Winter walk to end homelessness draws 400

Staff Report

Published: 02-08-2023 5:24 PM

SPRINGFIELD — Over 400 people walked on Sunday to end homelessness in western Massachusetts as part of the inaugural Winter Walk for Homelessness.

The Winter Walk is a year-round organization that hosts an annual homelessness walk to raise awareness and funds to prevent and end homelessness in Massachusetts. The event expanded to this region this year after six successful years of walking in greater Boston.

The Winter Walk brings together people from all walks of life, including those in western Massachusetts who are housed and experiencing homelessness during the coldest month of the year to create an immersive experience that cultivates empathy, respect and advocacy to break down negative stigmas and create lasting systemic change.

Elected officials from Hampshire County and Holyoke who attended included Northampton Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra, Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia, Sens. John Velis and Jake Oliveira, and Rep. Mindy Domb. They were joined by Winter Walk organizers Ari Barbanell, executive director, and Amanda Walk.

The Winter Walk partners include: Center for Human Development, Clinical & Support Options/Friends of the Homeless, Mental Health Association (MHA), Providence Ministries, Springfield Health Services for the Homeless, and Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness. All of the funds raised will be used to support homeless service providers in the region.

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