Shelter Plus Solutions!
Friends of the Homeless, Inc. began sheltering people more than 25 years ago because the community saw a need. We have by necessity grown into the largest emergency shelter for men and women outside of Boston and that’s only the beginning of our story. In addition to providing 24 hour emergency shelter to almost 1200 individuals each year, we serve more than 155,000 meals, provide showers and laundry facilities and operate a Resource Center to help wrap people in services that help them get back on their feet. The most humane thing we do is help people find permanent housing. To that end, in addition to community outreach, FOH is landlord to 110 formerly homeless individuals who live in our single rooms and efficiency apartments.
We work hard every day to build partnerships and find resources so that we can offer real help to people in need. We have a medical and dental clinic on site, as well as a computer lab. We partner with Bay Path University to manage and operate Essential Thrift a donation collection and distribution site, providing “essentials” like toothpaste and dry socks free of charge. Other area institutions allow us to offer programs, classes and interns that make empty hours meaningful on the FOH campus.
A cavalry of volunteers supplement our small staff but the need is great. We wonder some days if it exceeds the resources of this generous but poor community. What started as a solution for Springfield has become the only place in Western Massachusetts that tries to help whoever comes through our doors. So we’re counting on Valley Gives, on 12/10/14 to help spread the word to a wider audience, make new friends and engage you in giving. Your donations really matter.
Without you, our donors, FOH cannot do the important work of treating our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and adult children with the dignity that every human being deserves. It starts with a bed for the night and with a lot of work in between, ends with a permanent home. You can be a part of making that happen. Please join us and be a friend of the homeless today. Every day after will be a better one.
In addition to our shelters, Friends of the Homeless manages 110 single rooms or efficiency apartments. That can be a first step for the people we see. These are located on our "campus" that also has a full service kitchen serving meals to homeless and non-homeless alike, a medical and dental clinic and supportive service counselors who match people with what they need.
Every day miracles happen on the FOH campus. For some, getting out of bed to face another difficult day is an accomplishment. Then there are those moments when we all celebrate the key to an apartment, or a job opportunity that we know will have a profound impact on the quality of someone’s life. The men and women we serve are as diverse and complicated as your family. But on the FOH campus these individuals find the help and hope they need to try again and rebuild their lives.
Friends of the Homeless could not do all this without your financial support. Your donations really matter at this small non-profit agency with a very big job to do. Thank you for your support! Thank you for being a friend of the homeless!
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