Images courtesy of ©Heading Home
When COVID-19 shook communities all over the world, civilians were asked to stay-at-home to protect themselves and their families. Unfortunately, for the homeless population of the U.S., that proved a major challenge. But that was just the beginning. Now weeks into the pandemic, research shows that COVID-19 deaths and unemployment are disproportionately impacting our poorest citizens, particularly Black Americans.
Heading Home provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, and supportive services to more than 1,400 homeless individuals and families in the Boston area annually.
COVID-related issues such as health, food access, economic hardship, and family preservation are presently top of mind for Heading Home teams as they continue to support clients on their journeys out of homelessness.
Homelessness can often be invisible, which means that individuals couch-surf or stay with family in place of having a permanent home. Loss of a job or suffering from an illness can quickly force people into homelessness. As well, trauma can be a big part of homelessness, as it contributes to instability.
On any given night, Heading Home provides shelter and permanent housing for nearly 500 households and their 400+ children.
In spite of the current pandemic, Heading Home has been able to help 30 hard-working families move out of shelter over the past couple of months, setting a record rate of almost four moves per week!
In addition to safe and reliable housing, Heading Home provides supportive services that allow their clients to thrive. With reliable guidance and compassion, Heading Home clients get access to the help they need to build living-wage careers, essential life skills, and sustainable, long-term homes.
As a result of COVID-19, the vast number of people being furloughed, losing their jobs, and ultimately their income, is unprecedented. Recognizing the extreme level of financial insecurity rising from this pandemic and its impact on the families in Heading Home programs, Elkus Manfredi Architects, a longtime supporter of Heading Home, stepped up to help.
CEO & Founding Principal David Manfredi sent out an all-company email on March 20th, on behalf of the Principals of the firm.
“As we all struggle to adjust to the challenges we are facing, it’s also a moment to realize that there is incredible need in our community right now.
Helping our neighbors brings out the best in us and can provide some peace of mind during these unsettling times.
The effects of COVID-19 are putting an even greater strain on less fortunate local families who rely on schools and other community resources for food and childcare.
Together we can make a difference by donating to Heading Home’s COVID-19 relief fund. Any donation will be enormously appreciated, $15 can provide food for a day for one child in their programs. We hope you’ll consider joining us in supporting Heading Home’s important work.”
The Elkus Manfredi employees answered their founder’s call to action by raising $28,572 from individual contributions, the cost of more than 1,900 meals for children and families living in Heading Home shelters.