Homes With Hope’s Holiday Message

It’s been a hard year for Homes with Hope. The Westport non-profit dedicated to ending homelessness in Fairfield County has seen demand for its services rise during COVID. Meanwhile, supporters are stretched thin.

Many Westporters know of the Gillespie Center men’s shelter, and Project Return for young women. But Homes with Hope runs many programs, and does much more.

They’ve just released a compelling video. Produced by Westporter Livio Sanchez, it shows how they act — even in a pandemic — to keep the most vulnerable community members safe. Click below to see:

During 2019-20, Homes with Hope served 1,234 individuals.

  • The Gillespie Center emergency homeless shelter operated at full capacity to host 126 guests
  • Permanent supportive housing served 75 individuals
  • ASAP (After School Academic Program) provided academic support for housing program children and community neighbors
  • HEAL and Mentoring Initiative programs provided support to young people in our schools and community
  • The community kitchen and food pantry provided over 21,000 meals and 1,400 bags of groceries.

In March, Homes with Hope pivoted. They implemented new policies and procedures to follow DC and Health Department guidelines. Staff members became front-line heroes.

Client numbers increased. But no one was turned away. Everyone was served safely, and with dignity.

 

Like many civic organizations, Homes with Hope canceled annual fundraising events, which provide more than a quarter of its operational support.

Yet, says president and CEO Helen McAlinden, “despite the many unknowns that lie ahead, there is one thing of which we are absolutely certain: With the generous support of our community, Homes with Hope will keep sheltering the homeless and feeding the hungry as we always have.

“On behalf of Homes with Hope’s staff, clients, board of directors and volunteers, I extend our best wishes to you and your loved ones during this holiday season and the coming year. We thank you for helping us serve Fairfield County’s most vulnerable members of our community.”

(To donate to Homes with Hope, click here.)

The Gillespie Center and Hoskins Place women’s shelter. They’re located in downtown Westport, directly across from the police station.

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