NBID Back2Work Program

The Newmarket BID employs homeless and addiction challenged individuals in the Newmarket area often referred to as “Mass and Cass” to provide our street beautification services. These workers clean and improve the District daily by completing such jobs as landscaping, trash removal, power washing, graffiti removal and more.

Participants work every day alongside program staff and peer support specialists, who engage them in professional development activities and support their efforts to get into recovery in addition to connecting them to housing supports and physical, mental, and behavioral health providers. It is an important component to the Program that, while we do not require that individuals are sober when they start, they have to be willing to work toward sobriety/recovery during their first several weeks working with us.

BID’s Back2Work Program

In 2018, the Newmarket Business Association, now the Newmarket Business Improvement District (BID), promoted a workforce development program for the homeless to the city, and while it was well received at the time, Boston did not have the ability to assist in funding it. In early 2021, Newmarket began funding the program and for the past year and a half, the Newmarket Business Improvement District has managed the program focused on providing low-threshold same-day work for individuals experiencing shelter instability, homelessness and/or a substance use disorder.

This effort acknowledges the barriers that these individuals face in both applying for jobs, as well as maintaining their employment, and creates a lower barrier approach to suit their needs. As a result of our early success, the Boston Department of Public Health has assisted us with funding over the past 8 months which has led to a significant expansion of the Program.

Through this initiative, the Newmarket BID employs homeless and housing challenged individuals in the Mass and Cass area to provide supplemental services in cleaning and beautifying the area by providing day jobs including landscape beautification, trash removal, power washing, graffiti removal and similar.

We work in close cooperation with the Mayor’s Office, and Recovery, Shelter & Engagement Center Staff to identify/hire those individuals that have a likelihood of success in this program.

Participants work every day alongside program staff and peer support specialists, who engage them in professional development activities and support their connection to social services, such as housing supports, benefits access, and physical, mental, and behavioral health providers.  It is an important component to the Program that, while we do not require that individuals are clean when they come into the Program, they have to be willing to work toward sobriety/recovery during their first several weeks working with us. 

We are very proud of the fact that the majority of our workers are currently in recovery/sobriety and all of the others, while not there yet, are in a much better place than they were previously. In addition, it is also an important part of the

Program that we find more stable housing for our workers and while the vast majority were living in tents a year ago, they are now living in low threshold, supportive housing or in SRO’s or apartments.

The end goal of this initiative is to provide our workers with the opportunity to be hired by local companies in part-time or full-time positions. We have placed close to 40 individuals into jobs in the past year and expect to increase that number by the end of 2023.

Back2Work by the Numbers

40 Active Crew Members – 115 Total Program Members/Graduates

85% have substance abuse issues.

50% of those are in Recovery/Sobriety and 40% are working their way to recovery/sobriety.

75% with Stable Housing and 25% in Shelter Housing

40 Graduates of the Program have found or been placed into full or part-time jobs.

Crew Member Profiles

Include photo of each staff person below with a quote and background information

 

Current Staff

  • Tarsha Reed
  • Melissa Baker
  • Tim Choate

 

 

Graduates

  • Tennessee (William) Harrison
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Insert Pedro’s Video of Staff Interviews

 

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