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Centerboard to Purchase North Shore Group Homes with MassDevelopment Bond

December 19, 2017


Meggie Quackenbush, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 857-208-2777 (cell)

Mandy Pleshaw, Centerboard, 339-883-2062

MassDevelopment has issued a $5.9 million bond for Centerboard Inc., a nonprofit focused on increasing economic opportunity for North Shore residents. Centerboard will use bond proceeds to buy, renovate, and equip four Chelsea, Lynn, and Melrose properties the organization previously leased and will continue to use as group homes, and a fifth property it will use for supportive programs for 30 to 40 individuals. The organization will also use bond proceeds to refinance previously issued debt. Citizen Bank, N.A. purchased the bond.

“Centerboard serves a critical role in Lynn and the region by providing housing, access to employment, and educational and financial empowerment to North Shore residents,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “We are proud to support Centerboard’s mission, and look forward to watching the organization expand with new group homes, community programming, and public art projects.”

Centerboard was founded in 1988 as a collaborative effort among Lynn’s business, public, and private communities to address increasing homelessness as a result of job losses, industry closures, and declining investment. It has grown into an organization that serves more than 1,500 people annually by providing housing, employment programs, independent living programs, and an adolescent group home. Centerboard’s Lynn Family Forward Resource Center serves as a single point of entry for family members to access support services. The organization also spearheads public art projects in Lynn, operates the nonprofit art gallery Visionspace, and has supported the Downtown Lynn Cultural District.

“With this bond from MassDevelopment, our programs can continue to thrive without taking away from the everyday financial needs we face to keep our programs successfully running,” said Centerboard CEO Mark DeJoie. “Because of MassDevelopment, we are able to properly open, staff, and train our employees within these residential programs while continuously expanding to reach more families and youth in need. With MassDevelopment's guidance and partnership, we have the ability to strategically set a course for financial stability for the future.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.