Building Communities

Changing Lives

February 2024

Dear Julia,

It is hard to believe we are already in the midst of planning for our annual Spring Celebration, in which we honor our Champions of Community Action. This year will be even more special as we commemorate 60 years of community action with our fellow Community Action Agencies across the country. Stay tuned for more information in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, please view and share our social media pages and join us in recognizing the continued work of our Black colleagues during this February's Black History Month and throughout the year. You will find some of our superstars highlighted below.

Please find information on our many programs, including Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), WIC and Fuel Assistance, and advocacy efforts, below. We are so fortunate to have so many dedicated staff and colleagues who continue to work to uplift those less fortunate in our community.

As always, thank you for your continued support. We could not do the work we do without you!


Karen Frederick, CEO

Community Teamwork

Please Join us in recognizing some of our Black staff members who were nominated by their peers. Visit our social media pages to view them all!

Greissy Castillo, Administrative Specialist, Facilities. Nominated by Christine DeFeo, Senior Program Coordinator, Common Ground Development Corporation (CGDC) at CTI.

Greissy embraces the CTI culture. She is compassionate, accountable, respectful, and empathetic. She was a past recipient of the well-deserved Rockstar Rookie award. Her most important attribute is she is kind and thoughtful...and delightful!

Maenda Melengo, Case Manager, HCEC - RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition). Nominated by Chris Santos-Gordon, Deputy Division Director, Community Resources.

Maenda is compassionate and caring of his clients. He has been with CTI for nearly a year and CTI's Housing and Consumer Education Center (HCEC) is very lucky to have him on their team!

Amara Freeman (recipient of the Bill Lipchitz Award), Housing Mobility Counselor. Nominated by Bethzaica Rivera, Housing Mobility Mgr.

Amara is kind, compassionate, and an excellent writer. On May 3, 2023, he wrote his first children's book called "Trailblazing Black Athletes". Amara is making this world a better place for his two sons and daughter. Amara should be recognized because he is a strong male role model, not only for his family but for the community as well.

You can read about all of our nominated colleagues on our Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts. Some can also be found on X.

MASSCAP and Community Teamwork Hold Annual Launch of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

VITA is administered by Community Action Agencies (CAAs) annually and helps thousands of wage earners access millions of dollars in tax refunds, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). In Massachusetts, CAAs help more than 15,000 low-income taxpayers benefit from more than $26 million in tax refunds.

“We are grateful to our legislators and the governor for joining with us to help income workers bridge the passage of an increased state EIC, as well as the new child and family tax credits. Especially in the current challenging times, helping low-income workers access these tax credits - powerful antipoverty tools — is so critical. The cost of living has increased, and so many are counting on the resources VITA sites can help them access through free tax

preparation,” said Joe Diamond, MASSCAP Executive Director.

There are approximately 80 VITA sites operating across the state, run by Community Action Agencies and other community-based organizations and colleges. Together they serve more than 30,000 low-income taxpayers, helping them to access over $60 million in tax refunds. VITA sites are supported by state resources in the state budget, by resources from the IRS and by private donations.

MASSCAP VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX PROGRAM STATEWIDE KICKOFF LIVESTREAMED VIDEO. The video includes a message from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and

U.S. Senator Ed Markey Video.



Karen Frederick, CEO and Joe Diamond, MASSCAP CEO

State Representatives Rodney Elliott and Vanna Howard, along with Steve Panagiotakos, Strategic Policy Advisor

Eric Rosario, VITA Program Manager at CTI and Jessica Keegan, Program Officer, Office of Economic Empowerment for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Paul Ratha Yem, Vice Mayor, City of Lowell and Ancel Tejada, Program Manager, Financial Empowerment, MASSCAP

For more information about Community Teamwork's VITA program:



Eric Rosario at 978.735.6748,

Jackyie Gonzalez at 978.735.4489,

WHO WE ARE: A Chronicle of Racism in America COMMUNITY SCREENINGS

Recently the Town of Westford Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee along with Westford Public Schools Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee partnered with Community Teamwork to screen the documentary at Westford High School auditorium.

“We had a rich discussion at the end of the movie where folks from across our community shared their life experiences. We were reminded by a couple of attendees that racist and antisemitic incidents are nearer to us than we think. Awareness matters. If we can recognize our own biases, because it is 'who we are', then we can hold ourselves and each other accountable when we witness hate.”

Magaly Rodriguiz Ronan, Westford Director of Equity, Curriculum and Instruction

Westford School Superintendent, Christopher Chew (Signing the Racial Equity Pledge)

L-R: Joe Diamond, Executive Director of MASSCAP, Madonna McKensie (Former Town Manager.) and her husband, Magaly Rodriguiz Ronan, Director of Equity, Curriculum and Instruction for Westford

Upcoming Screenings:

Date: 2/24/24, Saturday

Time: 2:00-4:30pm

Co-Sponsors: Nashua Public Library/Nashua NAACP

Location: Nashua Public Library Auditorium

Date: 3/10/24, Sunday

Time: 5-8pm

Co-Sponsors: Harbor of Hope Christian Church and Chelmsford First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church 

Location: Harbor of Hope, 68 Princeton Street, North Chelmsford


For more information about these screenings or setting one up, please contact Saadia Ahmad, Director Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at CTI:


Early Education Staff and Leadership Visit the State House on

Head Start Lobby Day

Representative Vanna Howard (4th from left) was joined by Saadia Ahmad, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (far left), Meghan Siembor, Division Director of Child and Family Services (C&FS) (3rd from left) and other staff members from C&FS.

