News Update

January 2004


Please note that that the Environmental Careers Organization is accepting applications from interested organizations for the ECO/EPA 2004 Community Intern Program (CIP). We encourage you to apply, and to also share this information with any nonprofit organizations you think might benefit from this unique opportunity. In 2004, 40 community organizations will be selected to receive a student intern from ECO, through the generous funding of the EPA Office of Environmental Justice. The interns will receive a $450 per week stipend, plus $500 for relocation or project travel, and will travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in ECO's annual Environmental Career Conference.

The Community Intern Program allows non-profit grassroots organizations, like yours, to build their capacity while mentoring the next generation of environmental leaders. For your convenience, I have attached a PDF with the Application and Project Description form. The deadline to apply is January 30, 2004. The application and additional program information can be found on our website at: The site also has information for students interested in becoming CIP interns. FYI: The Community Intern Program is for local, grassroots, non-profit, community organizations only. Tribal and local governments, colleges, universities, or other educational institutions are not eligible to apply.

The Office of Environmental Justice created the Community Intern Program in 2000 to provide student internships with nonprofit organizations across the country. Since the program was created, more than 100 students diverse have experienced environmental issues at a grassroots level through EJ projects including health education; air and water quality monitoring; urban reforestation; recycling programs; and other community outreach and advocacy activities. ECO administers the Community Intern Program internships along with other internships under our cooperative agreements with EPA.

Thanks for helping us spread the word about this important program. Please contact ECO program coordinator Maria Torres at or 617/426-4783, x141 if you have any questions about the program or application process.

Globe Editorial - "Still Struggling to Survive"

Still struggling to survive

By Randy Albelda, Donna Haig Friedman, and Elaine Werby, 7/6/2001, Boston Globe

Elaine Werby M.S.W.,

SINCE 1993, the Massachusetts economy has performed spectacularly. And while this growth has led to more jobs and a rising median income, a closer look indicates that many families are struggling to survive. Average family income for the bottom 40 percent is no higher than it was in the beginning years of the recovery; poverty rates for families have dropped only slightly; child poverty rates and the percentage of families who are very poor have increased; the use of emergency housing and food services has grown.

Donna Haig Friedman Ph.D.,

These key findings are documented in a recently released report, ''After Welfare Reform: Trends in Poverty and Emergency Service Use in Massachusetts.'' Researchers from public policy institutes at UMass-Boston examined statewide economic, employment, income, and housing trends, as well as the use of emergency services statewide and in six communities (Brockton, Lowell, Worcester, Greenfield, the Upper Cape, and North Dorchester/Roxbury), focusing primarily on housing and food assistance.

In 1995 the state reformed welfare, its main cash assistance program, to encourage employment and reduce caseloads. This effort succeeded. The economy generated new employment opportunities, and the vast majority of those leaving welfare are employed.

However, we found that being employed has not been a panacea for the poorest 20 percent of families with children. Growth in earnings has been almost completely offset by the loss of public support, which in turn has strained the private sector emergency support system. Since 1993, family poverty rates remain stubbornly high at 14 percent for families with children, despite the state's job growth. Close to 18 percent of all children are poor, up from 16 percent prior to welfare reform's implementation.

The composition of poor families has shifted. The percentage of very poor (incomes 50 percent or less than poverty income thresholds) children and families with children are rising. In fact, one out of every 10 children in Massachusetts is very poor. While there are fewer welfare poor families, there are more working poor and desperately poor families. The expansion has not brought more income equality either.

The bottom 40 percent of families just barely held their ground in terms of inflation-adjusted income in the expansion, while the richest 60 percent saw their incomes increase. The poorest 40 percent of families with children actually lost income, pushing the ratio of the richest 20 percent and the poorest of families with children to just under 15 to 1.

Black and Latino families are six times more likely to be poor today than white families. In each of the six study communities, service providers report serving increasing numbers of racial and ethnic minorities, creating new demands for culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

Low-income families, including working families, are using emergency services routinely. Family homelessness is on the rise, stretching the family shelter system beyond its capacity. Hotels and motels are once again being used to shelter homeless families in the state.

While Food Stamp caseloads have dropped, food bank membership is up and food pantries and the clients who use them report more regular, rather than emergency, usage. Within the six communities we studied, over 75 percent of food and housing service providers indicated that the numbers of clients they served had either increased or stayed the same since passage of welfare reform in 1995.

Both providers and users of emergency services report bureaucratic and administrative difficulties and contradictions in the delivery of both public and private assistance. Instances of having to leave children unattended or missing work due to reporting requirements were common as was losing benefits when earnings increased, leaving low-income families in untenable economic circumstances.

