Real Estate Opens Hearts, Wallets for Homeless
Commercial property people really know how to party; especially when it’s for a good cause. At Heading Home’s annual fundraiser, 2014 Housewarming, they ponied up a record $936,200!
On Tuesday in the tower at 60 State St, about 904real estate pros mingled, sipped and sampled gourmet hors d’oeuvres contributed by some of the city’s top restaurants organized by chef/owner Chris Coombs: Boston Chops, Catalyst, Deuxave, and Trade. They watched the sun set over Boston Harbor, caught up with friends, and were supporting the work of Heading Home to house the homeless and deliver the services people need to launch a new phase in their lives.
Heading Home clients on hand included: Tara Cipriano, Gaudy Corrales, and Dorice McCullough. Two years ago, the non-profit moved Gaudy and four children into permanent housing in Boston where they still live. They had been homeless for three years after a foreclosure on their house in Brockton. Gaudy, now a single parent, works full time and attends pharmacy school. Heading Home moved Dorice, her three children and sister, into permanent housing three months ago. “It feels secure; amazing,” she says.
Heading Home event co-chairs—Goodwin Procter chairwoman Regina Pisa and Boston Properties regional manager Bryan Koop—gave a nod to their Heading Home committee, donors and loyal supporters. “It was an easy ask,” Regina says. Perhaps it was because, as Byran says, home is a powerful shelter from New England’s harsh weather (if you'd forgotten, Mother Nature gave us a pretty aggressive reminder this year); a sanctuary from the trials of the day and the "place where love exists." Goodwin is the anchor tenant for The Fallon Co’s 17-story tower under construction at Fan Pier. Boston Properties is likely to start construction in Q4 on a new Back Bay office building.
HFF’s John Fowler, who with wife Mary is a longtime Heading Home supporter, says that this year’s extraordinary turnout reflects—in part—that business is back and gaining steam. It’s helpful that the real estate market, the stock market and overall economy are on the upswing.
Heading Home’s Tom Lorello (with McDermott, Quilty & Miller partner Joe Hanley) says the support is much needed. There are more homeless families in Massachusetts than ever, as has been the case since the recession started in ’08. At any one time, 4,000 families are living in overwhelmed shelters or in hotels. As Heading Home places clients in housing, it connects them with job training for work that really exists; financial and life skills education.