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Net of Compassion has a new blog!

Dear Friend,

We've been hard at work creating a new section of our website, Restoring Hope, Rebuilding Lives. Our first post is written by Danielle Cutillo who has been a volunteer and is now our Media Coordinator. Being involved with Net of Compassion has made an indelible mark on Danielle and she shares her story with everyone.
We hope you enjoy!

Kindness can change lives…it changed mine

by Danielle Cutillo

I first became involved with Net of Compassion in 2019 when my cousin read on
Facebook that a local nonprofit was looking for a photographer for their benefit. Turns out, it was the 2019 Bread of Life Benefit. Richie’s speech and the video that they put together really touched my heart. I wanted to stay involved, so I started volunteering at Grace Pantry on Wednesdays. After volunteering for a few weeks, I knew my background in journalism, social media management, and photography could help me tell their story and spread the word of the Net of Compassion mission.

My favorite Net of Compassion program is the seasonal shelter, Hotel Grace. I could go on and on about why I love this place and community. From day one, I knew it was special. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming. I love sitting with the guests and hearing their stories. I love joking around with the staff, who have become my dear friends. It is unlike any other shelter I have ever seen or heard of. It’s a family. Over the months...
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Program Highlights

Video by Nate Killian.

Hotel Grace

In the winter of 2016–2017, we opened a fifty-bed, emergency cold weather shelter at St. John’s Church. S􏰀ince its inception, the shelter welcomed all with compassion and grace regardless of sobriety, challenges, or circumstance. The guests conse􏰁quently named the shelter “􏰂Hotel 􏰃Grace.”􏰄 Initially, Hotel Grace only operated on nights when the temperature fell below thirty-two degrees. But this year, after demonstrating that the 24-7 model was highly eff􏰋ective not only in protecting Worcester􏰌’s homeless from the Coronavirus, but also as an impactful means of providing essential services to this population the City of Worcester has requested that Hotel Grace expand its season. Hotel Grace opened a month early on Oct. 4􏰊, 2021 and will remain open until M􏰎ay 14, 2022. That’􏰌s 224 days of shelter, 24-hours per day, available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Outreach & Recovery

Welcome Home, Shawn!

Move-in day was a special day for Shawn, who has been experiencing homelessness for the past six to seven years. After the very long process of applying for a housing voucher and looking for an apartment, we were finally able to welcome him into his own place. He picked out clothing and household items at Grace Pantry, we loaded the truck, drove to his new apartment, then helped him move in.
Heather Burke and Shawn at his new home.

What does having apartment mean to you?

 
“It means everything. It’s a brand new beginning and a fresh start,” he said. “I found out last week, and I didn’t believe it. Once again I lost my campsite. I’ve been in about seven different spots since I’ve been in Worcester. So many things can happen. It just happened again. I lost everything at my camp—the only thing I have is what I’m wearing. Then, that same night, I got the keys to my apartment.”

What’s next for you?

 
“Probably get my ID and get involved in some volunteering. Not look back. I want to get involved with helping people in recovery...it’s only forward from here.”

What’s the first thing you’re going to do in your own place?

 
“Cook some pasta,” Shawn answered with a big smile.
Special thanks to NOC Founders Richie and Elizabeth Gonzalez, our Recovery and Outreach Worker Heather Burke, and the City of Worcester’s Homeless Project Manager, Evis Terpollari for making this happen! ♥️
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Showing Some Love

Caeley Gale (grade 9), her sister Maeve (grade 12), and friends from the Service Learning Advisory Board at Shrewsbury High School brought valentine's day cards and treats to the guests at Hotel Grace.
Connecting and Caring.
Our community of donors, volunteers, and advocates stays connected through the web and social media. We want you to be a part of the community. Connect with us on social media. Like our posts and share with your friends—let's work together to serve those in need.
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Volunteer Highlight

Thank you to our volunteers!


This month has been filled with freezing temperatures. With the help of our incredible volunteers, we have been able to run our Meals on Main Street program each Saturday in 2022 …even in the middle of a snow storm.
“People’s needs don’t take a break because of the weather conditions…”
– Richie Gonzalez
Volunteer Today
Be Compassionate.
Thank you to those who provided photography.
Copyright © 2022 Net of Compassion, All rights reserved.


Net of Compassion is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, tax ID 83-0876779.
All donations are tax deductible.


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