Rick Hart: Thankful for coverage of Shelter Sunday

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Sunday, October 22, 2017
Thankful for coverage of Shelter Sunday

I thank the Gazette for its coverage of homelessness and related issues, and more recently of the parallel Amherst and Northampton Shelter Sunday fund drives.

It is heartening to have our local newspaper help raise awareness of this important community challenge. I would also like to clarify the description of Northampton’s event in the article “Students make pitches for homeless” (Oct. 16). Northampton Shelter Sunday is a collaborative effort of several nonprofits to raise funds for four programs: the Grove Street Inn (year round shelter managed by ServiceNet); the Interfaith Winter Shelter (a three-way partnership among the Friends of Hampshire County Homeless, ServiceNet, and the city of Northampton which funded the purchase of the site); MANNA Soup Kitchen (a nonprofit serving free community meals several days a week); and the Single Room Occupancy Project (a Center for Human Development program which assists individuals living in single-room housing).

By now, most city households should have received a mailing — a blue and white brochure with a built-in return envelope — asking for donations. Please support these worthy causes.

The event is an important funding source for all of the programs. Anyone who didn’t get a mailer can also donate through our website: www.northamptonsheltersunday.org.

My thanks to the Gazette, to 93.9 The River, to all our business sponsors, and to the entire community for your ongoing support in previous years and now.

Rick Hart


The writer is president of the Friends of Hampshire County Homeless Individuals.