Community Project Funding Requests FY 22

Rep. Trahan has submitted funding requests for community projects in Massachusetts’ Third Congressional District to the House Appropriations Committee. 

Under guidelines issued by the Appropriations Committee, each Representative may request funding for up to 10 projects in fiscal year 2022. Projects are restricted to a limited number of federal funding streams, and only state and local governments and eligible non-profit entities are permitted to receive funding. Additional information on the reforms governing Community Project Funding is available here.

In compliance with House rules and Appropriations Committee requirements, Rep. Trahan has certified that neither she nor her immediate family has any financial interest in any of the projects she has requested. The submissions are listed in alphabetical order by city/town of the proposed recipient. 

[Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee]

Middlesex County Restoration Center Pilot Program 

Amount Requested: $1,650,000

Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services / 
Middlesex County Restoration Center Commission
1 Ashburton Place 11th floor, Boston, MA 02108 

Project Description: This request is for aid to pilot a Middlesex County Restoration Center. In Middlesex County, at times, individuals with behavioral health conditions go untreated, end up in a behavioral health crisis, interact with law enforcement unnecessarily, and as a result are arrested, jailed, hospitalized, and spend too much time in the emergency department.  For example, 45% of the individuals held at the Billerica Jail and House of Corrections have a mental health condition, and 80% of those individuals have a co-occurring substance use condition. The request would support the establishment of the Middlesex County Restoration Center, which would provide several components of needed crisis and urgent care that could serve as an alternative and more appropriate treatment destination for these individuals.  Restoration Center services would include triage and assessment, crisis stabilization beds for up to 24 hours, sober support beds for up to 24 hours, crisis respite beds for up to 2 weeks, a multi-service center with housing navigation, financial services navigation, legal services navigation, and related services, as well as case management and aftercare planning.  This pilot Restoration Center in Middlesex County, if successful, could serve as a model for a statewide network of behavioral health crisis and urgent care services and wrap around social supports to divert people from unnecessary arrest and hospitalization.

Justification: Criminalization of addiction and mental health challenges has done harm to those who are in need of society's support. The Middlesex County Restoration Center presents a well-studied concept to divert such individuals from unnecessary imprisonment and, instead, assist them to get the help they need to recover.

PDF iconSigned Disclosure Letter

[Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee]

Early Education Center - Fitchburg

Amount Requested: $750,000

Making Opportunity Count
601 River Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 

Project Description: This request is to contribute $750,000 to a $4.5 million new early education center in Fitchburg operated by Making Opportunity Count, Inc. (MOC). The pandemic demonstrated how critical early education and Head Start is for the workforce as well as the development and educational opportunities for children. In MOC's most recent community needs assessment (December 2020), quality, affordable childcare was identified as a top need in the region. Prior to the pandemic, childcare waitlists in Fitchburg were significant.  To address this need, MOC is investing in development of a new childcare center.  The goal of this state-of-the-art center would be to have 3 classrooms to provide services to 60 children and families in the city. In addition, this building will have additional resources to support families including access to behavioral health services, outdoor space/playground and nutritious food.  To date, a site has been identified, an architectural firm has been hired and financing plans are underway.   MOC currently partners with the City of Fitchburg, the Fitchburg Public Schools and other community organizations at its current site in Fitchburg.  However, this former public school is approximately 100 years old and is not adequate to provide quality services to children while meeting the ongoing demands of state and federal childcare resources.    

Justification: This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds as the new site will allow MOC to assist low income families provide quality, safe early education resources while contributing to Fitchburg's economic recovery. 

PDF iconSigned Disclosure Letter

[Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee]

Food Pantry generators 

Amount Requested: $97,596

The United Way of Tri-County
46 Park Street, Framingham, MA 01702 

Project Description: This request is to provide United Way of Tri-County $97,596 to purchase and install generators, one each at WHEAT Community Connections (Clinton, MA) and Marlborough Community Cupboard (Marlborough, MA) food pantries to ensure food is preserved in the event of power outages. Both food pantries are owned and operated by the United Way of Tri-County (Framingham, MA). WHEAT Community Connections and the Marlborough Community Cupboard serve residents of Clinton, Berlin, Bolton, Lancaster, Sterling and Marlborough. Clients are low-income residents who are underemployed, unemployed, furloughed, or have been laid off from jobs. Others are older adults living on fixed incomes which cover fewer living expenses as cost of living rises. Regular access to food means young children meet growth and development milestones, children are ready to learn in school, adults can concentrate on work and family demands, and older adults can age in place. Providing food helps build strong families and strong communities.   The demand for food has increased as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These food security programs continue to serve an elevated number of clients and provide increased levels of food which is secured through the Worcester County Food Bank, Greater Boston Food Bank, as well as other community relationships including local grocery stores, big box stores, and quick-serve restaurants.   In 2020, WHEAT Community Connections provided groceries for 8,955 people and served 57,640 meals (+428.6% more meals than in 2019). WHEAT distributed 330,226 pounds of food (+254.1% more than in 2019). The Marlborough Community Cupboard provided groceries for 15,341 people (+15.3% more people than in 2019) and distributed 713,430 pounds of food (+25.8% more than in 2019).   This funding will benefit thousands of residents across the district and ensure continuous access to healthy, nutritious foods.

