Local Middle School-aged Girls Developed Solutions to Shelter’s Landscaping, Handicapped Accessibility Needs!
What: Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) summer program for middle school-aged girls, Camp Reach, will be honored by the Friendly House community shelter and city and state leaders. Two groups of alumni from the 2006 and 2010 programs will be thanked for their work in improving the shelter’s landscaping and handicapped accessibility.
Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, Camp Reach is part of WPI’s K-12 outreach program, which is focused on introducing young people to the exciting world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Students are divided into teams and work with teachers to tackle meaningful and real problems around Worcester. Through their project, the students learn about the engineering design process in the context of a social or humanitarian problem or need.
Who: Among those attending the ceremony will be WPI Professor and Camp Reach coordinator Chrysanthe Demetry, Friendly House Executive Director Gordon Hargrove, State Rep. Vincent Pedone, D-Worcester; Worcester Mayor Joseph O’Brien, and Worcester City Councilor Barbara G. Haller. Members of the 2006 and 2010 Camp Reach teams that worked on the Friendly House projects will also be on hand to help with the ceremonial planting of a tree in the shelter’s yard.
When: Thursday, June 23, 2011, 3:30-5:30 p.m., rain or shine
Where: Friendly House Shelter: 87 Elm St., Worcester
To most of us, the start of winter means that our warm clothes come out and the heater gets switched on. We can cope comfortably with the coming chill. But to neglected “backyard” dogs, the change of seasons means that they must endure many months of long, cold nights with nowhere to go to get out of the wind and sleet. It means aching joints and uncontrollable shaking—no matter how small a ball they try to curl into.
You can change that.
For many of these animals, a sturdily constructed doghouse can make all the difference in the world—it can sometimes even be the difference between life and death. Continue reading Give ’em shelter!
By District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller
The story of the PIP Shelter is long and complex. While there have been many individuals who will testify to its success as a safety net of last resort, there are many more who will testify to its internal chaos, especially before SMOC took over control in 2005. Founded over thirty years ago to provide protection to public inebriates after the decriminalization of public drunkenness, there are few who would deny that the PIP has grown to be an enabler and magnet for anti-social behavior.
Over the past twenty years my position on the PIP moved from a call for better management, to supporting an effort to relocate it to an industrial area, to a cry for closing it. I came to realize that a 150 person warehouse for individuals experiencing homelessness for a wide variety of reasons couldn’t be fixed – regardless of who ran it or where it was located. Over time the city council, the city administration, and the community have come to join in common voice to close this shelter at 701 Main Street.
During those years of pushing for the shuttering of the PIP, the question of “where will ‘they’ go?” was part of every discussion. My answer to that question was always to explain that it is not the responsibility of the struggling neighborhood around 701 to bring solution to homelessness, but rather it is the responsibility of the whole community. I served on every task force as we searched for the best answers. All of these efforts failed to close the PIP but they each served to get us closer by educating more people to the complexity of the challenge and increasing the resolve to do better. Continue reading The PIP shelter and what it means to Worcester