The mission of CSN is to help low and moderate
income clients access the knowledge, skills and services that promote
independence and self-sufficiency. The goal is to promote both immediate and
CSN began at a kitchen table in September 1984 to help low and moderate income clients in crisis access the knowledge, skills, and appropriate services that promote independence and self-sufficiency. The goal is to help our clients in their pursuit to secure the essentials of a reasonable standard of living and to promote both immediate and sustained success. CSN provides a helping hand rather than a handout providing services in person to assist with a personal connection. CSN provides services in the Massachusetts communities of Burlington, Lexington, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, Winchester, and Woburn. CSN's programs include: Information and Referral; Advocay and Case Management; Housing Search Information; HUD certified Housing Counseling; Foreclosure Prevention assistance; Reverse Mortgage Counseling; Refinance and Loan counseling; Landlord-Tenant Dispute mediation; legal representation for low and very-low income tenants without other representation; Family Self-sufficiency counseling; First-time Home Buyer Education for both pre-purchase and post-purchase. MHFA's "Get the Lead Out" and Purchase and Rehabilitation Program; Home Owner Improvement Loan Programs, Soft-second Mortgage Program. All of CSN's programs are housing related. CSN also previously ran a shelter for homeless families for nine years and a transitional housing program in partnership with Woburn Housing Authority for three years.
CSN placed and maintained up to 2000 homeless families, without shelter placements, per month in hotels and motels.
CSN counseled 190 individuals and families and prevented them from becoming homeless.
CSN prevented 50 families from losing their homes to foreclosure.
CSN assisted 95 low and very low-income households to maintain tenancy through landlord-tenant mediation.
1. CSN needs funding to have the financial means to assist families to make mortgage, rent and utility payments to prevent foreclosure, eviction or shut-off. CSN needs to secure $25,000.
2. CSN needs to secure funding from alternative sources as grant funding from HUD has decreased significantly and CSN has had to utilize money from our reserves to cover housing counselor salaries. The decrease CSN is looking to make up is $10,000.
3. CSN needs to secure funding to make up for the loss of funding from the IOLTA grants. With the decrease in home sales as the economy declined the IOLTA funds were negatively impacted and the Massachusetts Bar Foundation had to discontinue funding on many grants they previously had been able to fund. The loss of funding is a loss of $18,000.
4. CSN is in need of the funding to be able to add additional programming for a population in need that there is a gap in programming for. CSN needs funding to open a shelter for unaccompanied homeless youth, UHY are youth 24 or younger without a parent or gaurdian and no regular secure residence. CSN is looking to open a shelter for UHY with wrap around services. Funding needed believed to be $1.5 million.
5. CSN is in need of funding to add an additional attorney to the staff. We currently have 1 that handles all reverse mortgage counseling, all landlord-tenant dispute mediation, and all foreclosure prevention for the ten communities in our service area. Salary and benefits for adding a second staff attorney would add up to $68,000.
CSN is an organization that provides a helping hand rather than a handout to its clients. CSN encourages its clients once they are out of crisis and back on track to give back in any way they can, whether it be by volunteering their time, a service or making a donation of goods or funds. In essence "pay it forward." CSN's president started Community Service Network at her kitchen table 28 years ago after she needed to rely on public assistance for six months when a family crisis occurred. The challenges and loss of dignity she had to go through to receive short term assistance made her determined to "find a better way" for people to access help. She also found out the ten communities CSN serves had no other agency servicing those communities.
Board Chair Statement