The Daily Hampshire Gazette published an editorial this morning that featured the Western MA Opening Doors Plan to End Homelessness. The editorial – Attack on area homelessness will include more than veterans – was written in the context of Northampton Mayor Narkewicz joining the Mayors’ Challenge to End Homelessness (thank you Mayor Narkewicz!). The Gazette reached out to the Network to understand this initiative in the broader context of the effort to end homelessness. And we answered with The Plan.
Leading the local charge for that broader effort is the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness, which sets as its goal making homelessness in the state’s four western counties “rare, brief and non-recurring.”
What immediate gratification on the framework this Plan offers to the wider world around what we are doing, what we are seeking and how we plan to make it happen. Our success has already begun.
The snow stopped long enough for the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness to bring together almost 20 state legislators, 6 mayors, Administration officials, business partners, our funders and over 100 Network partners to celebrate our Secure Jobs program. Thank you to everyone who made this celebration possible!
We also launched our new Secure Jobs web pages, thanks to the terrific work of Andrea Miller. On it, you can read directly about our impact and get a taste of the personal success stories many of us had the privilege of hearing directly at the celebration.
Media coverage helped spread the good news:
Channel 40 News: Western MA Program Nationally Recognized
Channel 22 News: Secure Jobs Program Celebrated at HCC
Springfield Republican: Program turns homeless to self-sufficient; ‘That’s all I needed,’ recipient says
Greenfield Recorder: Job Training Program Helps Homeless Family Resettle in Greenfield
WAMC Northeast Public Radio: Funding Sought to Continue Program that Helps Homeless Secure Jobs
The photo below captures the broad span of our Western MA legislators and mayors preparing to present awards to our program participants and business partners. A heartfelt thanks to our elected leaders for their leadership and commitment, and congratulations to all of Western Massachusetts!
When Governor-Elect Baker visited Holyoke last week, he met with Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse and Holyoke Representative Aaron Vega and they addressed the topic of family homelessness. Representative Vega, a member of our Secure Jobs Advisory Committee, seized the opportunity to bring our Secure Jobs program to the Governor-Elect’s attention as a core solution. That mention got picked up by Channel 22 news here in the story’s narrative.
A very big thanks to Representative Vega for bringing this program to the Governor’ Elect’s attention, as well as to the broader community. How lucky we are to have such meaningful support across our legislative delegation!
Our Network’s own Jane Banks, program director of Center for Human Development, received an award from the statewide advocacy group Homes for Families at a ceremony yesterday in Worcester for Inspiring Leadership in her work for homeless families in the Western region.
You can read more about it here in the article that appeared yesterday in the Greenfield Recorder.
On behalf of the Network, we share our pride and appreciation for Jane’s tremendous work over 16 years. Congratulations, Jane!