On December 2, MHSA gathered in Boston with 80 member agency representatives, Board Members and community partners to celebrate the 2014 MHSA Annual Meeting. The event provided an opportunity for MHSA supporters to reflect on MHSA’s recent accomplishments and honor two individuals who have made important contributions to efforts to end homelessness in Massachusetts: State Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg, Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader, and Richard Brunson, Interim Clinical Coordinator at Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
MHSA President & Executive Director Joe Finn, joined by representatives from MHSA member agencies in Western Massachusetts, presented State Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg with the Canon Brian S. Kelley Public Servant Award in recognition of Senator Rosenberg’s support for housing and services for homeless men, women and children in Massachusetts. Senator Rosenberg has a long history in the Massachusetts Legislature – he has served in the Massachusetts Senate since 1991 and previously served in the House of Representatives. In his acceptance remarks, Senator Rosenberg stressed that we need to “redouble our efforts” to end homelessness in Massachusetts. “Only when people have their own place will we as a society have done what we need to do,” Senator Rosenberg affirmed.
Bill Miller of Friends of the Homeless, Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg, Joe Finn of MHSA, Phillip Ringwood of DIAL/SELF Youth & Community Services, and Jerry Ray of the Mental Health Association
Joe Finn was joined by Rosalie O’Neil, wife of the late Ed O’Neil, for the presentation of the third annual Ed O’Neil Award for a distinguished direct care worker. Ed O’Neil was a Quincy native and long-time supporter of homeless individuals. The recipient of this year’s award was Richard Brunson, who serves as Interim Clinical Coordinator at Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Throughout his 33-year career at Bridge, Richard Brunson has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to build trusting relationships with the homeless youth he serves. Bridge’s Executive Director, Elisabeth Jackson, several Bridge staff members, and Richard’s wife Lanetta Brunson were present as Richard accepted his award.
Rosalie O’Neil and Joe Finn present the third annual Ed O’Neil Award to Richard Brunson of Bridge Over Troubled Waters
The Annual Meeting also included remarks from Phillip Ringwood, Executive Director of MHSA member agency DIAL/SELF Youth & Community Services, and MHSA Board Chair Dean Atkins. Joe Finn introduced a slideshow highlighting MHSA’s accomplishments over the past year. MHSA Board Treasurer Wilton Hyman presented the Treasurer’s Report, and the MHSA membership elected the Board of Directors slate for the upcoming year. The slate included three new Directors: Emily Kowtoniuk of ADS Ventures, Brian Newkirk of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Paul Sullivan of the Massachusetts Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau.
MHSA extends our thanks to this year’s honorees and sponsors, as well as to the MHSA Board of Directors, MHSA member agencies and our community partners.
Special thanks to our Headline Sponsor, Eastern Bank, and to Combined Jewish Philanthropies for generously donating the event space!
To view photos from the event, visit the MHSA Facebook Page.
To read the 2014 MHSA Annual Report, click here.