhood Trauma Team (NTT) since the onset of the pandemic to provide supportive services in the form of housing and food assistance and support coordination of monthly peace circles led by the TPP and the NTT. 

MissionSAFE: A New Beginning 

Boston 

$500,000  

MissionSAFE: 6-month pilot program will offer a wraparound, life changing work with 24 formerly incarcerated and court-involved individuals between the ages of 18-24. By the end of their intensive six months, participants will have a job, apprenticeship or be placed in an advanced job training situation. They will become used to contributing to their communities, and being in healthy relationships with those they care about. If successful, this model will become a pipeline for ongoing, systemic collaboration among community partners and collaborators, customized around assessment of individual and community strengths, needs and improvement activities.  

More Than Words 

Boston 

$492,531  

More Than Words's Job Training and Education Pathways program will support young people between the ages of  16 and 24 in Boston with previous justice system involvement and those at high risk of future involvement due to homelessness, foster care involvement, or other risk factors. MTW, X-Cel Education, DUET, NECAT, and the City of Boston will collaborate to provide the job training, case management, career coaching, warm hand-offs, and supportive relationships our youth need to continue making progress in education, work, and life. The partnership will support 95% of youth to earn or be on track to earn their high school credential, 75% to be working, and 55% of currently justice-involved youth to have no involvement with the criminal justice system upon completion of programming. 

New Beginnings Reentry Services, Inc. 

Boston 

$700,000  

This pilot program New Beginnings "In-Reach" and Outreach" Project will provide the opportunity for community-based reentry services agency to meet with 30 incarcerated women in MCI Framingham before their release. The project includes informal informational sessions to educate clients about post-release services, including formal interviews to determine acceptance of clients into programs before release, and the provision of programming in the jail.  

Partakers, Inc. 

Boston 

$75,000  

The Partakers Empowerment Program, in partnership with Brandeis University's Educational Justice Initiative (BEDJI) is working with cohorts of recently released women and men in Boston, offering a 12-week program of six workshops in life skills such as technology (computer literacy) personal financial literacy, civic re-engagement, self-care, professional skills (job hunting, resume writing, workplace etiquette, etc.), along with stipends for clothing, transportation, and basic household necessities. Referrals to appropriate social service and government agencies are also provided. The goal of the project is to ease the transition from life "inside" a prison to life "outside," and thereby eliminate or minimize recidivism among those who participate in the Partakers Empowerment Program.  

STRIVE Boston 

Boston 

$250,930  

STRIVE's project, The Next Step, will target over 100 unemployed/underemployed residents of Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury to assess their employment/advancement needs and directly link them with STRIVE services and or JVS coaching. For those re-entering the workforce, STRIVE will provide job readiness training, wraparound support and linkage to jobs or further training leading to a credential.  

The People's Academy 

Boston 

$803,966  

The People's Academy - Training to Work to Live program will collaborate with Pacc Global and MissionSafe to train, provide employment, and address all issues mentally and physically. The project will target 20 high risk individuals from ages 16-30 that live in Brockton, Dorchester and Roxbury. They will gain training in a pre-apprenticeship program with opportunities for employment, community members and gain resources to address their physical and mental health, and participate in a mentorship program that will add on to a lifetime level of success.  

The Transgender Emergency Fund of Mass. 

Boston 

$277,922  

The Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts will launch a pilot program to house 4-6 individuals and provide them with wrap-around services for up to a year. TEF will partner with organizations like Black and Pink MA and the MA Chamber of Commerce to provide culturally competent services including financial aid for essential items, hormone treatment, transportation to medical appointments, support groups and individual counseling. By the end of this program, TEF will secure each tenant meaningful employment and permanent housing to enable them to live independent lives.  

Transformational Prison Project 

Boston 

$399,197  

The "Community Healing through Restorative Justice" coalition will provide jobs and support to five formerly incarcerated, system-impacted "Fellows" and engage Fellows to provide Restorative Justice programming to encourage community mental health and healing. The coalition will support neighborhoods of Boston, Charlestown, East Boston and Roxbury.  

Urban League of Eastern Mass. 

Boston 

$100,000  

Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts' MSIMBO Coding Academy is a full stack coding program that is provided free to adult students who qualify as low-income and live in the Roxbury community. It focuses on attracting black and brown students that have an interest in and aptitude for careers in IT. MSIMBO consists of 20 weeks of full time, 5 days a week intensive coding training. Along with job search training, such as resume writing & interviewing skills. Each student will be assigned with job placement counseling that extends 60 days after hiring. 

