Category Archives: Home With Friends

A New Friendship Team

A New Friendship Team Story

Usually I start my updates off with a story about one of our Family Partners, so I thought this time I would give you a glimpse of one of our Friendship Teams.  As it was said in the May article entitled Hotel, Motels for Massachusetts Homeless Decreases Greatly , we have a new team from Wollaston Church of the Nazarene in Quincy.  Since this is my ‘home’ church, I often talk about the Home with Friends ministry, In fact, for the last four year — in church board meetings, small group gatherings, on the missions council, etc.  And, people frequently respond with interest and prayer.

team spirit, working together, friendship team

Small Groups Make a Big Difference in Homeless Family’s Lives

This year some members of my small group decided it was time to get more involved,. So a team was put together of 10 adults (with numerous kids! We advocate children be part of homeless ministry together). During March through May we met 4 times for training,  and Sara Mitchell and I began asking agencies, shelters and churches for family referrals.

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

What Are Family Referrals?

Family referrals are homeless families who struggle and have a connection to an agency, shelter or church.  We look for those families who are struggling with homelessness. But moreso, we look for those who seem to be ready to take advantage of a 2-year period of financial and relational support. This is what the Home With Friends program is all about. This gives them the time and energy to get further education or training and increase their income. It also allows time to clean up their credit reports and stabilize other areas of their lives.

How do we determine who is home-ready?

Referrals came to us for 8 different families. Of those 8 families, 5 of them had an interview with us regarding the Home With Friends opportunity. We are happy to announce a selection is made!

A New Family Will Have a Place to Call Home Soon!

Our new family is a couple with a toddler and a baby on the way.  How exciting that they will have a place to call home! Can you imagine how special the holiday’s will be for them this year?

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

What criteria must a family meet to qualify for the Home With Friends program?

Just to give you an idea what we look for, Dad works full time and mom part time. Mom has come out of the foster care system and spent a couple of years at Ruth’s House in Brockton, which provides people like her with wonderful support and training.  This weekend, the family must be out of their apartment.

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

How do Friendship Teams help?

Members of the Friendship team took the initiative and got right to work!  They have contacted a real estate agent from the congregation who is connecting them with other agents. They also have gone with Mom to look at apartments. And, this past Saturday night the Friendship Team hung out with the family, taking time to get to know each other.  The team also put together a fundraiser. The funds will go toward the Family Partner’s decreasing rental subsidy.

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

A team member took Mom out to look at apartments, and said –

It was awesome to meet this mom and talk with her in the car.  It was the absolute perfect place to have a discussion.  She talked all about her life, her background and what brought her to the place of homelessness. I am more convinced than ever that this experience is going to be life-changing for the Friendship Team, and that we can have a serious impact on their lives.

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

It’s a Two Way Street

Both Family Partners and Friendship Team members often learn from each other.  And, it certainly isn’t easy! Often those involved must expect lifestyle difference, such as value-system clashes, and frustration at times. So why would a person want to be on the Friendship Team? Why do it?  Because this is the Church being the Church! Loving on people and bringing hope to their circumstances.

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

Would you like to be part of a Friendship Team?

Call Lora Wooster at 617-939-3709 and let her  know if you want to be a part of developing this ministry at your church. Oh, and shw appreciates and thanks you for your prayer and financial support!

To learn more about Home with Friends watch our video below:

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

Hotel, Motels for Massachusetts Homeless Decreases Greatly

Homeless Mom’s Job Growth!

Do you remember Eileen, whom  we told you about back in November? She has been able to negotiate more hours at the nursing home where she works. She is not only earning more money each week, but now she also receives benefits. A member of Eileen’s Friendship Team is working with her regularly to improve her English reading skills so that she can study for the HiSET (High School Equivalency Test, used to be the GED), and we partnered with the Financial REACH Center in Quincy to help her clean up her credit report and pay off her debts. She is working hard at Continue reading Hotel, Motels for Massachusetts Homeless Decreases Greatly

First Home with Friends Family Strides Toward Independence

Home with Friends has a success story to share with you. For our dedicated volunteers, generous donors, ever-energetic supporters, old and new friends, here is the update you have been asking for on our new Home with Friends program from Program Director Lora Wooster. See below for her list of things you can do to help support the families.

They Always seem happy to see me!

St. Paul's, Home With FriendsThe first family in our Home with Friends program – Deanne and her pre-school son – lived at our Norwell shelter for almost 3 years. She began meeting with the mentoring team from St. Paul’s Church of the Nazarene in Duxbury last year. And despite some self-doubt at the start, she has since made great strides toward self-sufficiency.

Perhaps that is why, when asked about her experience with her mentors, she beams. One of the things she likes best about meeting with them, she says, is that “they always seem so happy to see me!”

Confidence to Meet Her Goals

When she joined the program, Deanne (not her real name) who is in her late twenties, had already faced a number of life challenges and disappointments that damaged her self-confidence and resilience. She grew up with her grandmother while her parents was incarcerated. She never finished high school, and she held a series of unskilled, low-paying jobs. But with encouragement from her mentoring team — and the Secure Jobs program at Father Bill’s and Mainspring – she:

  • completed her GED last October
  • moved into her first apartment in March
  • started training to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in June and
  • found a part-time job at a local hospital in July

Next: A new Career & No Subsidy

She got high marks in her CNA classes and graduated as a Certified Nursing Assistant on September 3rd. That means she is more than ready for the next challenge: to find a full time job that keeps her on her career path in nursing so she can afford an apartment on her own. Up to now she has had a rental subsidy from the state. Now that the subsidy has ended, her mentoring team’s church, St. Paul’s Church of the Nazarene in Duxbury, will provide a decreasing rental subsidy for another year.

Car Troubles and a Short-Term Fix

Along the way, Deanne has been learning that it takes time and effort to build the life skills and confidence that will help her succeed. She is also learning that there will be occasional setbacks that she will need to overcome. For example, when her car died recently, she was able to resurrect it for the time being with the help of her mentoring team and a local mechanic. Unfortunately, the car probably will not last until winter, and she needs it to keep her job. (See our “What we need now” wish list below.)

Her Chance to “Grow and Bloom”

Daylilies, day lilies, Home With FriendsLike the daylilies that survived the heat and drought of my garden this summer, Deanna has overcome many challenges to grow and bloom. And even though she still worries about her finances – she tells me that she could not have made it this far without her social worker and her mentoring team.

Two More Families Matched with Mentors

Highrock NorthSt combinedWe now have two more families on board and teamed up with wonderful mentoring teams from North Street Community Church of the Nazarene and Highrock Covenant Church of Quincy. Both moms are working and one moved into an apartment with her son in August; the other is still looking for an affordable apartment. I will bring you more details in a future update.

What We Need Now for Home With Friends

  • Deanne needs a halfway-decent used car. If you have one you would like to donate, you could receive a tax deduction for its value, and Deanne would know that she will be able to get to work this winter. Contact me.


  • We continue to need funding for staff to provide case management for families and to train and equip volunteers to minister to families in motels. If you would like to organize a fundraiser, please let us know, or to donate right now, use the donate button on the Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore website. (Please do not use our old PO Box)


  • Please help us increase the awareness of family homelessness in Boston and on the South Shore. You can do this by:
    • Inviting me to speak with the groups you’re involved with at your church or in your community.


  • Subscribing to the FHSS blog to hear more stories!


Thank you for your acts of compassion and your sharing, giving attitudes in the past – and the future! God’s love has shown through you.

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Lora Wooster is the Program Director for our Home with Friends program, she can be reached at 617-939-3709