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Friday, May 17, 2013

The MA Coalition for the Homeless—More than you remembered

Rob Kimmett, Sr. VP Marketing, New England Credit Union Services, LLC

On Thursday May 16 a fundraiser was held for the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless at the Boston Harbor Hotel.  It was truly impressive to see the community support that this great organization generates.  People from all walks of life were at this event enjoying a tremendous spring evening and helping the Coalition raise money to do the great work that they do.

The event was eye opening for me because it brought all of the important aspects of the work that the coalition does back to the forefront of my mind.  This reminder was valuable because like many things in life we run the risk of taking them for granted without the occasional prompt.  So I thought I would share my reminder with you.

It’s easy to remember that the League has partnered with the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless for more than twenty years and over that time through the generosity of the credit union community more than $1.3 million has been raised and put to work to help homeless families find and maintain safe permanent housing.  It is easy to lose sight of are the details of the work done by the Coalition. 

For example; Robyn Frost and her team at the Coalition are some of the most vocal and effective advocates for homeless families in Massachusetts.  As a Coalition of groups working to help the homeless they act as the voice for many agencies that support these families on Beacon Hill. 

As a statewide organization they are working with and providing support and material assistance to homeless support organizations from Pittsfield to Provincetown.   They have an impact in every corner of the state.  When the League collects books or blankets those goods get distributed everywhere there is a need.

The Coalition also functions, informally, as an incubator for innovative solutions to the conditions that can trigger homelessness.  Some of these are “homegrown” and others are inspired by great work done elsewhere.  Robyn is the first to admit that their group isn’t too proud to borrow a great idea but they are just as quick to share one they developed.  In addition to the Furniture Bank which they have operated for many years and their Bed for Every Child which was kicked off last year they have a number of other clever and imaginative programs.

Programs like the Highland Kids Initiative which works with the city of Lynn school district to protect school children from becoming homeless.  Homelessness at that age has a tremendously negative effect on the ability of the children to get an education which just continues the cycle of poverty and potential homelessness.  Another is the Room to Breath Initiative which helps parents get what they need to ensure their child with a respiratory condition has a healthy environment in which to live. 

Please take the time to click on a couple of the links in this blog post and visit the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless website.  The links will take you to a description of these specific programs.  I certainly did do them justice with the brief descriptions that I offered here.  I’ll think you’ll be amazed and even more proud to support this great cause.

Posted by Rob •
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