Two Supporters—One Big Way You Can Help End Homelessness
Karen Schwartzman is a busy communications consultant who approached Pine Street Inn as a volunteer and was invited to be a board member. “I live within walking distance of the emergency shelter,” says Karen. “This is my community, my back yard.”
As a neighbor Karen has seen first-hand the impact of the Inn. “The South End used to be a neighborhood where panhandlers were everywhere,” says Karen. “But now people who need help and food and shelter know they have a resource at Pine Street. They know they are welcome here.”
Karen is most impressed with Pine Street’s commitment to go beyond temporary shelter—to help people move into permanent housing and build stable lives.
“It wasn’t enough to simply put a band-aid on homelessness by providing emergency shelter,” says Karen. “This organization strives to end homelessness altogether by developing an innovative mix of supportive permanent housing, counseling, and job training, that helps people recover their independence, dignity and pride.”
As a board member Karen also has an inside perspective on how the organization is run. She says, “This is an organization that is sustainable; it looks ahead. And it has a management team that is prepared.” That’s why Karen feels confident in her decision to leave a gift for Pine Street Inn in her will. “This organization is going to live long past when I’m gone, and I believe will be doing the same quality work with the same commitment to the values I uphold for a long time,” she says.
Fellow board member Bob Stringer is a retired author, executive, and professor at Harvard Business School. He thinks most people look at a homeless person and feel fear; but Pine Street Inn treats every person with humanity and dignity.
That matters to Bob, who had a brother who spent time on the streets. “My brother was a good guy,” says Bob. “He went to Amherst. But he became schizophrenic, and he couldn’t function in society.”
“I recently had the opportunity to go out on the streets with the outreach van,” says Bob. “It was really moving to see how the staff knew the homeless people by name. They know their stories. They treat them with humanity.”
“Ultimately the goal is to get them comfortable enough to come into shelter,” says Bob. “But until then, Pine Street will make sure they have a blanket and a coat and a warm drink.”
But like Karen, what really gets Bob excited about Pine Street is the commitment to truly ending homelessness. He has donated to several of our housing projects, including dedicating a room to his father, a World War II vet, at our Hartford Street veterans’ housing.
“Permanent housing is the only solution to homelessness,” says Bob, “And Pine Street Inn is working towards that incredible goal.”
“The future of Pine Street Inn depends on people like me making gifts. By leaving a gift in my will, I can have a huge impact, and it makes me feel good.”
We asked Bob what he would say to anyone else thinking about leaving a gift in a will. “It takes all of five minutes to sit down with your lawyer and have him or her write up the gift in your will for Pine Street,” says Bob. “And it’s a great five minutes.”
Pine Street Inn and its staff do not provide legal, tax or financial advice. For such advice, please consult your own professional advisor.