Together these findings are cause for great concern. We can only wonder what will happen to low-income Massachusetts' families and the emergency service sector as the economy slows. Increased child poverty, reduced income of the bottom 40 percent of families with children, and the growing income gap works in direct opposition to education reform efforts.

As the well-off buy more and better market services for their kids to do well and a larger share of children and their families have less income, the education gap can only widen.

If the goal is to reduce use of public assistance as well as poverty and to ensure that families use emergency services in an emergency and not as a routine way of feeding and housing their children, then we need to:

(1) Address wage levels and benefits in low-wage work, high housing costs, and affordable child care so that employment can be a route to economic independence for all low-income families.

(2) Stop penny-wise, pound-foolish policies toward the poor. In the name of cost-cutting and contracting the social safety net, policy makers have cut off avenues for education and training for good jobs and sharply cut off income for families trying to get on their feet. Both keep families in low-wage jobs and poor.

(3) Streamline and de-stigmatize service use and improve the capacity of agencies to meet the needs of linguistic minorities with more multilingual staff and translated materials.

(4) Use more appropriate standards to chart progress in eliminating poverty, in particular the Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Standard and independently evaluate policies to ensure that they are adequately meeting the needs of the families who rely on them.

Randy Albelda is an economist at UMass-Boston. Donna Haig Friedman and Elaine Werby are senior fellows at the John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs at UMass-Boston.

This story ran on page 23 of the Boston Globe on 7/6/2001. (c) Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.

The new Cambridge Homeless Service Provider Resource Guide is out. Attached is a summary of the application submitted by the Cambridge Continuum.

I am attaching a list of the needs that we identified during our 2000-2001 planning process -- most of which could not be addressed in our SuperNOFA application. (I am also attaching a list from the 1999-2000 planning process to make sure that we haven't lost any important information from one year to the next.) Three new domains are now up and running due to the support of Bob Doyle and Skybuilders. David plans to hold meetings to discuss what the corporate entities to be formed around these domains would look like. Our agenda at the focus group meetings will be to plan next steps towards addressing some of those ongoing needs.

Yeah, BostonHomeless ,org and and USHomeless ,org are now up and will soon be running at full speed!!!!

A view of the recentTask Force Meeting!!

David was in attendance at this months Task Force to End Homelesness meeting at Payette Associates.

1) The agenda included :Community Preservation Act

Civic Initiative/Future Search Thelma Barros Guide Roxbury Building

BSA Foundation grants

Build Boston 2001

CHAPA homeless Commitee

Sandra Viera-Homeless Memorial

Mass housing Partnership-Ann Houston

Project Updates

To BSA members and friends in Newton and members of the BSA Task Force to End Homelessness:

Some of the members of the Task Force after a recent meeting!!!

There is a hearing before two Aldermaniacal committees at City Hall on Thursday, May 31 at 7:45 pm to decide to put the Community Preservation Act (CPA) on the Newton ballot this fall or not. There is a groundswell of public support to get it on the ballot either through he Aldermen or by petition.

The CPA is an excellent way to make a better city.

* We are only half way to meeting the goal of Chapter 40B --10% of housing units are affordable -- not counting prison cells.

* Remaining open spaces are being filled with high-end housing

* Every day buildings of distinguished character are lost to speculation and insensitive development.

Architects can play a needed role in visualizing where new development can happen, how good older buildings can be saved and adaptively reused, and how open spaces, affordable housing and historic presentation efforts can be overlaid in a win-win situation.

I've prepared some supporting material and if you are interested, write or call the bsa at and they will send it to you.

Thank you.

John Wilson Chair, Task Force to End Homelessness Newton resident

John Wilson, Chair, Task Force to End Homelessness

Our NELRC cohorts have just issued an RFP for the ABE-to-College Transitions Project, funded by the Nellie Mae Educational Foundation. The 17-page RFP is online as a Portable Document Format (PDF) version only, as such highly formatted documents really don't translate well into HTML:

Particulars: Estimated grant range: $25,000-45,000 for first year

Bidders conference: June 28 at World Education

Proposal deadline: July 27

They are especially interested in funding Massachusetts programs in this round. For further details, please contact Jessica Spohn, project coordinator 617-482-9485

Shortly, HomeStart will start to provide field-based case management, housing search and stabilization services to homeless consumers in Cambridge as a result of taking on the Housing Resource Team and Field-Based Case Management Program contracts. We will keep you posted as to when we will officially open to take client referrals and how that process will work. In the meantime, we have begun the hiring process to bring on staff for these two programs. We need your help to spread the word about these job opportunities. Please find below five job postings in plain text. We have also attached the job postings which are in an easy-to-read format. Please post and forward to interested parties. If you know a qualified candidate, they are welcome to call or email me before submitting their cover letter and resume to hear more about the positions. Thank you for helping us find creative and compassionate staff to assist homeless people in Cambridge.

