Friends of the Homeless operates the largest shelter for indviduals in Massachusetts outside the City of Boston. Housing people is our goal!
If just sheltering people was enough, we could be satisfied with what we already do. We have provided shelter to more than 1,000 people so far this year. If just feeding people were enough, we would have achieved our goals. We have served more than 150,000 meals in that same time frame. But we want to provide more than emergency services. They are vital but there is more to be done. The single most humane act we can perform for a person who is homeless is to help them find a home. That is our goal. And that is how we spend our days, helping people find a way home.
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 homeless and non-homeless allike, a medical and dental clinic and supportive service counselors who match people with what they need.
I am so proud of one of our women who recently moved from shelter into an apartment we manage. She has been very involved in her church since she came here and recently travelled to Central America on a mission trip. She came back a new person. How empowering it is when someone who has been the recipient of charity finds out that she has so much to give. From being the victim of trauma to being a beacon of hope, this young woman makes us all proud.
I wish I could say that we help everyone who comes. Sadly, that is not the case. The young woman I mentioned above is a special one. Those who succeed find something inside themselves, or from God, and are able to use the simple tools we offer to move forward in their lives. Others never see a difference and we are sometimes there at the end of their lives. I am often surprised to meet families of individuals who seem so alone when they are here with us.
We try to help whomever comes through our doors. There are successes, and, there are reasons to keep working. Donations from people like you, often people who know someone who might have ended up here, or someplace like this, help to not only sustain us but to improve our services. Your donations really matter. They are practical. (You should see our light bill). And, they show us that you believe this work matters. Thank you for your support!