We Are Better Together Warren Daniel Hairston Project 

Boston 

$321,000  

We Are Better Together's pilot program will reduce recidivism by providing prevention workshops for young women, along with capacity building of caregivers training. With the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute and the BPHC Neighborhood Trauma Team, they will deliver a holistic program for Boston families to alleviate the challenges and obstacles within families of re-entering children. They will provide support and guidance specific to avoid re-entry into the justice system. Three cohorts for caregivers and youth will be trained and there will be a final retreat with intense mentoring, counseling, and coaching.  

YouthBuild Boston 

Boston 

$185,000  

YouthBuild Boston operates two vocational training programs with goals of getting young people in the greater Boston area employed in careers in the Build Trades: The Building Trades Exploration Program & the Pre-Apprentice Program. Construction companies in Boston are looking to fill an ever-growing number of open positions in the industry with a young, diverse workforce that facilitates their compliance with The Boston Plan. YBB provides training that helps to fill this skill and demographic gap in the construction industry in Boston, this grant funding will allow YBB to improve and expand upon these two programs. 

ZUMIX 

Boston 

$500,000  

ZUMIX is committed to empowering young people through artistic expression, academic support, and creative workforce development so that young people can stay and thrive in the neighborhood. Working with East Boston High School and Eastie Farm, ZUMIX will build new connections between young people and leverage shared cultural spaces to provide creative and green jobs. The goal is to expand young people's economic opportunities and welcome a more sustainable, entrepreneurial, and connected East Boston. 

Brockton Interfaith Community 

Brockton 

$318,003  

Brockton Interfaith Community – Brockton's Community-Owned Enterprise Initiative for Equitable Growth would create a template for community wealth building over the long-term, through the development of cooperative enterprises. By launching cooperatives in affordable housing and construction, the pilot program would address some of the most pressing economic issues in Brockton, such as housing insecurity, a lack of jobs with dignity, and numerous buildings in need of replacement or repair.  

Chelsea Business Foundation 

Chelsea 

$500,000  

Chelsea Business Foundation, INC proposes three strategies to mitigate covid effects, and to help Latino and small businesses in Chelsea to recover, grow, and advance. Inflation Mitigation will provide 10-15 qualifying businesses with financial assistance on high inflation items to buffer the financial risk. Digital Empowerment consist of developing the "Chispa BizLab-VR Portal," where businesses will have access to resources, such as, recapturing pre-covid customers, expending to broader markets, and business model shift to incorporate a robust digital strategy. Lastly, one on one technical assistance in key areas to allow businesses to focus on their core business needs. 

HarborCOV 

Chelsea 

$369,651  

HarborCOV's partnership with Chelsea Legal Services (CLS) will provide responsive, survivor-informed legal representation for survivors of domestic violence experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The participants of this project will be survivors of domestic violence living in Chelsea. These survivors are often impacted by disproportionate barriers to stable housing due to poverty and abuse, housing discrimination, past criminal justice involvement, safety concerns, eviction history, and employment and workforce challenges.  

Hispanic-American Institute 

Chelsea 

$354,450  

The Hispanic-American Institute's Minority Enterprise Center will engage existing and new businesses in downtown Chelsea, including up to 8 restaurant owners, 4 retail clothing and discount stores, 6 supermarket owners, 4 beauty salons and barber shops, 4 multiservice agencies and 4 emerging businesses. One-on-one counseling sessions will be held, with up to 10 to 20 hours of counseling services provided by the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce members. The multiplier effect of this project will consist of attracting new visitors to Chelsea's downtown, particularly from the new hotels and large enterprises that surround the Broadway business district. The project aims to increase customer traffic to the downtown by 15% to 25%. 

La Colaborativa 

Chelsea 

$700,735  

La Colaborativa and the Good Jobs Coalition supports Chelsea residents aspiring to secure jobs with livable wages, benefits, and viable pathways out of poverty and beyond the criminal justice system. Through training and mentoring along with opportunities for internship and apprenticeships, program participants will have the ability to build a better financial future. The Coalition's project includes piloting a new program, creating a strategic plan, and expanding their existing services to reach more people in need. Among the project's broad plans are having 18 youth complete 24 weeks of job readiness and be placed in paid internships and 200 adults receive workforce development training, among many others. 

