On December 5, the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) held our Annual Meeting at the Boston Public Library. MHSA members, donors, public officials, and supporters gathered to celebrate the strides MHSA and our partners made toward ending homelessness this past fiscal year, as well as to honor two special individuals who have been instrumental in that progress.
After a welcome from MHSA Board Chair Pamela Feingold and a slideshow of MHSA’s Fiscal Year 2012 accomplishments, MHSA President & Executive Director Joe Finn stressed the importance of talking about our failures. While we have seen reductions in chronic homelessness as a result of effective housing responses, providers are starting to see more individuals at the “front door” of shelters. Joe continued, “We know what works, and now the challenge before us is to bring that to scale.”
MHSA presented State Representative Martin J. Walsh with the Canon Brian S. Kelley Public Servant Award. Representative Walsh has tirelessly supported chronically homeless individuals and championed treatment and addiction services for the state’s poorest, most disabled residents. In his remarks, Representative Walsh encouraged attendees to advocate for solutions to homelessness, saying, “You need to challenge us. That’s what we need. We need a dose of reality up on Beacon Hill.”
MHSA also honored Tim Smith of MHSA member agency Boston Rescue Mission for his outstanding service to homeless individuals, presenting him with MHSA’s first-ever Ed O’Neil Award. The award is named after Ed O’Neil, a distinguished direct care worker who was a Quincy native and long-time supporter of homeless individuals. After accepting the award, Tim shared moving stories of the individuals who have influenced his life and enabled him to do the work that he does now.
MHSA extends a special thank you to our honorees, our sponsors and all who made this year’s Annual Meeting our most successful yet. Thank you for continuing to be part of an inspiring community that is initiating solutions to homelessness every day.
View more pictures from the Annual Meeting.
Read the 2012 MHSA Annual Report.
View the slideshow presented at the Annual Meeting.