GLCF Annual Meeting Highlights Homelessness in the Community and Impact of Philanthropy

The Greater Lowell Community Foundation recently hosted its Annual Meeting: Homelessness and Hope. Pictured, from left, GLCF Board Chair Chet Szablak, City of Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue, Barbara Poppe, event keynote and nationally recognized expert on homelessness with GLCF President and CEO Jay Linnehan.


Lowell, MA – Nearly 200 residents, business leaders, and nonprofit professionals attended the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF)’s 2019 annual meeting “Homelessness and Hope” on June 13th at the UMASS Lowell Inn & Conference Center.

GLCF Board Chair Chet Szablak opened the event speaking about the impact of charitable giving on the local level – citing the Foundation’s $1.95 million in grants and scholarships distributed to the community in 2018.

The meeting continued with remarks from GLCF President and CEO Jay Linnehan, as he discussed the power of partnerships to address the growing issue of homelessness in downtown Lowell. “Last June, the GLCF board voted to support and facilitate an initiative to address homelessness in the downtown. Since then, the Foundation, under the adept leadership of the City Manager Eileen Donoghue and the City of Lowell, along with CTI, the Lowell Plan and SMOC (South Middlesex Opportunity Council) regularly meet as the leadership team charged with the important task of creating an action plan to address this critical issue.”

Linnehan also highlighted the growth of the Foundation which current assets total $38.6 million. “The Greater Lowell Community Foundation is a public foundation. It is your community foundation. We are here to facilitate philanthropy at the local level where we can add significant value and impact. As I look back over this past year, I am very proud of what we accomplished together – preserving wealth in the community for the community. As I look ahead, I am heartened because the best is yet to come,” Linnehan said.

Barbara Poppe, the founder of Barbara Poppe and Associates and the former executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness gave the keynote address. Introduced by Eileen Donoghue, City Manager, City of Lowell, Ms. Poppe, a nationally recognized expert on homelessness and results-driven public-private partnerships was hopeful about solving homelessness in the downtown Lowell. “You’ve got many of the ingredients. You just got to put it together in an appropriate way,” she said. “The reality is you can solve homelessness, you just have to get yourself organized to do that.”

Additionally, the event showcased six recipients of the 2019 Help Alleviate Hunger and Homelessness in Massachusetts grant and their important work in the community: House of Hope, Life Connection Center, Lowell Transitional Living Center, Mill City Grows, New England Dairy & Food Council and The Open Pantry of Greater Lowell. This generous one-time capital grant was made possible from an anonymous donor that partnered with the GLCF to distribute $90,000 in grants awarded to 11 area nonprofit organizations that are battling hunger and homelessness in the community.


About Greater Lowell Community Foundation
The Greater Lowell Community Foundation is a philanthropic organization comprised of over 350 funds, currently totaling over $38MM, 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 over $15 million to the Greater Lowell Community since 1999. For more information on the Greater Lowell Community Foundation please visit