Heading Home Conducts Fifth ‘Up & Out’ for Homeless Family in 2012

By April 27, 2012News

Outreach Council co-chaired by Mike Collentro of JC&A helps pregnant mother and two daughters move from a shelter to a home of their own

4/27/2012, Quincy, MA — Heading Home, Inc., one of the Boston area’s largest agencies devoted to helping the homeless, announced today that the organization’s Outreach Council coordinated its latest “Up & Out” move of 2012, marking the non-profit’s fifth successful volunteer-initiated event since January. Up & Out is Heading Home’s signature volunteer program, which pairs groups of volunteers with local homeless families who are making a milestone move from shelter into permanent housing. The Outreach Council is a select group of young professionals whose mission is to further engage the community with Heading Home through volunteerism and education around the issues of homelessness.

The mother and her two daughters faced numerous challenges before moving into their new apartment. After becoming homeless, the family moved into Heading Home’s Medford Family Life Education Center, a transitional shelter for single-parent families. Pregnant with a baby boy to be born this summer, the mother is now enrolled in an occupational skills training program with a focus on the medical field. Heading Home selected the mother to receive an Up & Out due to her commitment to developing her job skills and creating a better future for herself and her children. Located in Everett, the apartment will provide her family with a home to call their own and much-needed stability.

Heading Home’s Outreach Council – led by new co-chairs Alison Powers, associate at CB Richard Ellis, and Michael Collentro, LEED AP, director of estimating at J. Calnan & Associates – took up the challenge of coordinating the family’s move. The Outreach Council supplied the apartment with household items and furniture for the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms, as well as a stocked pantry. The Up & Out move occurred on Saturday, April 14th and demonstrates the effectiveness of Heading Home’s mission to end homelessness in Greater Boston, one family at a time.

“As families like our client in Everett find new opportunities to grow and succeed, we remain aware that far too many children are born homeless and spend precious years of their youth in shelters or hotels,” said Wendy Jacobs, deputy executive director/chief development officer at Heading Home. “We are grateful for the incredible volunteers on Heading Home’s Outreach Council, who are generous with their time and support, and are dedicated to our mission of ending homelessness in Greater Boston.”

A non-profit organization, Heading Home’s mission is to end homelessness in Greater Boston by providing a supported pathway to self-sufficiency that begins with a home, together with critical services such as life skills, financial literacy, and job training. The number of volunteers who gave their time to Heading Home has tripled over the last year, due in large part to the overwhelming success of the Up & Out program. Twenty-four Up & Out moves were completed last year and at least that many will be coordinated in 2012, which not only speaks to the extent of the homeless problem locally but to the depth of Heading Home’s committed base of volunteers.

The perilous housing market and wave of foreclosures have displaced many people, and the issue of homelessness has become absolutely critical in the Greater Boston community. On any given night, there are more than 7,000 homeless people in Greater Boston, including 3,000 children. Sadly, not since the Great Depression have so many families been homeless. The number of homeless families is staggering and offers a glimpse into the depth of the affordable housing conundrum. In 2011, Heading Home helped more than 2,000 homeless families and individuals locally by providing them a place to call home and opportunities for self-sufficiency.

On May 3, 2012, Heading Home will host its annual Housewarming event at The State Room, Boston to raise funds to support the organization’s programs and services. This event brings together more than 500 of Boston’s business leaders and philanthropists for a festive evening featuring food sampling from Boston’s finest restaurants and a live auction.

About Heading Home
Since 1974, Heading Home has been working to end homelessness in Greater Boston by providing a supported pathway to self-sufficiency that begins with a home, combined with critical services such as life skills, financial literacy, and job training. Due to a continued surge in family homelessness, Heading Home has emerged as the area’s go-to solution provider for homeless families; last year Heading Home served more than 2,000 people and successfully placed 223 families into permanent housing.

About J. Calnan & Associates, Inc.
J. Calnan & Associates is a leader in construction management and preconstruction services for corporate and life science companies, as well as private schools in the New England region and beyond. For 15 years, our strategic thinking, proactive approach and commitment to clients and the communities in which we live has made us a leader in the industry and attracted high-profile companies including Boston Properties, Biogen IDEC, Reebok, Shire Pharmaceuticals, The Park School, New England Sports Network (NESN), Philips, Constant Contact, A123 Systems, The MathWorks and General Electric to name a few. Among recent awards, JCA has received a Boston Business Journal Citizenship award for its philanthropic efforts five years in a row; Corenet recognized JC&A as “Regional Service Provider of the Year;” and the Ohio Casualty Group presented JC&A with the Platinum Safety Award for our outstanding safety record for the third time in three years. More information can be found at www.jcalnan.com.

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