Brockton Office Update
October 10, 2018
Brian Moriarty retired from NeighborWorks Southern Mass (NWSOMA) this past June and he was honored with a wonderful retirement party attended by legislative officials, colleagues, staff, family and friends. His Brockton, humble and generous nature, and his genuine care for the well-being of others has carried the Brockton office of NWSOMA through some of the most challenging times and resulted in hundreds of Brockton homeowners successfully staying in their homes despite, at times, nearly insurmountable odds.
The Brockton office opened in early 2008, just as the foreclosure crisis was really beginning in our community. NeighborWorks Southern Mass and the City of Brockton knew much more needed to be done to provide assistance to the thousands of homeowners who were at risk of losing their homes, largely due to predatory lending practices and the looming nation-wide economic crisis. NeighborWorks had national support to open a Homeownership Center in Brockton but they knew the success of the Center would largely be determined by the development of relationships and partnerships, which would help to bring together the many residents, businesses, and local government partners needed in order for the work to be successful. Brian Moriarty was the right person for the job. Under his leadership, the Brockton Homeownership Center has grown into a well-known, highly respected, and essential part of Brockton’s investment in its neighborhoods.
As Brian’s retirement became official at the end of June, Cindy Pendergast stepped into the role of Brockton Program Director. Cindy has lived in Brockton since 1986 when she and her husband purchased their first home. They raised their two children here and became deeply involved in the community. Through her church and other civic organizations, Cindy has been an integral part of outreach to area youth and the homeless population. She joined NWSOMA in 2011 working closely with Brian in the Brockton office to help administer the many programs offered by NWSOMA. The development of relationships and partnerships that Brian cultivated during his time at NWSOMA will continue to grow under the leadership of Cindy Pendergast.
Announcing our “Good Neighbor” Award Recipient
September 13, 2018
Growing up in Milton, John attended Boston College High School before graduating from Fairfield University with a Bachelor of Science in Management. He then moved on to Wentworth Institute of Technology to formally study building construction. Construction is in the Curtis blood, John’s paternal grandfather had been a plumber and homebuilder himself, having built several homes in Quincy and this is where John inherited his drive to own his own construction firm.
John has had only two employers during his 33-year career in construction. While still enrolled at Wentworth, he landed a job with Corcoran Jennison Construction and remained there for thirteen years. During these years he was fortunate to work for several outstanding mentors and learn many valuable lessons throughout the industry’s ups and downs. In May of 1998 John decided it was time to fulfill a longstanding plan and founded Curtis Construction. This year, Curtis Construction is celebrating its 20th Anniversary.
It is an evening of celebration of our mission and recognition of an individual who exemplifies what it means to be a “Good Neighbor.” This year, we are recognizing, John Curtis of Curtis Construction, as the recipient of our “Good Neighbor Award.” Our Board of Directors selected Mr. Curtis because of his dedication to our mission, his company’s devotion to their clients receiving the best customer care, and his commitment to partnering with affordable housing developers and nonprofits.It is an evening of celebration of our mission and recognition of an individual who exemplifies what it means to be a “Good Neighbor.” This year, we are recognizing, John Curtis of Curtis Construction, as the recipient of our “Good Neighbor Award.” Our Board of Directors selected Mr. Curtis because of his dedication to our mission, his company’s devotion to their clients receiving the best customer care, and his commitment to partnering with affordable housing developers and nonprofits.
Winter Storms Relief
March 28, 2018
This winter, the East Coast has been hit with three major snowstorms. With the continued pounding not only from the sky but also the sea, the City of Quincy was left with severe storm damage especially in the Houghs Neck area. On Saturday, March 10, the City of Quincy along with multiple nonprofits, including NeighborWorks Southern Mass, held a disaster relief forum at Atherton Hough Elementary School. Residents of Quincy were able to meet with various groups to help get them back into their homes. “The goal after these storms is to get everyone who has been displaced back into their homes as quickly as possible,” said Normand Grenier, president of NeighborWorks.
Following the meeting, Normand Grenier and NWSOMA staff members Donna Ackerman and David Lovering have been in contact with 110 clients. These interactions have ranged from answering questions about insurance policies for storm damage to qualifying for grants for home repairs, providing inspections of properties and connecting homeowners with contractors. A majority of the repairs needed are replacement of boilers, water heaters, and furnaces, and roofing repairs. In the past 18 days, NeighborWorks has helped move 15 displaced people back into their homes.