Cambridge Cares about Aids has 2 new job postings. Please pass them along.

David Pearson, Shawmut Education Executive Director

The Bay State Supportive Housing Alliance (BSSHA) is pleased to announce the opening of a new transitional supporting housing program serving HIV+ individuals and families in Eastern Massachusetts. BSSHA is a collaboration between Cambridge Cares About AIDS, Father Bill’s Place (Quincy), and North Shore Community Action Programs (Peabody).

BSSHA’s mission is to make 24 community-based transitional housing subsidies available to participants who might not otherwise be able to access affordable housing. These subsidies will assist households for up to 24 months in the greater Boston area, including the North and South Shores. Through its focused supportive services, BSSHA aims to help participants overcome some of the barriers they have to obtaining permanent housing. BSSHA aims to help participants overcome barriers such as substance use, criminal history and lack of tenancy that are preventing them from obtaining permanent affordable housing.

This new program is accepting applications as of August 6, 2001. Each agency will manage 8 of the 24 units, although due to a staggered start, not all 24 units are immediately available. In the interest of fairness and to ensure equal access, BSSHA agencies will take all applications received between August 6, 2001 and August 24, 2001 and place them in random order. All applicants will be selected by a lottery held at each agency on August 27, 2001. Applicants will be notified of their waitlist status in early September. All applications received after August 21, 2001 will be wait-listed and prioritized in the order which they are received.

Please be sure that all sections of the application are complete and that all required documentation accompanies the application to the agency in which you are applying. You must submit the following;

1. A fully completed Universal Preliminary Application for HIV/AIDS Housing (We will be using the updated Universal Application. This updated version has the date June 2001 at the top)

2. Income Verification (less than 60 days old);

3. Verification of current housing situation/Homeless Verification;

4. Personal ID (birth certificates, social security cards, or picture ID for all members of the household).

Applications with incomplete or missing information will not be processed.

You can apply using HousingWorks; our application will go online Thursday AM, August 2. HOWEVER, DO NOT MAIL THE APPLICATION UNTIL AUG 5th, AS WE ARE ONLY ACCEPTING THE APPLICATIONS STARTING AUG 6TH.

Here's how to use the HousingWorks system to send applications for your clients. (Skip this section if you already know how to do this.)

1. Go to and sign on.

2. Enter the SSN or last name and birthdate for any client that has a profile in the system (or create the profile now - this profile contains the basic info that goes on all applications, so it will just save you a lot of time filling out applications.)

3. Click on the "Search/Apply" button. This will take you to the search page -- you will see the name of the client you are searching for in the upper left part of the page.

4. In the box where it asks for a city, type one of the phrases below :

"north shore" "cambridge" "south shore"

and then check the HIV+ housing box that is farther down the page. This will bring up a short list of places with HIV housing in that area of the state, including the 'Bay State Supportive Housing Alliance (BSSHA)' program.

Click the link for the BSSHA program closest to you, and then click the APPLY button to bring up the application – parts of it will be filled out. Complete the rest and print the application. A NOTE ABOUT PRINTING THE APPLICATIONS:

IF YOU USE INTERNET EXPLORER (preferred): Change the size of the words: VIEW menu/Text Size/Smallest

IF YOU USE NETSCAPE: Change the size of the words before you print the application: Hold down the CONTROL key on the keybaord and repeatedly tap the "[" key to make the words smaller and smaller until the application prints cleanly.

We are excited about this program and look forward to hearing from you and your clients.

For further information please contact one of the following agencies nearest you:

Cambridge Cambridge Cares About Aids Suzanne Bruce 617-661-3040 xt25

Quincy Father Bill's Place Warren Nicoli 617-770-9706 xt. 204

Peabody NSCAP Joshua Kasper 978-531-0767 ext. 104.

If you have questions regarding this message, please contact: Joshua Kasper / / 978-531-0767 ext. 104

If you have general questions regarding HousingWorks, please contact: John LaBella / / 617-536-8561

This email will only be of interest to you if you have, or will have, an HIV+ client. Your client can of course have other conditions as well.

Thanks to AIDS Housing Corporation staff Jill Hroszencik, and Julie Barnes at AAC, we have the newly revised Universal HIV application, and the related medical certification and homeless certification forms, up and ready to use.

