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(left to right) Worcester Mayor Joe O’Brien, Friends of Boston’s Homeless Founder John Rosenthal, MHSA Executive Director Joe Finn, Community Healthlink Executive Director Deborah Ekstrom, The Health Foundation of Central Massachuse​tts CEO Jan Yost and SMOC Executive Director Jim Cuddy.

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More than 250 MHSA members, friends and supporters gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Boston Marriott Copley Place on May 18, 2011 for MHSA's eighth annual fundraising event, Home for Good: Solutions Start Here

MHSA honored John Rosenthal of Meredith Management and Friends of Boston's Homeless, Worcester Mayor Joe O'Brien and Home Again in Worcester for their outstanding work to initiate solutions to homelessness.

“I am humbled by the commitment shown by this outstanding group of honorees,” said MHSA President & Executive Director Joe Finn. “It was an honor to congratulate our awardees and celebrate strides made in ending homelessness in the Commonwealth.”

Guests enjoyed an array of passed and stationary hors d’oeuvres, complimentary wine and entertainment by a jazz trio led by Masako Yotsugi. A photo gallery of newly housed individuals, along with snapshots of their homes, reminded guests that solutions to homelessness start at MHSA.

The awards presentation was kicked off with a brief solutions-themed film produced and edited by Chris Goff. With interviews of board members, executive directors of member agencies, funders and elected officials, it encouraged viewers to support MHSA in its mission to end homelessness.  Click here to watch the video.

John Rosenthal received the Bob Ray Partnership Award for his more than twenty years of service in the effort to end homelessness. Under his leadership and in conjunction with the City of Boston, Friends of Boston’s Homeless has raised more than $25 million and developed a full spectrum of emergency shelter, transitional housing, job training, employment services and permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness. Named in honor of the late Robert E. Ray, former vice president at The Gillette Company, the award recognizes the commitment of individuals in the private sector who work to end homelessness. Bob Ray’s widow Sandra, daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Tim Kannally were on hand to congratulate John.

Home Again, a Worcester-based collaboration, was honored with the MHSA Cornerstone Award. Led by Community Healthlink and including the South Middlesex Opportunity Council/People in Peril Shelter, the Henry Lee Willis Center, Dismas House, Jeremiah’s Inn and the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance, Home Again worked with The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts to play a pivotal role in creating permanent solutions to chronic homelessness in Worcester. 

Mayor Joe O’Brien accepted the Canon Brian S. Kelley Public Servant Award on behalf of the city of Worcester.  Mayor O’Brien led regional efforts to oppose Question 2 last fall and has been a passionate advocate for affordable housing and ending homelessness in Worcester.  Past award recipients include Boston City Council President Mike Ross and Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

MHSA is grateful to our member agencies, event sponsors, presenters and donors. MHSA would especially like to thank our honorees who are leading the way in creating permanent solutions to homelessness. 

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