In This Issue
SCC Welcomes Former Staff Back to the Ranks
Financial Literacy Class. Next Class Begins March 22
First Time Homebuyer Class. Saturdays | March 19 & 26
Upcoming Events & Meetings
From Vision to Action: SCC's 46th Annual Meeting
Say it Ain't So! SCC Bids Farewell to Shannon Erb
20% Inclusionary Zoning Proposal goes to Planning Board Vote, Feb 18
Raising a Voice in Union Square
Jobs for Somerville Calls for More Support for Underfunded First Source Jobs Program
First Source Jobs Clients Brush-Up on Computer Skills with Support from The Career Place

SCC Welcomes Former Staff
Back to the Ranks 
This month SCC is thrilled to welcome back two staff members who previously worked for SCC in different roles.

Thais DeMarco
Following a stint as program manager of the ONE Mortgage program at Mass. Housing Partnership, Thais has rejoined SCC as Program Director for SCC's Asset Building programs - financial education and counseling, first time home buyer education, IDA matched savings programs, and our First Source jobs program.  

"We're excited to have Thais back directing these programs, many of which she started during her first go around at SCC!" said Danny LeBlanc, SCC's CEO.

Jesse Kanson-Benanav
Jesse returns to SCC in a new role as Senior Project Manager in SCC's Real Estate Development Department. Jesse worked for SCC as a community organizer from 2003-2007. He left to attend graduate school in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning program, and has been working in the affordable housing field since leaving MIT. 

"It is rewarding that quality folks like Jesse and Thais think highly enough of SCC and their experiences here that they would consider rejoining us further along in their careers," concluded LeBlanc.

Financial Literacy Class
Next Class Begins March 22

Reserve your spot for our next series which begins on March 22nd. 
Class will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from March 22 - April 12. 

Over the course of four weeks, participants will gain important information and skills to help them navigate their financial lives more successfully . Graduates will receive a $200 stipend to get them started on a successful financial path!

Dinner and childcare will be available. 

Participants must:
  • Pre-register
  • Attend all 7 sessions AND 2 counseling sessions with SCC staff to successfully graduate
  • Live and/or work in Somerville;
  • Qualify under these income guidelines
Click here for the 2016 schedule
For more information or to register, please contact Thais at 617-776-5931 x239 or

First Time Homebuyer Class
Saturday Class | March 19 & 26 

This 12-hour program will feature presentations by a real estate agent, a lender, a home inspector, a real estate attorney, and an insurance agent, in addition to SCC staff, providing everything you need to know before you start the process of buying your first home.

Upon completion, participants receive a certificate enabling them to access products geared towards first-time homebuyers, such as the  ONE Mortgage.
Participants must:
  • Pre-register
  • Attend all 4 sessions
Click here for the 2016 Schedule

Our next First-Time Homebuyer Class:  Wed & Thur, April 13-21 |  6:00 - 9:00 PM 

Register for Online Course

SCC is now offering THE ROAD HOME, an online homebuyer training! 

The majority of the course is done in one's own time, but participants must attend one in-person session at the Somerville Community Corporation. This session is 2 hours long and is held from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

The course is $100 per individual.

For more information or to register, please contact Thais at 617-776-5931 x239 or

Upcoming Events & Meetings  
Our numerous groups and committees meet regularly and are open to newcomers! 

Click on the calendar below to learn more about meetings and events coming up:  

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What a month! The weather isn't the only thing with extreme highs and lows. While we are excited to welcome back two familiar faces to SCC -- Thais DeMarco and Jesse Kanson-Bananav -- and fresh off another Annual Meeting where we enjoyed the company of our members and supporters, we also had to say farewell to long-time SCC employee, Shannon Erb, who has moved a little ways up Route 2 and pursuing a new career opportunity. We'll miss you, Shannon!

There's a lot of change in store here at SCC, and all around Somerville.  Continue reading to learn about our latest news and opportunities to get involved and make a difference in your community.

From all of us at SCC, thank you for your support.

From Vision to Action: SCC's 46th Annual Meeting

Outgoing SCC Board President, Stephanie Toews-Moeling, with Incoming Board President, Van Hardy

Celebrating the theme " From Vision to Action ," more than 150 SCC members and supporters celebrated at SCC's 46th Annual Meeting and Dinner on February 9th at the Armory. With displays ranging from hanging clouds to statements of support from donors to SCC's logo in 3D glasses, the assembled members were treated to music and a program celebrating SCC's accomplishments over the past year.

Anna Shenk was honored with the annual Hazel Hughes Award for "her unwavering support and commitment to job seekers in Somerville" through her volunteer work in SCC's First Source program. 

Ilene Cohen, Cyndi Sherman and Ed Cashwell were honored with the Norris Weston Award for their strong partnership as presenters in SCC's First Time Home Buyer education program.

