Yesterday, June 9, at the State House in a ceremony attended by hundreds of non-profit leaders, legislators and other state leaders, the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network awarded the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness the 2014 Excellence Award for Collaboration and Collective Impact. Over 200 non-profits were nominated, 32 were named as finalists and in our “collaboration” category with 4 excellent organizations, the Network was judged the winner.
I had the privilege of attending and receiving the award on behalf of the Network and speaking on behalf of ALL OF US about the power of our collaboration to make real and lasting change. The Network featured the success of the Secure Jobs Connect initiative as a model of collaboration across virtually every sector, providing the necessary support to obtain employment and achieve greater housing stability for hundreds of families.
In the room to share in the honor were our own Leadership Council members: Sylvia deHaas-Phillips of the United Way of Pioneer Valley, our fiscal sponsor whose support has made the Network’s success possible; Nancy Stoll of the Berkshire United Way, a champion of the Network, and Jim Ayres of the United Way of Hampshire County, whose initial inspiration to seek this nomination led us to this proud moment.
In my remarks, I also named the extraordinary support of our Western Mass. legislators, so many of whom are instrumental in making our work possible. I had the pleasure of meeting with Senator Rosenberg earlier in the day and and receiving a citation on behalf of the Network for this accomplishment. Of course Senator Rosenberg’s and Senator Downing’s membership on our Leadership Council is a source of special pride, along with the membership of Representative Kocot and Representative Vega on our Secure Jobs Connect Advisory Committee. The Network is so fortunate to have such extraordinary and committed legislative leadership in our effort to end homelessness.
Finally, a special thanks to the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Foundation for their vision and investment in making Secure Jobs a ground-breaking model for ending the cycle of poverty and homelessness for hundreds of families across the Commonwealth.
Congratulations to us all. Your commitment to the Network and the power of collaboration make it all possible.