By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Hudson – Many hopeful and thankful families are finding food, a warm bed and a sincere interest in helping them regain their independence at the Willis House Family Shelter in Hudson.
Along with providing necessities of day-to-day living, Willis House has 24-hour staffing to support individuals on a daily basis, as well as case managers who assist them through housing and employment searches.
“We aim to give our residents every opportunity to succeed,” said Program Director Janice D’Amico. “The staff helps facilitate changes that make a difference in the lives of each family through their transition and stay with us.”
The shelter, located at 53 Church St., is run by the South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) of Framingham. SMOC’s mission is “to improve the quality of life of low-income and disadvantaged individuals and families by advocating for their needs and rights, providing services, educating the community, building a community of support, participating in coalitions with other advocates and searching for new resources and partnerships.”
In keeping with SMOC’s mission, Willis House assists families with child care to help them with education opportunities to enhance their ability to re-enter the work force. The Hudson Boys and Girls Club, located near Willis House, provides afterschool care for the children.
“We offer a wide variety of classes, such as computer skills, to assist residents in resume writing, cover letters, basic skills and a means to job search as well as apartment search,” D’Amico said. “Budgeting classes are also offered to give them the assistance they will need to manage their finances.”
Many local and area residents help these homeless families by donating personal items for adults and children – toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, combs, hair brushes, baby powder, shampoo, socks, infant blankets and clothing among others.
In a spirit of community assistance, help is being extended by the committee that organizes the annual Evening of Giving in Marlborough, to be held Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Best Western Royal Hotel. The event supports Roland’s House, the Marlborough-Hudson Homeless Shelter also run by SMOC. Donation boxes for personal items for both the Willis House and Roland’s House will be set up at the event.
For additional information or to support the Willis House Family Shelter, call 978-562-2749.