Lynn Shelter Association Awarded a Slew of Grants

The Lynn Shelter Association received $140,000 in grant and endowments over the past few months. First they received $40,000 from the Boston Foundation, as part of their Open Door grant program. That endowment, announced on April 14, was quickly followed by an award from The Cummings Foundation, which pledged $100,000 to the Lynn Shelter Association on June 8.

Lynn Shelter Association executive director Mark Evans plans to use the Boston Foundation’s grant to enrich activities and social services for the shelter’s clients, most of whom are low-income, working families.

“Our organization has accomplished so much during the last year, as we introduced the best practice model of Housing First,” Evans said. “The grant from the Boston Foundation will give us additional resources to implement new and innovative approaches to addressing the needs of the homeless,” he added.

Established in 1984, the Lynn Shelter Association now operates three family shelters: Bridge House, which contains 12 housing units, Independence Way, which has 32 units, and Green House, which offers 21 units.

Each shelter provides the family in need with a room, three meals per day, and promises a “safe, nurturing environment.” In addition to housing, each of the Lynn Shelter Association’s family and individual shelters assist residents with job searches, medical care, including mental health, childcare, and parenting classes.

In total, The Lynn Shelter Association serves nearly 120 homeless families and 1,400 homeless individuals annually. The Association’s adult emergency shelter, which has 44 beds, serves up to 600 people each year, most in the winter months.

Two of the Shelter Association’s five locations offer housing and counseling for veterans. Great Hill, one of these locations, also provides group housing for homeless individuals exhibiting chronic drug addiction, as well as housing opportunities for people with AIDS.

Over $400,000 was committed to The Boston Foundation’s Open Door program during this fiscal year, which the Foundation reports is “designed to benefit small organizations, grassroots efforts and other nonprofit programs that do not fall within the Boston Foundation’s major strategic areas.”

These “strategic areas” prioritized by The Boston Foundation include education, health and wellness, jobs and economic development, housing, and arts/culture.

Lynn was recognized in March 2016 for effectively ending veteran homelessness and providing housing for identified homeless veterans, but the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2016 Annual Homeless Report to Congress found that Massachusetts cities contain seven percent of the nation’s homeless families.

“Being selected as a grantee for this highly competitive program will allow us to have an even greater impact on homelessness in Greater Lynn,” said Evans.  

Other beneficiaries of the Open Door Grant program included the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, The Home Funders Collaborative, The Museum of African American History, and the Phillips Brooks House Association.

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