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July 31, 2023

Community Healthlink receives $200K for homeless shower program

PHOTO | Courtesy of Google Maps Community Healthlink on Queen Street in Worcester

Worcester-based behavioral healthcare provider Community Healthlink has received a $208,000 grant from the City of Worcester for its Shower Program, which is part of CHL’s Homeless Outreach and Advocacy Project.

The grant comes from Worcester’s allotment of American Rescue Plan Act State and Local Fiscal Relief Funds, according to a Friday press release from CHL. The Shower Program opens CHL’s clinic at 162 Chandler St. to people experiencing homelessness and provides showers, shower supplies, food, and clean clothing. It is open on weekdays.

“Our Shower Program meets the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness in Worcester while improving access to mental health, recovery, and/or permanent housing assistance,” Donna Pierce-Judkins, senior director of intensive case management and manager of the Shower Program, said in the press release.

The clinic completed renovations and upgrades to the shower area, according to the release. An on-site case manager can connect clients with additional resources, including housing services, mental health services, and substance use disorder treatment programs.

Community Healthlink suspended multiple programs in April after a state inspection, and Worcester City Council in June demanded the organization make public its plans to reopen those programs. The Shower Program has not been impacted.

CHL is a part of Worcester-based UMass Memorial Health.

The ARPA grant funding will cover Shower Program staff at the clinic, linen and laundry services, food and water, and hygiene supplies. CHL received $50,000 from MassDevelopment for a cafeteria renovation on July 24.

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