Stephanie Toews-Moeling was honored for her two years of exemplary service as the President of SCC's Board of Directors, given a plaque by incoming Board President Van Hardy. Joining Van as SCC officers are Ezra Haber Glenn, Vice President, Kathy McGilvray, Treasurer, and Jillian Moreira, Clerk.

The evening was capped off with dessert and fun music provided by Hornography. Photography provided by Leonardo March. 

Thank You
to all who joined us for
a memorable evening

Say it Ain't So!
SCC Bids Farewell to Shannon Erb
As you may know, Shannon Erb recently moved to Hubbardston and accepted a position with New Vue Communities. February 11th, sadly, marked her last day at SCC. Over her 10 years with SCC, Shannon has moved from part-time support, to our marketing specialist, to the organization's go-to asset building expert. By wearing so many hats, she takes a great deal of institutional knowledge with her (that we're all going to miss dearly!). 

Shannon has brought great value  in each of her roles, but we are especially grateful for her stellar work expanding our Asset Building Department, which hundreds of local residents have benefited from over the years.  Shannon took the reins of a somewhat unwieldy body of work and, in addition to managing and maintaining our already robust programmatic offerings, successfully added an online component to our First-Time Homebuyer Seminars and participated in the implementation of SCC's Financial Literacy work with MassLEAP.
Although everyone at SCC is very sad to see her go, we know this will be a great opportunity for Shannon to grow professionally, and we are excited to see what New Vue's programs will look like under Shannon's diligent and energetic lead.

Thank you, Shannon! 

20% Inclusionary Zoning Proposal 
goes to Planning Board Vote, Feb 18
The Planning Board will be voting on our 20% Inclusionary Zoning proposal this Thursday, February 18, at 6:00 PM at City Hall!  Come watch the vote with us - it will be especially important to have supporters in the audience.
The City commissioned a report by RKG Associates saying that 20% inclusionary zoning will slow down the increase in property values and the influx of market-rate residential development in Somerville. We think that's a good thing! If more low-income homeowners can afford their taxes and fewer speculative developers drive up the price of housing, then we are taking a step toward the more affordable city with increased commercial development that many of us envision. We hope the planning board and Board of Aldermen will support this critical proposal!
Does this work interest you? The Affordable Housing Organizing Committee (AHOC) meets the third Thursday of the month, from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at SCC (337 Somerville Avenue). 

For more information about AHOC, please contact Rene at or 617-776-5931 x 226

Raising a Voice in Union Square
Union United is continuing to take steps towards community voice in the Union Square development. At a meeting called by mayor-appointed consultant group LOCUS, community members discussed creating a "place management organization" to implement the priorities identified by the LOCUS process, SomerVision, and the Neighborhood Plan. Any place management organization, however, must be representative of the community and have a seat at the table with real decision-making power. Union United members called for a resolution stating that "an independent community group must be a party to a community benefits agreement (CBA) between the City and any developer in Union Square." The vote was 23-0, with 11 people abstaining. This is a powerful statement in favor of community representation. 

We hope the City and US2 are listening.

Union United members at a Neighborhood Plan Meeting

A real CBA negotiation, modeled after effective agreements across the country, would require a truly participatory process and could be one of the standards required for all development in Union Square.

Do you believe the community should have a voice in Union Square? 
Union United meets the first Thursday of the month, from 5:30-8:00 PM at St. Joseph's Church (264 Washington Street).

For more information and to get involved in Union United, please contact Karen at 617-776-5931 x 230

Jobs for Somerville Calls for More Support for Underfunded First Source Jobs Program
As developers discuss the balance of commercial and residential construction, and the future of the Green Line Extension is in doubt, Jobs for Somerville is continuing to push for good jobs in Somerville through the First Source program, which has been very successful but is seriously underfunded. 

In order to meet the demand of Somerville residents with barriers to employment and ensure that they end up in good jobs that respect workers' rights, the program needs more resources for case managers and training facilities. We hope that the City will include the First Source Jobs program in the FY17 budget as part of a broader strategy to achieve good jobs in Somerville. 
Join us at our next meeting!  Jobs for Somerville meets the second Wednesday of the month, from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at SCC (337 Somerville Avenue). 

For more information about Jobs for Somerville, please contact Rene at or 617-776-5931 x 226

First Source Jobs Clients Brush-Up on Computer Skills with Support from The Career Place

Nine First Source clients attended a Basic Computer Skills workshop series in January conducted by The Career Place at the Haitian Coalition computer lab in Somerville.  During these three classes, students learned basics on how to use a computer, email and attach applications over the course of 3 classes.  Students also learned how to email resumes and how to navigate basic job applications.   

Interpretation services was provided in Spanish for a few students. This class will help First Source clients to become more computer literate and independent in their job search.

For more information about First Source Jobs, please contact Laura at 
or 617-776-5931 x237.
As always, we appreciate feedback.  Be sure to join us on Facebook & Twitter for the most current info on what we're up to and how to get involved. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon! 

Daniel LeBlanc
Somerville Community Corporation