MassNOW 

Fall River 

$149,410  

The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women (MassNOW) pilot program will provide free menstrual products in Fall River schools, shelters and community centers. By launching Period Pop Ups to distribute products for free where community members can easily access free menstrual products and other hygiene items. 18-25 peer leaders will manage the pop ups, facilitate menstrual education workshops at community sites, and build leadership skills. These leaders will be at risk young adults recruited from youth serving organizations.  

Fitchburg State University 

Fitchburg 

$417,270  

ReImagine North of Main (RNOM) will build on its successful revitalization partnership in Fitchburg with the City of Fitchburg, Fitchburg State University, NewVue Communities CDC, Fitchburg Art Museum, the North Central Massachusetts Development Corp. (NCMDC), and the MDFA TDI Partnership to reach the ever-growing Small Business ecosystem in Fitchburg. The partners will focus on 1) Small Business & Entrepreneurship Development, and 2) Neighborhood & Commercial District Vibrancy as part of Fitchburg's growing arts and culture economy in one of the most diverse, yet distressed, neighborhoods in North Central Massachusetts 

South Middlesex Opportunity Council 

Framingham 

$50,266  

South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. seeks funding for a Re-entry Specialist at the Common Ground Resource Center (CGRC) in downtown Framingham. The Specialist will support 25-30 individuals re-entering society after involvement with the criminal justice system, help reduce the losses they faced during this time, and ultimately prevent future criminal justice system involvement.  

Stone Soup Cafe 

Greenfield 

$300,000  

Stone Soup Café operates as a Pay-What-You-Can Café, a socio-entrepreneurial model that invites all members of the community to dine in. All meals are free and store goods are available at no charge. Guests can contribute what they choose for their meals into a donation box. With funding, the Stone Soup Café will continue current operations as well as create a curriculum for a formal culinary arts institute. The institute will provide hands-on training and course work that enables the successful participant the opportunity to earn a nationally recognized kitchen manager certification.  

Enlace de Familias de Holyoke 

Holyoke 

$451,427  

Enlace de Familias de Holyoke Inc. aims to provide training opportunities and support that will advance equity and increase economic success for a historically underrepresented population. Coalition members Enlace de Familias, Holyoke Public Schools, MassHire Holyoke and Eforall will work with youth who have dropped out of school, who are at risk of dropping out, or who are out of school and unemployed, as well as reaching out to younger youth of middle school age. The program will serve downtown neighborhoods of Holyoke (Wards 1-4). 

Lawrence Family Development 

Lawrence 

$260,000  

Lawrence Family Development's Gang Resistance Intervention Team uses organized drop in basketball programming to target high risk boys and girls living in Lawrence. In partnership with LFD's SISU program and the Suenos Basketball program, GRIT provides life skills, leadership, and social emotional supports as well as targeted academic assistance and parent outreach for young people ages 12-16.  

Lowell Community Loan Fund 

Lawrence 

$500,000  

Lowell Community Loan Fund/MCCI is advancing the work of four small Lawrence based business development organizations, Mill Cities Community Investments, EparaTodos Lawrence, TLE Center for Urban Entrepreneurship, and community-based social services partners. They work with historically underserved and under resourced communities, including communities of color, very low income, immigrant, and formerly incarcerated populations. The coalition expects to train, educate, support, and finance over 100 community members seeking to pursue an entrepreneurship path, and to remove the barriers in their way. This project recognizes that small business ownership and its wealth creation potential have the power to help close the wealth gap and disparities.  

Troubled Waters 

Lowell 

$352,000  

Troubled Waters/The Bridge Club of Greater Lowell's proposed project will leverage and expand existing partnerships with the Middlesex County's District Attorney's Office, the Middlesex Sheriff's Office, local employers, and other key stakeholders, to provide employment opportunities, addiction and recovery related support, access to housing, and clothing support, to individuals following a period of incarceration or sentencing to supervised probation. 80 underrepresented individuals will be enrolled over a six-month period, approximately 50% will be post-release from the Middlesex Jail and House of Correction, the remaining 50% under supervised probation out of the Lowell District Court. Participants from minority groups, those with substance use disorders, and unemployed offenders will be prioritized for this opportunity. Key goals include ensuring that at least 90% of participants are gainfully employed within 90 days and that 91.5% of participants do not recidivate or increase their criminal justice involvement.    

UTEC 

Lowell 

$500,000  

UTEC's Circling Home project aims to provide community-driven programming that creates a bridge from confinement into the community for youth returning to Lowell from incarceration, with the goal to reduce recidivism and incarceration. The services are based on evidence-based programming within a developmentally appropriate setting and an established history of collaboration, which includes intensive street outreach to high-impact gang leaders and in reach to youth in correctional facilities, in partnership with local correctional partners. 

