What truly makes Boston such a wonderful place to live is that there is never any single individual, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant in society, left behind. Despite our strong Real Estate market, our growing economy, and everything else that sets us apart from the rest of the country, the fact that with such great optimism we are still able to provide help where help is due is fantastic. From the blog about the recent merging of Pine Street Inn and hopeFound, to the blog covering the event showcasing the old Project Place facility, there is much to celebrate for all of the efforts put towards our many non-profits.
Since 1987, Friends of Boston’s Homeless have raised upwards of $20 Million for local individuals in need. Working together with the non-profit known as Hub Homeless, there have been thousands of homeless people who have been supported by life skills and education development programs as well as having the most important aspect of life being permanent shelter. At the end of April, there was the 25th annual Beyond Shelter Gala at the House of Blues. A lovely occasion, it showed how far these organizations have come throughout the years and the plethora of lives that they have touch and in many cases, saved.
The founder of Friends of Boston’s Homeless, John Rosenthal, who is also the President of Meredith Management Corporation in Newton, expressed his sheer desire and imbedded need to share some of his good fortune throughout his life by giving back to the community that he so deeply cares for. After understanding that 30-35% of all 6,000 homeless people in Boston were working at respectable jobs but were still seriously struggling in their attempts to afford housing, Rosenthal knew something had to be done. He told the Boston Herald, “I’m just a firm believer that the more you have, the more you have to give or you go crazy.” His organization provides 265,000 total bed nights in the shelter per year, in addition to 90 transitional housing units for individuals enrolled in Serving Ourselves through Project SOAR. They are also closely connected with the organizations known as Safe Harbour which for women with addiction, HIV or AIDS is a short-term housing solution, as well as One Wise Street, the Jamaica Plain shelter.
There is also an organic farm at the Long Island Shelter that allows for these homeless people to live and work while producing some 30,000 pounds of produce for the various kitchens spread throughout the organization. Those enrolled can experience job training in ServSafe skills, driving laundry trucks, working in the farm and prep cooking. The article, which can be read in greater detail below, focused on the story of a homeless man, Franklyn McLaughlin. McLaughlin was incarcerated for eighteen years but through this program and the aid and support of Rosenthal and his team, he has found a true purpose in his life for the first time. “I had never been trusted with anything in my life,” McLaughlin said. “Now people call on me and rely on me and it feels so wonderful.” This is just one of the many success stories coming out of a non-profit and it is yet another inkling that we should all get involved in any way we can with one of the countless organizations that support a cause that interests us.
More Information: Boston Herald