Justification: This request is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because it would be used to purchase and install a generator for use at each food pantry location to ensure that in the event of unanticipated power outages no food is lost. With thousands of pounds of food in refrigerators and freezers ready for distribution each week, and supply chains that have been impacted by COVID-19, losing this food would be a detriment to people who desperately need food assistance as they struggle to make ends meet. 

PDF iconSigned Disclosure Letter

[Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee]

Merrimack River Hot Spot Detection and Green Infrastructure Solutions

Amount Requested: $352,000

Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC)
60 Island Street, Lawrence, MA 01840 

Project Description: This project would contribute to providing clean water in four highly urbanized and contaminated segments of the Merrimack River for three environmental justice communities within the MA-3 Congressional District. This project will 1) conduct 1 year of bacteria and nutrient hot spot investigations, 2) complete four EPA watershed-based plans, including ArcGIS land use assessments, and 3) design appropriate green infrastructure to remediate relevant impairments of bacteria and nutrient pollution in the Merrimack and Spicket Rivers. Specifically, this project will conduct assessments and watershed-based plans for the MA84A-02 (Pawtucket Dam, Lowell to Duck Island, Lowell), MA84A-03 (Duck Island, Lowell to Essex Dam, Lawrence), MA84A-04 (Essex Dam, Lawrence to confluence with Creek Brook, Haverhill) segments of the Merrimack River, and the MA84A-10 (From the state line Salem, NH/Methuen, MA to confluence with Merrimack River, Lawrence) segment of the Spicket River.   The MRWC will employ water quality monitoring, technical watershed modeling, and green stormwater infrastructure design. The project will be in line with the Green Infrastructure Project Reserve criteria of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. 

Justification: This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because this project will contribute to reducing pollution in a drinking water source for Merrimack Valley residents. Moreover, management of the public health risks of water pollution will be better understood by determining exactly where pollution concentrations are the most dangerous. 

PDF iconSigned Disclosure Letter

[Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee]

LeLacheur Baseball Park Rehabilitation

Amount Requested: $750,000

City of Lowell, Massachusetts
50 Arcand Drive, Lowell, MA 01852 

Project Description: This request is to provide the City of Lowell a CPF of $750,000 for reinvestment in LeLacheur Baseball Park. The funds will be used for roof repairs, bleacher replacement, and upgrades to the concourse and existing visitor amenities.

Justification: This project is anticipated to have significant positive economic development impacts from baseball fans visiting Lowell's downtown. 

PDF iconSigned Disclosure Letter

[Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee]

Entrepreneurship for All - Statewide Initiative

Amount Requested: $3,000,000

Entrepreneurship for All, Inc. (EforAll)
175 Cabot Street, Suite 100, Lowell, MA 01851 

Project Description: This request is to provide the nonprofit Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) $3 million to expand its "inclusive entrepreneurship" approach statewide, which would yield more sources of income and uplift families out of poverty across Massachusetts.   Specifically, it would support the following activities: Small Business Accelerator; Deep Dive Businesses Webinars; Peer to Peer support (current under a pilot in Lowell, Cape Code, and South Coast); Mentorship (3:1 and 2:1 ratio) for startup and existing businesses; Digital Business Survival Bootcamp; 1:1 Technical Assistance for startup and existing businesses; and small grants.  

EforAll's approach is to assist individuals from underserved, underrepresented communities across Massachusetts develop their business ideas and overcome the unique barriers and challenges they face when attempting to start their own small business or nonprofit. 

Justification: This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds due to the fact that EforAll often serves clients who are under-represented in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and have faced disproportionate hardship during the pandemic and may benefit from EforAll’s Spanish-language programming.

