The expressed mission of the Friends is to provide financial and volunteer support for the shelter and for associated programs. This includes support for many different programs, all of which contribute to the one goal of helping the homeless find a better life. The following programs receive the organization’s financial support to varying degrees:
Health Care. Two nurses who work for Health Care for the Homeless at Mercy Hospital in Springfield monitor the health of the guests, make referrals as needed, and ensure that they are taking their medication.
Prescription Assistance. When one of our guests is faced with a choice between food and medication, the Friends will help with the copayment.
First and Last Month’s Rent Program. A program helps qualified homeless people currently in the shelters pay their first and last month’s rent when they find a suitable apartment. Through this program, the Friends have been able to help many people to leave the shelter for their own apartments.
Winter Boot Program. One winter morning a passer-by on Center Street was greeted by a jovial stranger: “Look at my lovely boots!” They were indeed a handsome pair of boots, much different from the sneakers with holes in them the stranger had been wearing the day before. Shelter residents are able to exchange their worn-out sneakers for a pair of sturdy boots, thanks to a voucher program offered by the Friends with the generous cooperation of Deals and Steals.