VITA Off to a Great Start
February 28, 2018
Beginning on February 3rd, NeighborWorks® and our partners; The City of Brockton, Mayor Carpenter, The Town of Randolph, Massasoit Community College; have been participating in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). VITA offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax return. In past years, VITA was provided at 2 locations; however, this year we have added an additional third location and day: Saturdays at Massasoit Community College from 10:00AM-1:00 PM, Mondays at Brockton Public Library from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM and Wednesday at Randolph Intergenerational Center from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. In the month of February, we have already prepared 312 tax returns for individuals. As this program continues, we believe we are on track to surpass last year’s record of 547 tax return prepared.
There’s No Place Like Home: NeighborWorks Annual Gala
December 6, 2017
On Wednesday, December 6, NeighborWorks ® Southern Mass held the There’s No Place Like Home: NeighborWorks Annual Gala, which raised $130,000 for the organization’s efforts to increase affordable housing for all and strengthen communities. The event, held December 6 at Granite Links Golf Club, featured a cocktail reception, dinner and silent auction, and gave more than 250 guests an opportunity to recognize the organization’s accomplishments. Among the current initiatives highlighted was NWSOMA’s largest project in its history. The Watson, is a partnership between NeighborWorks and WinnCompanies that will provide 140 new construction apartments in Quincy Point on the site of a former blighted property on East Howard Street. The Watson will open in the fall of 2018.
At the gala, NeighborWorks® also recognized the community contributions of Michael Fish, President and CEO of Dellbrook JKS, who was honored with the NeighborWorks Good Neighbor Award.
“I would like to offer my congratulations to Mike and Dellbrook JKS for the great leadership you have provided and the wonderful corporate citizen you have become to our city. We are grateful for all your contributions.” Said Mayor Thomas Koch in a special message to Michael Fish.
“Michael Fish has been an unwavering supporter of NeighborWorks Southern Mass’ efforts to increase the availability of high quality housing. “said NWSOMA Executive Director Robert Corley.
During his remarks, Michael Fish shared his views about NeighborWorks® and his thoughts on being a good neighbor. “When it comes to being a good neighbor and a good person it comes down to working directly with people. It’s doing the right thing when nobody is looking for the people who need it the most and who may not be able to give thanks in other ways. What NeighborWorks really does exemplifies teamwork, doing the right thing when nobody is looking, through adversity, and standing up for what you believe in, even when it isn’t the easy thing to do.”
“This Gala captures what NeighborWorks is all about, which is leveraging the power and strength of partnerships to help others,” said NWSOMA Executive Director Robert Corley.
Residents Move back into Father McCarthy’s House
November 8, 2017
Residents of Fr. McCarthy’s House are moving back into the home after months of renovations following the fire at the end of June. This renovation would not have been possible without the hard works of many within our community. We would like to share a special thanks to: Bob’s Discount Furniture for their generous donation toward the purchase of tables and chairs; Pastor Heidi and Faith Lutheran Church for providing linens, towels, kitchen and personal essentials to the residents at Fr. McCarthy’s House; and all those who contributed to the residents fund.
Announcing the “Good Neighbor” Award to Michael Fish at There’s No Place Like Home: NeighborWorks Annual Gala
This year, NeighborWorks Southern Mass and our Board of Directors are honored to present our Good Neighbor Award to Michael Fish, President & CEO of Dellbrook JKS.
Dellbrook JKS has been an unwavering supporter of NeighborWorks Southern Mass efforts to increase the availability of affordable housing and help families achieve the dream of homeownership. In so doing, Dellbrooks JKS have made a significant impact on the lives of hundreds of families – many of whom likely are not even aware of the many ways in which Dellbrook JKS has contributed to so many worthwhile local projects.
We also recognize that Michael’s generosity and contributions to the community extend far beyond his support of our organization. His personal commitment to innovative leadership and excellence and the long history of philanthropy of both his family and Dellbrook JKS is inspiring and serves as a wonderful example of corporate and personal social responsibility. This commitment is apparent in not only the work done publicly but also in the culture of teamwork, service, and enthusiasm Delbrook JKS. Every member of the Dellbrook JKS team brings the cooperative spirit of his leadership into all of our work together and it makes our experience of working in partnership with your team truly rewarding.
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.