Building Audacity 

Lynn 

$100,000  

Building Audacity's On The Grow program will hire and train 50 youth to grow produce using the hydroponic method. Youth will learn how to start a business, develop a product, and work in the Building Audacity mobile pantry to distribute food to 650 low-income families throughout the Greater Boston area. Target participating youth will be from Boston and Lynn, are state involved, court involved, low income, and/or have dropped out of school.  

Positive Action Against Chemical Addiction 

New Bedford 

$200,000  

Positive Action Against Chemical Addiction and the Southcoast Reentry Collaborative Community Empowerment Project's goal is to promote more effective and successful reentry for offenders by establishing and maintaining pre-and post-release mentoring relationships. Key objectives include: 1) establishing the administration of the proposed mentoring program, including the expansion of mentoring strategies and program design, 2) enhancing the Southcoast Reentry Collaborative capacity and system efficiency, 3) promoting cost-effective community-based reentry programming through training, technical assistance, employment, and other strategies, 4) improving outcomes for offenders in the mentoring program by establishing and strengthening collaborative community approaches. 

Merrimack Valley Black and Brown Voices 

North Andover 

$55,000  

The Merrimack Valley Black & Brown Business Advancement project aims to create individual, social, and environmental change so black and brown entrepreneurs and youth living in North Andover can gain financial literacy skills, start or grow their business, and thrive in community.  The project plans to 1) Work in partnership with the North Andover Youth and Recreation Services to offer financial literacy and entrepreneurship building opportunities for BIPOC high school youth, 2) Work in partnership with the Town of North Andover to secure outdoor and indoor spaces for monthly Winter/Spring 2022 Black and Brown Owned Business Markets, 3) Provide BIPOC entrepreneurs in North Andover with opportunities to be a vendor (at no cost) at the Black and Brown Owned Business Markets, 4) Work in partnership with North Andover CAM to launch a media campaign highlighting BIPOC business owners and youth leaders in North 
Andover, 5) Connect BIPOC entrepreneurs with local resources (i.e. utilizing the 
Merrimack Valley Strong database) to help them grow and scale their businesses. 

Berkshire Community College 

Pittsfield 

$240,300  

Berkshire Community College proposes to launch the Second Street Second Chances (SSSC) initiative. A one-stop facility that will offer comprehensive wrap-around support services, case-management, and workforce training opportunities to formerly incarcerated individuals in order to reduce rates of recidivism in Berkshire County. Berkshire Community College in partnership with the Berkshire County House of Correction, and the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office will work together to provide integrated support services that will help to provide the encouragement, motivation, basic life skills, and life-long learning educational opportunities to former inmates as they seek to successfully re-enter their communities as productive citizens.  

Association of Black Business and Professionals 

Springfield 

$293,500  

Association of Black Business and Professionals - Same Sky Venture project will work with black and brown individuals from Springfield who are new and existing entrepreneurs to provide educational, behavioral, and financial resources to start low-risk, low buy-in businesses that will have a vital impact in their communities. Common business models include barber shops/hair and nail salons, landscaping, and cleaning crews. These models are low risk because the start-up capital and ongoing operation expenses are low, increasing the chance of survival. 

EDC 413Works 

Springfield 

$400,000  

EDC 413Works, Inc.'s Springfield WORKS strives to mitigate the negative impacts of incarceration in Springfield by launching a cohort of organizations that represent diverse sectors of the social service and educational community, providing mini-grants, designing, and collecting needs assessment information, and applying this information to address gaps in service delivery to families impacted by incarceration and improve residents' workforce participation. 

Hampden County Deputy Sheriff's Charitable Foundation 

Springfield 

$460,620  

Hampden County Honorary Deputy Association Charitable Foundation Inc. will create a transitional employment program targeting formerly incarcerated individuals, disenfranchised job seekers, and homeless populations. The Foundation will provide daily employment and wages focusing on achieving self-sufficiency through full-time employment. The Foundation, in collaboration with the City of Springfield, Friends of the Homeless, MassHire, Springfield Works and the Hampden County Sheriff's Department, will focus on communities with high rates on incarceration and documented poverty.  

