You may be surprised to learn that there are an estimated 4,300 homeless families in Massachusetts alone, which is why the mission of one local group is so critical. Heading Home is an impressive organization focused on the elimination of homelessness in Massachusetts. It starts by teaching those in the program life skills, financial literacy and job training and culminates with their signature volunteer opportunity, the Up and Out move.
For a family living in one of Heading Home’s shelters, the move to permanent housing can be daunting. The charity helps the family find housing and apply for subsidies, and volunteers raise money to furnish and decorate the home. As a credit to the organization, for ten consecutive years, at least 90% of the residents in these permanent housing programs have remained successfully housed a year later.
Fourteen JLL team members recently took part in an Up & Out move in Dorchester involving a mother and her 4 young children who had been homeless for roughly a year. The team split into groups with some volunteers going to shop for all the home’s necessary items and others going to the house to begin cleaning and preparing it for the family. When everyone came together, it was time to make the house into a home. After getting the house ready, all of the JLL volunteers were there when the family saw their new home for the very first time.
For nearly all of the JLL employees involved, this was their first time participating in the program. But for Managing Director Travis D’Amato, this was the sixth Up & Out move he had the opportunity to be a part of.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the JLL move we completed last week,” said Travis. “Seeing the look on the mom’s face and the reaction of her four children will be something that no one who participated will ever forget.”
“Feeling a connection to the family and seeing the direct effect of volunteered time makes the Up and Out move one of my favorite charitable endeavors,” added Travis. “I look forward to making this a regular occurrence for JLL going forward!”
In addition to Travis, the JLL team members who volunteered included: Amber Wannemacher, Bryan Sparkes, Chris Lawrence, Erick Vargas, Jacqui Connors, Jim Tierney, Kate Figueira, Kelsey Tynan, Kevin O’Brien, Nana AduKofi, Samantha Lordi, Sarah Swanson, and Tyler Spring.
To learn more about the organization and how you can help, visit their website.