Haverhill council to hear distribution plans for youth activities and mental health grants

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Click on the image for the Haverhill Town Council agenda.

The fruits of the City of Haverhill’s budget compromise from last summer are set to be discussed Tuesday night when city councilors invite nonprofits to apply for grants for youth and mental health activities.

On the last day of June last year, City Council approved the half-million-dollar fund after then-President Melinda E. Barrett negotiated with Mayor James J. Fiorentini. The arrangement, using money from the US Federal Bailout Act, also allowed the city’s $217 million spending plan to take effect the next day.

Councilors initially rejected the mayor’s budget by a 5-4 vote last year when the two sides could not agree on the creation of the fund and how the city would pay for it. At first, Barrett urged the mayor to commit all the cannabis money to the revolving fund, saying, “You’re really close. We are not asking for millions.

George Moriarty, chair of the mayor’s youth activities and mental health advisory committee, is expected to explain to councilors in detail how groups can apply for the money. Councilors and the mayor previously pledged to use $42,000 to pay for school youth risk surveys and $50,000 for retired Army Lt. Gen. Jack Gardner’s Haverhill public-private partnership American, known as HP3.

According to the city’s notice of solicitation, the Youth Activities and Mental Health initiative aims to “counter the devastating effects of the isolation experienced by young people, due to the pandemic and due to disparities in family income and other barriers that limit access to activities; promote the social, educational, developmental and personal well-being of young people and improve mental health; and ensure equitable access for all young people, especially low-income and minority youth who traditionally lack access to a wide range of youth development activities.

Those seeking grants can email the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Allison Heartquist, at [email protected] with the youth activity request written in the subject line.

The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m. remotely and in person in Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, Room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., as a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to hold the meeting live.

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