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2023 CAAs

Eastern Bank Foundation Convenes Safe and Affordable Housing Leaders From Across the Region for Recognition and Problem Solving

May 17, 2023

Roundtable discussion with 2023 Community Advocacy Award Honorees spotlights successes and solutions to address persistent housing barriers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire

BOSTON, MA, May 17, 2023 – Yesterday Eastern Bank Foundation brought together the 2023 Community Advocacy Award (CAA) Honorees for a solutions-driven roundtable where approaches to the region’s housing challenges were discussed, and an award and award grant ceremony took place. This year’s 12 CAA honorees are safe and affordable housing nonprofit leaders from New Hampshire, Merrimack Valley, the North & South Shores, Greater Boston, and Cape Cod.

The dynamic roundtable covered many aspects of the affordable housing picture including zoning, access to capital, the key role of grassroots organizations, the importance of business leaders advocating for change, and the significance of philanthropy in partnering for innovative solutions for today’s complex challenges. Honorees also discussed how systemic inequities such as high childcare costs, low wages, gaps in education, and racial injustice intersect with the affordable housing issue as a whole.

Each year the CAAs celebrate just a few of the many passionate nonprofit leaders and organizations focusing on the most critical needs in the communities Eastern serves and align with the Foundation’s commitment to expanding economic inclusion, mobility and social justice.

The group of 2023 CAA honorees include:

Jessica Andors, Executive Director, Lawrence CommunityWorks- Lawrence, MA

Will Arvelo, Executive Director, Cross Roads House- Portsmouth, NH & surrounding cities & towns

Yun-Ju Choi, Executive Director, Coalition for a Better Acre- Lowell, Haverhill and Dracut, MA

Lyndia Downie, President & Executive Director, Pine Street Inn- Greater Boston, MA

Aaron Gornstein, President & CEO, Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH)- Massachusetts, Rhode Island & Nationwide

Chrystal Kornegay, Executive Director, MassHousing- Boston & Massachusetts

Rita Lara, Executive Director, Maverick Landing Community Services- East Boston, MA

Alisa Magnotta, CEO, Housing Assistance Corporation- Cape Cod & Islands

Josephine McNeil, Founder & Executive Director, CAN-DO- Newton, MA

Connor Schoen, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Breaktime- Boston, MA

Sara Stanley, Executive Director, HAWC- Salem, Lynn & Gloucester, MA

John Yazwinski, President & CEO, Father Bill’s & MainSpring- Brockton, Quincy & surrounding cities and towns

Collectively, the honorees’ organizations and efforts address many of the communities and facets that make up the affordable housing picture -- serving individuals and families, veterans, LGBT youth, domestic abuse survivors and the homeless, and providing educational, financial, legal, health and workforce development support and access.

Find details on each honoree here.

Commenting on the issue of housing inequities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and the power of bringing a strong, cross-section of community leaders together, Nancy Huntington Stager, President & CEO of Eastern Bank Foundation, said, “Safe and affordable housing is essential for full participation in our schools, workplaces and neighborhoods yet it is out of reach or insecure for far too many people in our region. Inflation, ever-rising home and rental prices, and gentrification is only deepening the crisis. It is critically important to spotlight and seek solutions in the vital work being done by our 2023 CAA honorees and many other organizations working so hard to break down barriers to affordable housing. Until we can do a better job in this space for everyone, we are being held back from reaching our full potential as a regional community.”   

About Eastern Bank Foundation

Eastern Bank Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Eastern Bank, actively listens to and partners with our neighbors and fellow change-makers across nonprofit, for-profit, and government sectors to further community vibrancy and promote structural change. We invest with community-led organizations working to build economic inclusion, mobility, and social justice in four strategy areas -- advancing equity in the small business ecosystem, enriching early childhood development, securing safe and affordable housing, and promoting workforce development. Knowing the roots of social and economic injustice are as stubborn as they are old, we employ a variety of levers -- Philanthropy, Employee Volunteerism, Advocacy, and Collaboration -- to lift up and rise with our communities, especially in our region’s Gateway Cities. Learn more here Eastern Bank Foundation | Eastern Bank.

Media contact:
Jennifer McNeil
Eastern Bank Foundation

[email protected]

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