Community Teamwork's advocacy efforts are in full swing. Our Head Start staff and Leadership traveled to the Statehouse in Boston on two occasions this past month to advocate for continued funding for our vital programs, including Early Child Care and Head Start. We continue to offer our voice to push for greater funding for these and other important programs.

Meghan Siembor - Division Director of Child and Family Services (C&FS) gave a special shout out to Samantha Rivera - Parent Engagement Coordinator, Tracy Looney - Content Area Manager, and the staff at C&FS for the fabulous job they did preparing for the event and to congratulate everyone on very successful visits.

Head Start FY 2024 Fact Sheet

HSSSG Talking Points FY 2025

MASSCAP's Annual Public Policy Briefing at the State House

Pictured L-R: Meghan Siembor, Division Director C&FS, Saadia Ahmad, Director DEIB, Barbara Warren, Division Director Housing and Homeless Services, Connie Martin, Division Director Energy and Community Resources and Karen Frederick, CEO at CTI.

Earlier this year, MASSCAP held it's annual Public Policy briefing at the State House. This event gives local agencies and the network the opportunity to speak directly to legislators about the importance of funding our programs at a level that allows us to keep doing the great work we do every day. Members spoke about the Community Action Line Item (flexible funding for CAAs), Early Education and Care, VITA, and Karen Frederick spoke about the importance of Fuel Assistance and Housing Supports.

WIC News

Recipients of MassHealth or these plans: Buy-In, Care Plus Limited, and Limited/Children Medical Security Plan are automatically income eligible for WIC. Proof income is not required for WIC application. To learn more please visit or call us today at 978.454.6397

Did you know that as a WIC participant you are eligible for heating and gas assistance? Call your local office today to find out more information: 978.654.7199. WIC is good food and a whole lot more indeed! 45 Kirk Street, Lowell and Lowell Community Health Center.

Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP) ~Success Story~

Welcome to Taylor's Place

Taylor is 26 years old and has multiple disabilities. Tina Magilio and her boyfriend Shawn worked with Cathi Tammany, Home Modification Loan Program Coordinator at Community Teamwork and obtained a $50,000 HMLP loan to create a separate living space or attached accessory dwelling unit in their basement for Tina’s daughter, Taylor. This separate living space gives Taylor the ability to strengthen her life skills and create a space that is uniquely hers.

Please watch this moving video HMLP Taylor's Place . It will give you a sense of the impact this Program has on people's lives.

For more information on the HMLP Program:


Contact: Cathi Tammany


Call: 978-654-5741

Taylor and her Mom, Tina




Thank you again to Tina and Taylor for opening up their home, twice and to Cathi Tammany for all of her assistance in helping the family complete the loan process and see the project through to completion. We would also like to give a shout out to Tomo360 (the developer CTI's website). They are the marketing firm HMLP has been working with for the past several years and who produces HMLP’s videos.

Guidance for Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Security Deposit program

Effective September 1, 2023 (unless otherwise instructed by the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC), eligible households in the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities’ (EOHLC, formerly known as Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Housing Choice Voucher program and certain other voucher programs will be eligible for one-time security deposit assistance.

HCV Security Deposition Program Memo

Security Deposit Registration Form

Calling all Housing Provider Partners -

Do you have and apartment to rent?

Community Teamwork (CTI)’s Housing and Homeless Service Division is looking to immediately rent apartments in   

LowellTewksburyChelmsford and Dracut.


  • 1, 2 & 3 Bedroom apartments are needed immediately.
  • CTI is the “tenant” and we will place those in need referred  to us by the State. These participants will receive supportive services.
  • CTI pays security and the monthly rent, and is responsible for any damages caused by the participants.
  • Apartments MUST be de-leaded and have an occupancy permit.
  • 1-3 year lease options available.

If interested, please respond to - stating the address, # of bedrooms, rent requested, when it will be vacant, and length of desired lease.

You can also submit the form with the information about the  apartment(s) you have available by clicking the link below: 

Now Taking Applications for

Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP)

Fuel Assistance & Home Energy Assessment

45 Kirk Street, 2nd Floor, Lowell MA 01852






Fuel Assistance Program

Call: 978.459.6161, Email:

Apply Online:

Energy/Weatherization Program

Call: 978.654.4904, Email:


Please find our updated 2023 Community Needs Assessment, Annual Report, and Constituency Guide on our website at Annual Reports & Documents - Community Teamwork ( Hard copies are available upon request.

Thank You to our 2023 Newsletter Sponsor


Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program Director

 Early Learning Division is Hiring Teachers, Assistant Teachers and more

Teachers, Assistant Teachers, Teacher Aides

Special Career, Excellent Benefits

Sign-On Bonus $3k* Full-Time (*Teachers, Assistant Teachers, Bus Drivers),

$1k Part-time


Top Pay and Benefits

Supportive Culture

Teach with Impact

CLICK HERE to see all career opportunities at Community Teamwork



MassDevelopment Awards Funding for Entrepreneurship Center at CTI - 2 21 24

$1.6M For Small Business Support - MassDevelopment 2/ 14/ 24

MASSCAP and Community Teamwork Launch Annual Statewide Volunteer Free Tax Preparation Program for Low Income Families ~ Earned Income Tax Awareness Day 1/26/24

Nicholas DiGiammo Selected to Lead Community Teamwork's Youth Services Organization - The Sun 12/11/23

Mayor Sokhary Chau Helps Community Teamwork Raise Over $50k for Youth Homelessness -The Sun 12/7/23

'Who We Are' sparks conversations about racism - The Lowell Sun 10/31/23

There are ALWAYS Ways to Help

If you find yourself in a position to help, your contribution will aid our efforts on every front as we work together to care for our clients and families in their hour of greatest need, and emerge stronger than ever. 

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