It is with great sadness I write to announce the death of Ken Demers, the Executive Director of Berkshire Works. Ken was a long-time member of the Network’s Leadership Council and founding partner of the highly successful Western Massachusetts’ Secure Jobs program for homeless families while serving as Vice-President of Employment and Training at Corporation of Public Management.
Ken’s life-long commitment to helping people both in his work and his community was a gift to all who knew and worked with him. His kind and generous spirit, his sense of humor, his unwavering determination to make good things happen for the people he served and the people with whom he worked made him a true inspiration for us all. He will be sorely missed.
His obituary and service details can be found here: http://www.paciorekfuneral.com/obituaries.aspx?turl=http://hosting-6340.tributes.com/obituary/show/Kenneth-C.-Demers-104849746
Our hearts are with his family.
Please see the link below for a new study on veteran homelessness by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
And please read below to join the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ campaign to end veteran homelessness
Join the Alliance’s Never Another Homeless Veteran Campaign
This Veteran’s Day, the Alliance launched its Never Another Homeless Veteran Campaign. On any given night, more than 60,000 U.S. veterans are homeless. Veterans face unique obstacles in finding stable, safe housing. Skills learned in the military do not always match the needs of the civilian workplace. For veterans with combat-related injuries or mental-health conditions, finding and keeping housing can be especially difficult. At the same time, veterans face the same challenges as the rest of us: a critical shortage of affordable housing and stubbornly high unemployment.
Ending homelessness among veterans is an achievable goal. Veteran homelessness has declined nearly 17 percent since 2009, and with continued funding and support, we can reach a day where every veteran has secure housing. We know what it will take to get there, and we have a plan. Will you join the Alliance and its partners in working toward a day when no veteran is without a home?
Yes, I’ll sign the Never Another Homeless Veteran statement
Thanks to Homes for Families for the following update on Welfare Reform:
The welfare bill is in conference committee which will work out the final bill between now and some time in January. Had the bill been rushed through, we are certain it would have included some very harmful provisions. We now have the opportunity to improve the bill, but this will take ongoing efforts on our part. We have a lot of work to do through the Holidays.
The calls and contacts that you all made to legislators had an important and significant impact. Without your outreach, it is likely that a potentially harmful bill would likely have been rushed through committee. Thank you for everything you have done and will undoubtedly continue to do to ensure that our state passes responsible and effective welfare reform!
We will be in touch about next steps. In the meantime, it would be great to thank legislators who supported improvements to the bill and let them know you will be following up.