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Household Goods Recycling of Massachusetts Spring/Summer 2011 Newsletter Helping People Make a Home Helping People Make a Home HGRM supports innovative “housing first” program Since July, HGRM has been assisting clients Housing first programs are premised on the from the Boston Public Health Commission’s notion that an individual’s most basic need (BPHC) Linking Treatment to Housing Pro- is housing and that other supportive servic- gram. The program is part of the “housing es will have greater success in the long term first” movement nationwide, recently report- with housing in place first. It is a direct de- ed as having dramatically reduced the pop- parture from other models in which homeless ulation of homeless individuals in Boston, individuals must address underlying mental while saving millions of dollars in emergency health or substance abuse issues as a pre- services. condition of moving from a public shelter to transitional housing to permanent housing. BPHC’s Linking Treatment to Housing pro- gram targets the most underserved of Bos- Inside This Issue ton’s homeless population. Participants must be chronically (one year or more) homeless, 1-Housing First and have a dual diagnosis of both substance A Chair to Sit On abuse and mental illness. According to Cele- nia Toledo, Clinical Manager, many of the participants suffer from major depression or 2-Bureau of Operations post-traumatic stress disorder. “We hear his- “The Right Stuff” tories of severe trauma that are literally Volunteer Profile BPHC coordinator reviews the list of selected goods with client (Continued on page 3) 3-Founders’ Corner Items Needed Most Save a seat at HGRM’s “A Chair to Sit On” art auction Artists from Acton to Boston have been hard at work trans- forming ordinary used chairs into works of art to be auctioned at the Powers Gallery in Acton on April 29 to benefit HGRM. “A Chair to Sit On” was a memorable and successful evening when first held in 2009, and is back by popular demand. While there are new artists on board, many artists are returning to submit new work. Jill Pottle, a well-known local artist and art instructor, was excited to have another chance to design a chair for HGRM. “This is a great place, and painting a chair for the auction is the most effective way for me to contribute,” she says. This year’s auction has a few new twists. Two local sports teams, the Red Sox and the Bruins, are submitting chairs signed by their players. The Patriots can’t contribute a chair this year, but they are planning to send two Find us on Patriots cheerleaders to rally the crowd. Colonial Jazz will set the musical mood of the eve- Facebook ning. Space will be limited, so make sure to RSVP early! HGRM • 530 Main Street • Acton, MA 01720 • www.HGRM.org HGRM needs “The Right Stuff” From the Bureau of Operations Spring-cleaning can feel so good. Deciding repairs on lamps, replace missing knobs or re-glue whether and where to donate those things can be wobbly chair legs, they can’t rescue appliances that difficult, however. In considering what to take to are broken or have missing parts. If an item is un- HGRM, you might start by checking the website safe or doesn’t serve its intended purpose “as is”, it for a current list of items we accept. But please also won’t be useful to anyone. take a moment to envision our clients’ living situa- tions and what we hope they can expect from their Most of our donors give us useful, practical items visit to HGRM. we are proud to offer our clients. Occasionally, however, we must respectfully decline the offer of I often hear stories about the early years at HGRM -- han- Most people referred to HGRM need basic house- certain items we know we will be unable to place dling donations and distribu- hold items to fill a small apartment. Space is at in new homes. When that happens, we trust that tions from the Smiths’ garage, a premium and narrow stairways are common. donors will understand. Certainly, no one intends expanding into the barn (with Small and moderately sized essential items – beds, for HGRM to inherit the costs of storing, recy- no facilities), the problems bureaus, sofas and chairs are always in demand. cling or disposing of un-reusable goods. To that faced in bleak winters past. The one story that I hear over and Think of the things you needed right away for end, helpful suggestions for alternate ways to re- over and that proves true time your very first place. Towels, linens, dishes and cycle or responsibly dispose of items that are over- and again, is that when HGRM silverware, a few pots and pans and something to sized, impractical, or have reached the very end puts the word out that some- make coffee or toast would all make the list. On of their useful lives can be found on our website, thing is needed, miraculously, it seems to appear. the other hand, specialty food items like fondue www.HGRM.org. pots, punch bowl sets and pasta makers are simply Winter has always been a slow not practical for people just starting out. time for donations, despite the steady need. This year was dif- ferent, however. Donors must Each HGRM client is allowed only one visit to the have heard our plea for beds center, so we want the things they take home to and linens, because they came last them a while. Furniture will experience fur- out in record numbers to help. ther wear and tear once moved into new homes, When our mattress supply was especially homes with active children. A simple dangerously low, we found a question to ask is “in its present condition, would way to supplement individual I offer this item to a friend?” If the answer is no, we donations with a large volume probably shouldn’t let a client take it either. Like- of furniture donated by hotels, resorts and other companies. wise, while our workshop crew can handle simple We traveled as far as Cape Cod to collect truckloads of beds for our grateful clients. Volunteer Profile: Bob Ingram Credit for this successful en- Faster than an electric drill…more powerful than a tube of super-glue… deavor is owed to volunteers able to wire giant spaces for stereo sound… it’s….SUPER BOB! To best be willing to drive to the Cape in a position to use his amazing powers in a never-ending battle for clean through snow, slush and ice and the individuals who do- floors and working doors, Super Bob has assumed the disguise of HGRM’s nated money so we could pay mild-mannered volunteer facilities manager, Bob Ingram. for fuel and keep our trucks maintained. The Foundation of Bob Ingram, a long-time Acton resident, has been volunteering as Metrowest also helped under- HGRM’s resident fix-it man for over four years. Bob says his friendship write some of those expenses. with Ira Smith “goes back to the early days of HGRM and even beyond.” Over the years he has become someone Ira and everyone at HGRM Now, after almost a year at HGRM, I can tell the story counts on to keep the place in shipshape, whether they are aware of it myself – we just asked and or not! When the heat goes off, when a door breaks, when the lights are good people came through! out, Bob is the one to call. Bob Ingram keeps the lights on at HGRM Thank you for your continuing support. Every Tuesday and Thursday, Bob drops off tasty treats at the volunteer table on his way to the work- shop. There he works on items that need minor repair before being distributed to clients. Bob also uses - Sharon Martens his carpentry skill to maximize usable space by designing and building shelves and racks. Thanks Bob, for the SUPER job you do to keep HGRM running smoothly! Page 2 ................................ Helping People Make a Home .................................... Spring/Summer 2011 Founders’ Corner Items Needed Most Barbara Smith Ira Smith Imagine furnishing ALL the homes in Acton and Box- • Mattresses, box springs Weather wise, this has been a rough winter at HGRM, and metal bed frames especially for our volunteers. Storm after snowy storm borough. If you could take all the complete households closed our center four times in January alone. Un- we’ve furnished over the last five years and put them in • Living room chairs, sofas daunted, our volunteers a single location, that’s effective- and tables kept showing up to take in ly what the HGRM community • Kitchen and dining room donations and help load has accomplished. These house- tables and chairs distributions regardless of holds would consist of war vet- frigid temperatures, slippery erans, victims of domestic vio- • Dressers and nightstands footing, numb fingers, or any lence, fire, flood and foreclosure, other deterrent to service. refugees and recent immigrants • Portable cribs and changing tables and graduates from shelters When the going gets tough, like Pine Street Inn and Rosie’s • Sheets, blankets, we are even more aware Place. The list wouldn’t end comforters, mattress pads that our volunteers are not there, though. The circumstances of need we recognize are and towels “in it for the money”. Although we do give bonuses as diverse as the people we welcome through our doors. of extra thanks for work well done, the primary draw • Sets of dishes, glasses seems to be a desire to simply take part in the atmo- and flatware HGRM is a unique project. It is a team where every- sphere of care and compassion always present at the body wins: not only the families coming out of home- • Pots and pans, kitchen center. Every single task undertaken adds to the com- lessness but also their busy social workers, the local resi- utensils and small mon goal of the enterprise – helping our neighbors in dents who eagerly donate their furniture, the dedicated appliances immediate need. And our volunteers clearly know that HGRM volunteers who function as the conduit between the need doesn’t stop when the roads get slippery! We • Refrigerators, washing those who have more than they want and those in great machines, electric dryers, are always grateful for the generous support we receive need, and our generous financial supporters who keep microwave ovens, from all of you. You keep our doors open and our clients the lights on and the trucks running. It’s a good feeling televisions and vacuum leaving the center with a renewed sense of hope and be- to be part of a winning team! cleaners lief in the possibility that the sun will soon shine again. We happily accept ( Housing First ... Continued from page 1) clean, functional bone-chilling,” she says. “Fortunately, we a have a staff dedicated to giv- items in good ing our clients support for long-term housing and emotional stability.” working condition. BPHC successfully housed its first program participant last June. Soon thereafter, another participant was referred to HGRM by his church and was delighted to find everything he needed to start fresh in his new apart- Jofran, Inc. donates new tables ment. As a result, BPHC contacted HGRM directly, and since July has Dining tables are always in regularly scheduled three or four clients at a time to come to the center. high demand at HGRM, Here, they select the household goods they need and a moving company and, until recently often in loads and transports the items to the clients’ new homes. To date, BPHC short supply. In July, Jofran, has housed 55 individuals and, according to Celenia, only one has failed Inc., based in Norfolk, MA, to remain. BPHC plans to house 270 more people in the remaining three offered HGRM hundreds years of their current grant, and will continue to come to HGRM for help. of brand-new tables from overstock inventory. Jofran “HGRM has been a godsend,” Celenia says. Not only does she count on has been in the business of HGRM as an “incredible resource,” she specifically credits the HGRM making high quality, casual volunteers for the positive experience of the program participants. home furnishings since “HGRM provides our clients with so much support in helping them 1986. Our clients have been choose items for themselves,” she notes. “It can help them feel hopeful grateful to have access to the new Jofran tables. A warm thank- and invested in the success of making their new homes permanent.” As a you to the folks at Jofran for your generosity! BPHC client said as he left HGRM bound for his new home, “I love you guys. I will never forget you.” Spring/Summer 2011 ................................ Helping People Make a Home .................................... Page 3 Household Goods Recycling of Massachusetts 530 Main Street Acton, MA 01720 530 Main Street • Acton, MA 01720 978-635-1710 www.hgrm.org 978-635-1763• •www.HGRM.org Helping People Make a Home Donate Goods DropGetting Involved off good quality furniture A Chair to Sit On April 29, 2011 Donate Goods Drop off good quality furniture 6-8 pm and household items at Powers Gallery 530 Main Street (Rt. 27), Acton on Tuesdays, Thursdays 144 Great Road, Acton and Saturdays 9-12 noon. RSVP Sharon Martens Donate Cash or Securities email@example.com Your tax-deductible donation will help keep HGRM in operation. Donate Time HGRM always needs volunteers. Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at Every year, HGRM keeps 30,000 (978) 635-1710 ext. 6 large items and 13,000 boxes of or e-mail volunteers@HGRM.org. smaller items out of landfills. Over 250 volunteers work with more than 300 social service agencies Household Goods Recycling of Massachusetts to help over 4,000 families a year (HGRM) is an independent, 501(c)(3) not-for- make their homes and begin to re- profit organization in Acton, MA that distributes build their lives. gently used household goods free of charge to in- dividuals and families in need.
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