Hispanic-American Institute 

Springfield 

$261,100  

Hispanic-American Institute - The local Springfield Coalition is looking to meet the needs of at-risk youth and minority business owners by supporting language skills, basic computer skills classes, the opportunity to receive a high school diploma equivalency, and providing one-on-one business advisory services. Our approach to helping existing and aspiring entrepreneurs is unique and comprehensive. We have assembled a cross-sectoral team consisting of an experienced bilingual and bi-cultural business consulting team, training. They are "connecting the dots" by creating a comprehensive program that will provide 20 – 25 Latino and minority business owners with youth seeking employment and give business owner participants with knowledge and tools to start or grow their businesses.  

New North Citizens' Council 

Springfield 

$81,493  

New North Citizens' Council (NNCC) Nueva Visión Nuevo Trabajo project will combine the expertise and resources of two existing programs to target formerly incarcerated Black and Latino men in Springfield with their proven service model that increases workforce participation, builds on collaborations with Black and Latino owned businesses, and strengthens families and the neighborhoods where they live. The project will implement comprehensive, evidence-based, re-entry workforce services that are integrated with recovery supports and social services to ensure participants have a pathway to become productive and responsible citizens. To accomplish this NNCC will leverage our current partnerships with Hampden County Correctional Center, workforce and economic development institutions, human services providers network, and neighborhood leaders to provide participants with the services and resources to support them in getting a job and keeping their job. 

Pioneer Valley Workers Center 

Springfield 

$155,000  

Pioneer Valley Workers Center – Creciendo Liderazgo y Poder program aims to train workers in organizing skills to advance workers’ rights, community health, and economic opportunities, and decrease arrests and incarceration. CLP is an eight-part training series offered initially to 20 Springfield Worker Committee members at the Brightwood Baystate Health Center in Springfield, with childcare, meals and a stipend provided.  

Women's Fund of Western Mass. 

Springfield 

$419,875  

Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts's Greater Springfield Women's Economic Security Hub focuses on marginalized and economically disadvantaged women to understand their obstacles to stability. Interconnected determinants (identified by service providers brought together by the Women's Fund) such as internet access, housing, childcare, etc., will be used to survey a sample of women, mostly of color and living at or below the poverty line, to inform a report. The project will also develop paper materials in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese to refer survey participants to local resources to address needs uncovered by the survey. Providers and women interviewed will be compensated for insights.    

Community Action for Safe Alternatives 

Winthrop 

$70,000  

Community Action for Safe Alternatives' Social Justice Action Group is a year-long leadership and advocacy training program in Winthrop that provides young people with an antiracist framework to support the development of tangible advocacy skills in community organizing, social media messaging, and trauma recovery. The Social Justice Action Group synthesized material from various evidence-informed materials to empower young people in Winthrop to create equitable and positive change in their community. 

Black Excellence Academy/Charles Houston Cultural Project 

Worcester 

$50,000  

Black Excellence Academy/Charles Houston Cultural Project, Inc. is an out of school program for 50 Worcester Public School students in grades 1 - 6. The year-long program runs concurrently with the Worcester Public School calendar. The goals of the program are to support working families; accelerate academic performance in ELA and math; expose students to various aspects of STEM with hands-on activities; and enrich knowledge and appreciation of Black history and culture.  

Centro Las Americas 

Worcester 

$382,600  

Centro Las Americas, Inc.'s Towards Financial Empowerment program is a bi-lingual community collaboration for Worcester’s historically disproportionately affected communities, to leverage resources, form greater learning opportunities, including for those affected by incarceration, to overcome barriers to economic stability, from housing to entrepreneurship. The program will facilitate successful evidence-based learning, wraparound services, and provide socio-emotional and cultural support post Covid-19 by improving financial literacy, creating new entrepreneurs, support existing businesses and building up families and community. Roughly 45 students will participate in the Start Up and 3 Venture Growth classes. Another 20-25 students will enroll into the CENTRO Financial Empowerment Education and Coaching 8-week course. 

Friendly House 

Worcester 

$63,301  

"I, Too" is a collaboration between Friendly House, local business leaders, departments of state and local government and the Worcester Public Schools, to provide 20 young people ages 13 to 17 who are at heightened risk of criminal justice system involvement with a positive role model whom will help to guide, empower, and inspire them.  

Living in Freedom Together 

Worcester 

$491,740  

Living In Freedom Together's (LIFT) Building Real Action for Viable Employment (BRAVE) program will provide job training and skill building in Worcester for survivors of the sex trade along with program partner, Latin American Health Alliance (LAHA). The grant will act as seed funding for LIFT to train program participants from LIFT and LAHA to operate a Coffee Truck which LIFT will purchase and outfit. The grant will additionally aid LAHA in establishing an Automotive Garage (the Garage) where the Truck will be kept and maintained.  

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