There has long been a partnership between Crossroads Family Shelter in East Boston and the Massachusetts Port Authority. For years, Massport has been a corporate partner in helping Crossroads fulfill its mission to help homeless families that stay at the shelter on Havre Street have a better quality of life.
Again this year Massport has joined forces with Crossroads to assist the children at the shelter preparing to attend Eastie schools this fall.
Several children at the Crossroads Family Center received a surprise back-to-school gift from Massport. Each of them were given a backpack filled with school supplies and clothing to get them ready for the first day of classes.
“To see the faces of these children light up reminds me why Massport does this each year,” said Massport Director of Community Relations and Government Affairs Alaina Coppola. “We want to help these students build their confidence and self-esteem and encourage them to look forward to the new school year. We also want to send a strong message that others care about them and their education.”
The giveaway was part of Massport’s 11th annual Backpack Project for Children aimed at assisting homeless families and families in need. This year, about 100 Massport employees donated the items and volunteered their time to fill the backpacks.“Massport has been a great supporter of Crossroads Family Center,” said Lauren Antonelli, Executive Director. “The Backpack Project has made such a positive impact on the lives of the children and families we have served over the years.”
Massport also sponsored children at the Community Action for Safe Alternatives (CASA) in Winthrop and Joseph M. Tierney Learning Center in South Boston. In all, 65 students from the three organizations benefited from the project this year. The children range in age from 4 to 17.
In 1985, Rev. Bernard McLaughlin saw the sea of humanity sleeping on the streets and in cars outside Holy Redeemer Church on Maverick Street. There were whole families struggling to keep warm during the winter or looking for a meal.
Rev. McLaughlin saw that he needed to do something to address the problems associated with homelessness in the area.
His solution, a transitional shelter for homeless families offering a supportive environment to allow families to live independently with dignity and respect all people deserve.
Since its inception in 1985, Crossroads Family Shelter has become an oasis of hope-providing shelter for countless families in the area.