In the News

Cummings Foundation funds grant to Lowell Transitional Living Center

Washington, June 18, 2020
Cummings Foundation funds grant to Lowell Transitional Living Center 
By: Elizabeth Dobbins

LOWELL — A new grant will fund day time programming at the Lowell Transitional Living Center.

The $33,333 from the Cummings Foundation was announced last month and will cover costs associated with opening the LTLC Daytime Engagement Center at the shelter on 193 Middlesex St.

It’s set to become the first collective day program in Middlesex County that connects people who are homeless with on-site programming aimed at helping them navigate behavioral health challenges while working toward securing a job and housing, according to the organization.

Andrew McMahon, the shelter’s executive director, said he feels this could “fast track people’s efforts of getting out of the shelter.”

“We’ve wanted to do this for a very long time,” he said.

On-site programming at the shelter was among the goals the city of Lowell listed last summer in a plan to address homelessness.

Earlier this month, McMahon said he anticipated the center opening soon, though the exact timing was in-flux due to the coronavirus pandemic. Once operational, it will be open seven days a week from 9 to 4 p.m. with the capacity to serve about 45 people per day.

The center will provide computer access, on-site Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and workshops on topics like budgeting, housing, employment, nutrition and social security.

The city of Lowell is also expected to receive $2.6 million from new federal funding for emergency shelter and support for people who are homeless.

Over $71 million in federal grants was awarded to communities in Massachusetts by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to a press release from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office last week.

The funding can be used to open additional emergency shelters, operate existing ones, provide hotel vouchers and offer essential services. The funds can also be used on efforts to stop people from losing their housing, according to the press release.

“We’re still evaluating the conditions for use of that funding and considering how it could be used most effectively,” according to city of Lowell spokesman Phil Geoffroy.

Communities with large homeless populations or with many people at risk of becoming homeless were targeted for the funding.

“As some states experience new surges in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, it’s important that communities like Lowell and Lawrence have the resources they need to provide services to their most vulnerable residents,” said U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan in a press release. “I’m proud to announce this tranche of CARES Act funding, which will help governments keep those experiencing homelessness safe as we continue combating the spread of the coronavirus.”

The shelter experienced a coronavirus outbreak among staff and residents in April, resulting in the transfer of residents to a hotel in Lexington to recover or to Stoklosa Middle School to isolate.