Braving the Cold in Support of Women’s Lunch Place

While Wednesday, Nov. 13, might have set a record for the coldest temperature on that date in Boston’s history, the elements couldn’t deter an ample crowd from turning out to support the Women’s Lunch Place at a fundraiser for the Newbury Street shelter.

Co-sponsored by the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, the inaugural “Homeward Bound” event featured harvest tastings, wine, craft beers and a holiday silent auction in support of the nonprofit Women’s Lunch Place, which since 1982, according to its website, has “offer[ed] a safe day sanctuary, nutritious meals and critical support for women experiencing homelessness or poverty.”

Sheila Dillon, chief of housing for the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development,” said, “It’s really important that the community continues to support Boston’s overall effort that no woman or man should remain homeless, and we’re so thankful to NABB tonight for supporting this very important and talented organization.”

Vicki Smith, who co-chairs the NABB Homelessness Task Force with Kathy Young, said, “This is a wonderful event, and NABB and the Women’s Lunch Place are delighted to work together with so many volunteers.”

The Task Force is comprised of “12 members who plan public education programs…and advocate for public policies that really work [to combat homelessness],” Kathy Young said.

“In response to neighbors’ concerns, we’re seeking to alleviate the impact of homelessness on housed and un-housed people,” Kathy Young said.

Jennifer Hanlon Wigon, executive director of Women’s Lunch Place, said, “This event grew put of NABB’s homelessness initiative and working with them. We hope this is the first of many fundraising and networking events to understand the work we do behind doors, and to help us collaborate on the issues we’re all facing together.

 “Besides providing homeless women with one meal each day, the Women’s Lunch Place also provides wrap-around services help them get stable housing, food, healthcare, job training,” Wigon added.

While Steve Young, a member of NABB and Kathy’s husband, was in attendance at last week’s fundraising event, it wasn’t his first visit to the Newbury Street shelter, as he had previously volunteered there with other employees of Holland & Knight’s Boston law office.

“The Women’s Lunch Place is an oasis in the desert for homeless women, and having this event for homeless women on what might set the record for the coldest record on this date is fortuitous,” Steve Young said.

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