In early October, Worcester Common Ground proudly welcomed two new community development ventures to the Piedmont Neighborhood: a Bioshelter/Urban Orchard and housing rehabilitation project at 21 Jaques Avenue. These achievements were celebrated alongside valued community partners and residents, and demonstrated the power of grassroots collaboration. The Bioshelter, a specialized type of greenhouse, was conceived through a partnership with WPI students and faculty. Construction began this summer, thanks to the dedicated students of YouthBuild Worcester. We are excited to see the Bioshelter become a truly community-driven greenspace initiative, with the capacity for year-round food growth, educational programming, neighborhood gatherings, and so much more.

Down the street at 21 Jaques Avenue, we are preparing to commence construction on our latest housing rehabilitation project. After many years, Worcester Common Ground was able to secure state and city funds to transform this blighted property into four affordable rental apartments. Three (3) units, 75% of the project, will be affordable to extremely low income households with incomes up to 30% AMI, and one unit (1) will be affordable for a 50% AMI very low income household. Two of the units will provide supportive housing for Department of Mental Health (DMH) clients utilizing Facilities Consolidation Funds (FCF) and Housing Trust Funds (HTF).

This work would not be possible without the support of our community partners. Thank you to Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, Santander, TJX Companies, Fallon Health, the George F. & Sybil H. Fuller Foundation, and Saint Gobain for their contributions.