Walk for the homeless
Who Benefits? PDF Print

CMHA has designated 6 beneficiaries of the 33rd Annual WALK for the Homeless: The Interfaith Hospitality Network, a program of Friendly House, the St. John’s Food for the Poor Program, and 4 CMHA programs: the Donations Clearinghouse, Hope for Housing, Homeless Prevention Services, and Youth Against Homelessness.


Donations Clearinghouse (DCH)

Donations Clearinghouse (DCH), run in partnership with Rotmans Furniture and Carpet Store, provides an clean, gently used furniture and home goods from residents of Worcester County and offers them, free of charge, to families and individuals. It is the only program of its kind in Worcester County.

FY 2018 Highlights:

  • Assisted 471 families through over 70 Worcester County agencies referrals
  • 687 furniture pickups from Worcester County homes, over 2,229 items, kept the DCH well stocked

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Hope for Housing

The Hope for Housing (HfH) program is a collaboration between CMHA and the Interfaith Coalition to end family homelessness. HfH capitalizes on the buying power of the community by purchasing gift cards from: Shaw’s, Stop & Shop, Hannaford, Big Y, Panera Bread, Dunkin' Donuts and CVS in bulk, at a discounted rate, and sold at face value in 29 participating congregations. The proceeds raised are used to keep families secure in their homes by paying rental arrearages, outstanding utility bills, transportation and other emergencies.

FY 2018 Highlights:

  • HfH prevented 32 families from becoming homeless with an average grant of $630 per family
  • Since inception HFH has distributed $312,000 throughout the community for homeless prevention
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Youth Against Homelessness (YAH!)

Youth Against Homelessness (YAH!) is a dynamic youth organization that empowers young people to become actively engaged in their community by addressing issues of homelessness. YAH! establishes, cultivates, and sustains a network of high school student-lead chapters focusing on peer-to-peer education and community service.

FY 2018 Highlights:

  • YAH hosted the 8th Annual Visions of Change Youth Summit, a half day service-learning initiative, for 200 high school students from 13 local high schools
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Homeless Prevention Services

Homeless Prevention Services Homeless Prevention Services works to prevent homelessness and promote safe, stable and affordable housing. Services include counseling, education, and mediation regarding landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities.

FY 2018 Highlights:

  • 8,192 households were assisted through walk-in and telephone counseling
  • Homeless Prevention Services assisted 283 households with Homeless Prevention Funds
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Friendly House / Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN)

Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), a program of Friendly House, provides non-Emergency Assistance supported shelter for homeless families. In 2012, the IHN opened a permanent site in Worcester that houses up to 6 families at a time. Volunteers from the faith-based organizations continue to provide nightly supervision. Day staff promotes families’ self-sufficiency through intensive case management, housing advocacy, caring support and encouragement.

FY 2018 Highlights:

  • The IHN sheltered 19 families; 15 have secured housing.

Read more about IHN

Friendly House has been providing services to the citizens of Worcester since 1920. Over 25,000 residents of Worcester receive assistance in the form of: shelter, emergency help, food, medical care, after school and summer camp programs for children, day care, and/or senior programs and counseling.

Read more about Friendly House


St. John's Food for the Poor Program

St. John’s Food for the Poor Program has been a place of refuge for the city’s most impoverished people. The mission of the church is to provide sustenance and dignity to anyone who comes to their doors.   

FY 2018 Highlights:

  • Serves over 500 hot nutritious meals daily, over 140,000 meals annually, to the community.
  • Distributes over 130,000 ‘take-out’ packages and bags of food from their soup kitchen and weekly food pantry.
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WALK photography by Joe Santa Maria - Kill the Ball Media