PDF iconSigned Disclosure Letter

[Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee]

University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawk Scholars Academy (RHSA) 

Amount Requested: $501,000

University of Massachusetts Lowell
220 Pawtucket Street, Lowell, MA 01854

Project Description: Currently in its third year, the University of Massachusetts Lowell's River Hawk Scholars Academy (RHSA) provides critically important resources to its first-generation, first-year students, supporting their retention, sense of belonging, academic success and career readiness. Currently, RHSA offers a Peer Leader mentoring program, academic skill-building workshops, study sessions, faculty and professional mentoring opportunities, leadership training, scholarships, financial support workshops, emergency needs funding, and social and informational events. In the context of this specialized support, RHSA students more readily transition to the culture of higher education and thereby are better prepared to benefit from the university's traditional supports and succeed in the culture of higher education.   In its recently developed Five-Year Plan, the RHSA has identified three developmental objectives that will significantly expand its student support: 1) offering a Summer Bridge program for incoming first-year students; 2) extending the program to include sophomore-year support; and 3) offering a  Pathways to Employment  program for Juniors and Seniors. This proposal seeks funding for the summer and sophomore year components, which would cover two crucial transition periods for these students: the transition into the university and the transition from the first-year experience to the second year. 

Justification: This project will benefit students who are the first in their families to go to college. This is a priority because "first generation" students, compared to their peers, have less access to financial, institutional and community resources and supports; are more likely to encounter significant challenges transitioning to the culture of higher education; and are more likely to be impacted by the systemic obstacles that low income and students of color typically face. This project will assist UMass Lowell's first generation students to remain in college, graduate on time, and connect meaningfully with their campus community.

PDF iconSigned Disclosure Letter

[Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee]

Supports for Proven Risk Youth and Young Adults in Haverhill

Amount Requested: $500,000

UTEC, Inc.
35 Warren Street, Lowell, MA 01852 

Project Description: The requested funding is for violence prevention projects in Haverhill, led by UTEC Inc. in partnership with Pose and Haverhill Violence Intervention Program (VIP). The project will serve the highest risk youth ages 17-24. UTEC will provide intensive street outreach and gang peacemaking. This will also be coupled with intensive programming which includes real-world employment experience through multiple in-house social enterprises, project-based educational programming, and early childhood education for the children of these young adult participants.Pose will provide a range of community mobilization and racial equity activities, including a community assessment process. VIP (Violence Intervention Program) will provide a range of activities focused on engaging Haverhill youth in anti-violence activities. This will include peer mentoring in the schools and community.

Justification: This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds as it will contribute to improving the safety and wellbeing of young people and the entire community.

[Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee]

Expansion of Healthcare Services at Lawrence Facility

Amount Requested: $2,000,000

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
1 Griffin Brook Drive, Suite 101, Methuen, MA 01844

Project Description: This funding will allow the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC), a federally qualified community health center to expand primary health care services at 700 Essex Street in the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Specifically, it will permit GLFHC to create an additional 4000 square feet of new space and renovate existing space and equipment which will greatly expand patient access at one of its busiest clinical locations. The addition of the new space will also allow for expanded access to pharmacy services and create better patient flow throughout the clinic. GLFHC currently operates 7 Health Center sites in Lawrence, Methuen, and Haverhill and has identified the need to expand services in the city of Lawrence at this site, providing much needed access to comprehensive primary health care services.

Justification: This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds as this site is a lifeline for lower income residents of Lawrence, including for providing COVID-19 vaccinations. The site currently provides vaccinations to over 450 per day and all sites have provided over 30,000 people with vaccinations since late December. The Health Center serves over 62,000 patients and specifically, over 8,000 patients currently use this site for their primary care needs. The space is becoming too small to accommodate the growing demand in this section of the city. 

PDF iconSigned Disclosure Letter

[Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee]

Assabet River Rail Trail Extension - Stow

Amount Requested: $750,000

Town of Stow, Massachusetts
380 Great Road, Stow, MA 01775 

Project Description: The Town of Stow seeks to advance current 25% design plans toward the construction of a 1.8 mile multi-use path that would extend from the current Assabet River Rail Trail (ARRT) from its current terminus in Maynard, through portions of Stow. Today, Track Road functions as a public access dirt road along the northern border of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge before transitioning to an unimproved trail as it approaches its terminus at Sudbury Road. Construction of an improved Multi-Use path along Track Road will provide regional recreation and transportation benefits, despite the need to share a portion of the space with limited vehicular traffic entering Crow Island. An improved path will greatly reduce the existing gap in the Assabet River Rail Trail, providing nearly two miles of additional riding surface for cyclists, as well as access to the Assabet River for users of all ages and abilities. 

Improvements to Track Road will also make the current gravel road accessible to a wider range of users through paving, signage and street markings. The project further opens up the potential for bicycle commuting for large portions of Stow to the nearby South Acton MBTA station in Acton, to which the ARRT connects.

Justification: The project is a valuable use of taxpayer funds as it will offer new opportunities for recreation that will improve public health and reduce reliance on vehicles for short trips.

PDF iconSigned Disclosure Letter