These can be used at all those programs,but specifically right now you want to apply for the three new BSSHA programs because their waitlist is open Aug 6-24th. If you don't know how to fill out applications, call me on my cell phone. 617 504-0577 and I'll talk you through the steps.

BACKGROUND: The application and forms are used by most if not all of the HIV housing programs in Massachusetts, including the three new BSSHA programs from NSCAP, CCAA, and Father Bill's in Quincy. This represents a good deal of housing around the state. It takes some time to complete the application -- you will want to start filling out applications AND getting the physician to sign the medical certification forms ASAP -- but the BSSHA program SHOULD NOT RECEIVE your client applications BEFORE August 6th. Also, make sure you review the requirements for these three programs, before you waste any time filling out the application. These requirements are listed in the HousingWorks email of Wednesday Aug 1).

The lottery for these three programs will actually happen on Aug 27th, so you will know fairly if one of your HIV+ clients is getting an offer.

Which raises the question. Did any of your clients win one of the 4 lottery slots to buy a home in Scituate?

If so, please let us know.

Thank you for your time.

School is ending. Summer is beginning. And VES activity is increasing!

Now that the school year is winding down, we would like to tell you about a variety of opportunities that will enable you to continue your participation in VES throughout the summer months.

1. Online Professional Development Opportunities: VES Summer School will be offered to all VES users starting June 25th. Learn about standards based resources available to you, participate in discussions with other educators across the state, and contribute to the design and development of VES. Self-study modules will be rolled out weekly, allowing you to participate at your own pace. The program has been designed for those who wish to earn PDPs and for those who just want to learn more about VES. You will be able to access the Summer School Registration Form on the VES Homepage by June 22nd.

2. VES Design and Development Opportunities: Many of you know that VES will have major development activity underway this summer and next fall. Massachusetts’s public school educators are an incredible resource for the VES Initiative. As a result we are looking to you to support and augment our efforts this summer.

We are seeking individuals for intensive multi-day workshops, part time assignments during the summer, and part time assignments during the fall. All of the projects will give participants direct and early access to VES capabilities, as well as an opportunity to help direct the course of VES. For some it will also mean a chance to participate in advanced wireless, handheld, and Internet Appliance hardware. The following is a list of the projects that we invite you to join:

a.Student Design Team: --> We seek students who are willing to participate in an extended set of activities throughout the summer and fall, as the Student Design Team. This team will participate in the design of the student tools, resources, and student workspace.

b.Technology Competency Project: --> These individuals will help write ISTE and NETS based technology competencies for teaches and students. The competencies will be used to develop an online professional development course.

c.Standards Based Education Competency Project: --> These individuals will prepare standards for what teachers should know and be able to do in implementing standards based teaching and learning. The standards prepared by this group will be used to develop an online professional development course.

d.Curriculum Mapping Project: --> These individuals will prepare model performance based maps of the curriculum in their discipline. The product of this multi-day process will be used with the Instructional Planning and Management tools.

e.Beta Test Program: --> These individuals will test early versions, and proof of concept prototypes of VES tools, resources, and applications.

f.Edge Device Beta Test Program: --> These individuals will test early versions, and proof of concept prototypes of VES handheld, wireless, and Internet Appliances.

g.Professional Development Team: --> These individuals will help VES staff write and test online professional development courses and modules.

h.Educational Content Research and Evaluation Project: --> These individuals will work with VES to identify, validate, document, and integrate high quality Web resources into VES.

i.Programming Projects: --> J2EE, Java and XML, XSL programmers are sought for challenging assignments with the VES team.

j.Librarian Focus Group: --> Participants in this team will work on the VES Virtual Library and Content Gateway projects.

k.Business Manager Focus Group: --> Participants in this team will work on the VES District and School Administrative Support projects.

l.Research and Development Team: --> Educators with research, evaluation, cognitive science, instructional theory, HCI, knowledge base, expert system, or VR expertise are sought for challenging R&D assignments with the VES team.

If you are interested in working on any of these projects, please go to the VES Opportunities exchange at You can also access the form by clicking on the VOX link on the VES homepage ( Once you’ve completed the form, you will be contacted regarding the specific opportunities for which you have indicated an interest.

For additional information on any of the above summer opportunities, please contact Mark Rodgers at

Thelma Barros, Task Force to End Homelessness with student Robert Gaulin

Shawmut Education

Shawmut CSD Employment Network

Homeless Peoples Network

Mass Homeless

Whats Up Magazine

US Homeless


Black Web Portal

Shawmut Events Schedule

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