GLCF, CTI and Middlesex District Attorney’s Office Partner in Drug Court Transportation Project
Community Teamwork, Inc. (CTI) receives $10,000 Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) Grant
Community Teamwork, Inc. (CTI), Greater Lowell Community Foundation and the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office are announcing a first-of-its kind partnership to provide transportation to individuals to and from Drug Court. Last year CTI received a $10,000 grant from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation to help start the pilot program, which kicked off in October, and is currently providing services three women who are being picked up from a Lynn Sober House and transported to their court appearances. The goal is to accommodate up to 13 individuals each week.
“This partnership with the office of District Attorney Marian T. Ryan, Community Teamwork and the Drug Court is the capstone of a multi-year commitment to fund programs for opioid prevention and treatment in our area and help ensure success for participants. In response to the opioid epidemic, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $160,000 in discretionary funds to support local
nonprofits,” said Greater Lowell Community Foundation President and CEO Jay Linnehan.
“By providing this transportation option we are filling a service gap that was prohibiting some
individuals from easily accessing the courts, which is essential to successful completion of drug
court,” said District Attorney Ryan. “We continue to work with the courts and our community
partners to ensure the criminal justice system is not just punitive. To do this we need to think
outside the box to come up with innovative solutions that will hopefully lead to a successful
outcome and ultimately interrupt the often cyclical effects of substance use disorders.”
The Drug Court is a special session within Massachusetts district courts where judges, prosecutors,
defense attorneys, probation officers, police and social-service workers team up to work with
defendants on probation whose crimes were motivated by substance abuse. Many defendants are placed where treatment beds are available, which can be located in Sober Houses far from their community and the Drug Court. These defendants risk violating probation because they are unable to secure transportation to attend their trial. In addition, various modes of transportation, such as public transportation and taxis can be cost prohibitive and often defendants can find themselves back in the neighborhoods and streets where drugs are being sold.
Community Teamwork recognized that its Transportation Department, which brings children to and from school, had flexibility to use drivers and vehicles during the school day to respond to other
community needs. With funding from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, CTI is deploying
drivers and vehicles to fill this need. GLCF provided a $10,000 grant to support the cost of a
driver and van for Community Teamwork to facilitate this innovative approach to assist the Drug
Court and its clients. Together, CTI, GLCF and the Drug Court probation officers developed a
framework for what the program might look like as well as a strict Code of Conduct which the
participants would have to follow in order to receive the benefit of this program.
“Most often, these defendants are in need of other basic services which CTI can provide, such as
housing, financial literacy, child care, etc. Through this pilot program, which can send employees
from CTI to work with the probation officials and social workers, we are able to identify the
various resources available to the defendants. We could not have taken this novel approach without
the help of this grant from GLCF,” stated Meghan Siembor, Director of Child and Family Services.
About Community Teamwork
Community Teamwork is a catalyst for social change. Our driving mission is to help people help
themselves with child care, family supports, nutrition, fuel assistance, housing, skills training,
employment, financial education, and individual asset and small business development. As a
Community Action Agency, a Regional Housing Agency, and a Community Development Corporation,
Community Teamwork helps nearly 50,000 individuals from 63 cities and towns in northeastern
Massachusetts gain greater economic independence.
About the Greater Lowell Community Foundation
The Greater Lowell Community Foundation is a philanthropic organization comprised of over 350
funds, currently totaling over $35MM, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life in 20
neighboring cities and towns. The Community Foundation annually awards grants and scholarships to
hundreds of worthy nonprofits and students, and is powered by the winning combination of
donor-directed giving, personal attention from its staff, and an in-depth understanding of local
needs. The generosity of our donors has enabled the
Community Foundation to award more than $13 million to the Greater Lowell Community since 1999.