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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 •
                                      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
                                      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
                     978-635-1763• •

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
                                                                             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
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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