Father William McCarthy House Update
September 27, 2017
On the early morning of June 28th, NeighborWorks Southern Mass experienced a serious fire at Father William McCarthy’s House, our rooming home for 18 individuals. Thankfully, because of effective fire and sprinkler systems, our residents did not experience any serious injuries and through help from our partners, each resident had a safe place to stay.
Thank you to everyone who donated immediately after the fire to help the residents; because of your contributions, we raised $2,000 to help residents. We are so grateful to everyone who reached out to help during this difficult time. We would also like to thank Bob’s Furniture Charitable Foundation for their donation of $2,500 towards furniture for this house.
Since that day, we have been busy renovating and rebuilding this home. We have been repairing systems, installing new drywall and painting throughout the building. In the kitchen, new cabinets and a new stove have been installed. Flooring and bathrooms are the last major projects for the house. We are hopeful that the residents will be moved back in by November 1.
Winter Gardens Community Comes Together
August 23, 2017
Community is fostered through comradery, support, and acceptance. These characteristics are sometimes difficult to physically see, but this past summer NeighborWorks Southern Mass saw a neighborhood come together in a way that now truly represents community.
On June 28, 2017, an exterior fire erupted at the Father William McCarthy’s House located on Winter Street. Thankfully no one was injured, but the property was severely damaged and the possessions of the 18 individuals living in the house were destroyed.
Upon seeing and hearing the circumstances their neighbors were facing, residents throughout Winter Street and East Howard Street immediately searched for the best way to help their neighbors. Organized by community leader Antoinette Quinlan, residents began collecting blankets, sheets, dishes and kitchenware to replenish Father McCarthy’s House with necessities. As items were collected, the desire to help continued to grow and the Winter Gardens community held a bake sale to raise funds for more household goods. The Winter Street and East Howard neighborhood has demonstrated the dedication and support that every community strives to achieve.
The Watson Apartments
Construction is underway for The Watson Apartments at 116 E. Howard Street in Quincy. This property was formerly home to a vacant office building across the street from the Fore River Shipyard. The Watson Apartments is a joint project of Winn Companies and NeighborWorks Southern Mass. The building will feature 28 market rate apartments, 86 workforce housing apartments, and 26 affordable apartments for those with lower than median incomes.
This month, we blasted rock that will be re-purposed as part of the foundation for the new building. We will continue to post updates on this project here on our blog and on our Facebook page -stay tuned!
Check out the blast:
Community Leadership Institute & Mix It Up Arts Festival
Last September, NeighborWorks Southern Mass was invited to attend the Community Leadership Institute (CLI), a three-day training summit in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hosted by NeighborWorks America, this CLI training event aims to strengthen voices within a community and provide opportunities that will build positive relationships within neighborhoods. The attendees strive to create a strategic plan that will bring people together. Our team consisted of several residential leaders and community partners: Janine Vlassakis, NWSOMA Community Building and Engagement Coordinator; Antoinette Pabon-Green, NWSOMA Boardmember; Greidy Terrero, NWSOMA Boardmember; Rasheeda Brown, Residential Community Leader; and Kathy Quigley, Executive Director of Germantown Neighborhood Center, YMCA. At the CLI, our team learned strategies to create a dialogue with residents and ways to continue the momentum of community.
Our leaders brainstormed and decided that an arts festival would help unite the Winter Street neighborhood. The project was both complex and daunting given this community is comprised of residents of varying ages spread across more than 140 households. Over the past year, we held many local events to raise awareness and money for the festival including a neighborhood block party and clean up; a swap and celebrate event where residents selected from donations of clothing, books and handmade toys; and numerous holiday themed celebrations for local families. Most recently, a talent show and bake sale helped our CLI team to raise $175 for the arts festival. These funds, alongside a CLI grant, were used to make the arts festival a reality.
On June 3rd (despite threats of rain!), hundreds of community members, local entrepreneurs, and our neighbors from 1000 Southern Artery joined in our “Mix It Up” Winter Street Arts Festival. Guests enjoyed an afternoon of art activities, shopping at the Artisan Bazaar, and neighborhood camaraderie. Ultimately, this was a day where residents put their “handprint” on the community.