On Sunday May 17th, the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance held their 30th Annual Walk+Run for the Homeless, at Elm Park in Worcester.
The event was hosted by WALK Co-Chairs Kevin O’Sullivan; President and CEO of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives and Father John Madden of Saint John’s Parish in Worcester.
The WALK for the Homeless is the longest running local community walk fundraising and awareness raising event in Worcester County and three years ago added a Run component making it the WALK+Run for the Homeless.
The WALK for the Homeless was born from a grassroots volunteer effort thirty years ago from the efforts of concerned community members who in the early days rallied about 100 -200 supporters and raised $10,000 on average. The WALK has grown over the years to be a true celebration of community support for addressing the issues of homelessness through providing prevention and increased access to affordable housing. The Business Community, Faith Communities, Community Leaders and human service agencies have joined together to build the WALK to a treasured event that raises on average $145,000 in cash and in-kind donations with over 1,000 WALKERS/Runners and volunteers participating annually.
- Raised 1.7 million dollars to support vital homelessness prevention, quality shelter and housing stabilization programs
- 17,000 have walked a total of 68,000 miles to raise community awareness of the issue of Homelessness while raising funds to address the critical needs of families and individuals.
- More than 100,000 individuals have been directly helped and thousands more have been indirectly assisted
For their 30th Anniversary, CMHA was hoping to raise $30,000 for homeless families in MA. and exceeded their goal!
The 30th Annual WALK+Run for the Homeless will benefit services for Homelessness prevention , feeding services and shelter services for families and individuals provided by the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance, Friendly House and St. John’s Food for the Poor.
Collectively in the last fiscal year, these organizations made a real difference in the lives of so many of our neighbors in Worcester County through the help of the WALK for the Homeless :
• CMHA Homeless Prevention Services prevented Homelessness for 276 Households which included 823 people including 409 children
• CMHA and our partners provided shelter to 213 families in need
• CMHA’s Donations Clearinghouse furnished 572 homes for families leaving shelter, fleeing Domestic Violence or recovering from a natural disaster
• St. John’s Food for the Poor Program served over 100,000 hot meals
• The Interfaith Hospitality Network of Friendly House sheltered 20 families
Grace K. Carmark, Executive Director of the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance stated that “the 30th Anniversary of the WALK for the homeless is a real milestone for our community to celebrate in how strongly the Worcester community has been engaged from day one in being proactive and bringing together all sectors of the community to make real change happen in the individual lives of real families in need.”