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Make Real Difference in Local Kids’ Lives

Here is your chance to make a real different in the lives of kids on the South Shore of Boston. You can help more than two dozen children grow strong, healthy, and stress-free. All it takes is your support for our effort — and the donation of money, materials, and/or skills — to help us build a strong, sturdy fence on one of our campus’ for Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore.

Continue reading Make Real Difference in Local Kids’ Lives

Music in Harmony: Benefit for Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore

Friday, July 22, at 7:00 pm

Old Hymns, new music, contemporary, pianist, sharyn Burden, Lora Wooster

Join us as accomplished pianist Sharyn Burden and worship leader Lora Wooster hosts an evening of old hymns and new. There will be specials and joyful sing-a-longs as well as favorite hymns from the past. The event is free and open to the public. A love offering will be taken for the Home with Friends program of Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore. This program provides hope and support to homeless families, as well as resources local churches ministering to these families.

St. Paul’s Church of the Nazarene
136 Summer Street
Duxbury, MA 02332

Norwell, Hanover Churches Partner with Local Shelter

Supper club promotes community relationships between volunteers, families in need
By Kaila Braley
Posted Jan. 23, 2016 at 4:26 AM Scituate Mariner and Patriot Ledger

Tilynn Wakefield, of Hanover, was cooking dinner with five or six other moms at St. Helen’s church in Norwell, when she heard a little girl in the other room banging on the church’s piano.  I asked if she wanted to learn a song, so I taught her ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb,’” she said. “She kept going and going and asking, ‘Is this right?’ Once she got it, she ran around the room.”  Wakefield, a parishioner of St. Mary’s church in Hanover, over the past few months has been volunteering with a supper club that brings together volunteers from three local churches with families who are staying at a local homeless shelter, which is not specifically identified to protect the privacy of the people living there.

Norwell resident Noël Ashekin, a parishioner of United Church of Christ in Norwell, came up with the idea to start a monthly supper club with the local shelter after the church ran a capital campaign in order to increase their community outreach.  “I thought we could help beyond feeding them or providing clothes and furniture. I know families in poverty often face depression or isolation, so we thought it would be a good thing to do to cook and then sit and eat with them,” Ashekin said.

United Church of Christ funds the program, at $500 a month, and has invited volunteers from St. Mary’s in Hanover as well as St. Helen’s in Norwell, where about four to six volunteers cook and eat the food with anywhere from eight to 12 shelter families, Ashekin said. The church volunteers partner with Friends of the Homeless, the organization that runs shelters on the South Shore, to invite families.

Assistant Program Director for Friends of the Homeless, Sharyn Burden, said families living in shelters have access to private kitchens and are able to cook their own food, but the program offers families the opportunity to meet and spend time with church volunteers and foster relationships throughout the community.  “This program has been quite successful in bringing families together in the community, with the hopes of relationships developing that will make a difference in people’s lives,” Burden said. “It has been well received by the guests at the shelter with more than half of our families involved on the last Sunday of each month.”

Wakefield wanted to get involved with the program because she knew a family who has been living at the shelter. She said it has been wonderful for her and her family to get to know the families from the shelter.  “Some of them are coming from bad situations, but the kids wanted to play football with my son. They couldn’t wait to hang out with him,” she said. “My family sees how they live and what some of them have undergone.”

Burden said; “Building relationships in the community is valuable, and has included more Norwell groups, including a local Girl Scout troop that donated food for the most recent meal, and Norwell Farms, which has expressed interest in donating food to the program as well.  Cooking together with the families breaks down the boundaries between volunteers and recipients,” Ashekin said.  “It’s a great catalyst for community building and learning about different cultures.  Some of the families are from Haiti.  As the families cook together, they share stories about their lives, and learn about each other.  Some of the families staying at the shelter have taught the volunteers about different styles of cooking…  Food can be a great equalizer. As we’re sharing food, the line between giving and receiving is blurred. We’re just sitting with families and friends and eating together,” She added “Something magical happens while cooking—conversations start.”

To volunteer with the program, contact Noel Ashekin at


Remember How Excited You Were About Your First Apartment?

Home With Friends, Frist ApartmentThis picture is of Deanne’s little boy in front of their first Christmas tree in their first apartment!  Your support, combined with her hard work, her mentoring team’s support, and intensive case management, has made this possible!  In spite of many setbacks, and with the financial and prayer support of many such as yourselves, she is in a very different place than she was a year ago!  Her per diem position at the hospital doesn’t pay enough for her to live on, but on 12/28 she is scheduled to take the test to become a Certified Nurse’s Assistant, which will provide more job opportunities.

Of course, we know that it is nearly impossible to live in the Boston area on a CNA salary, but Deanne is now beginning to dream of what the next step might be  —  perhaps becoming an LPN.  For some of us, this doesn’t seem very high on the career ladder, but for someone who  dropped out of school in 10th grade – seeing possibilities in life is nearly a miracle!

For the third year in a row, Highrock church in Quincy has held a Christmas Benefit concert for Home with Friends, raising awareness of homelessness issues, as well as thousands of dollars!  This year, the people from Common Art were back, displaying and selling their creations during intermission, and Herb Newell (Executive Director of Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore) and I were a part of the choir. It was a high energy celebration – and our gratitude goes to the many people who were involved or who came to celebrate with us!

It’s only a week until Christmas – and 2 weeks until the end of 2015.  If you are considering some end-of-year donations, please think about Home with Friends – your gift will bring hope in numerous ways to families struggling with homelessness, helping them to break the cycle! See our website to donate online, or mail your check, marked Home with Friends, to PO Box 202,  N. Weymouth, MA 02191.

As always, if you have questions about what we do, or would like me to speak to a group, let me know.  Also, I have attached our recently revised brochure that not only tells you about our program but communicates some basic facts about family homelessness.

Again, thank you, and may your Advent and Christmas celebrations be blessed!