Supporters and friends pay tribute to Housing Families

Housing Families Inc. (HFI) celebrated its 30th anniversary with plenty of panache and 300 friends, supporters and guests at a special fundraising gala on April 23 at the Renaissance Hotel on Boston’s waterfront. Rev. Liz Walker, former news anchor for WBZ-TV, hosted the event, which showcased HFi’s long history of providing shelter and support for homeless families.

“We began 30 years ago by providing housing as an emergency response to homelessness, and as our understanding of homelessness has evolved so have our solutions,” said HFI CEO Jim Goebelbecker. “Today Housing Families provides housing along with support programs to stabilize post-shelter families to help them find and keep their new homes, become financial stable and mostly to help their children become the best they can be.”

And thanks to last weekend’s gala, the Malden-based organization now has $200,000 more dollars to support it mission to assist homeless families throughout the state.

In addition to exhibits of art and writing from children in the HFI afterschool program, there was a stage performance by the Meraki Theater Collective, based on stories from families who have been involved with the organization, and a ceremony to honor Commodore Builders CEO Joe Albanese with an Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award for his relentless support of homeless families. Gala guests and revelers were also busy with gourmet fare prepared and served by a crew of Boston’s hottest chefs and with the music of World Premiere, who kicked off a night of dancing with a tribute to Prince complete with purple lights.

For Melrose residents Bob and Mary Lynch, who are both volunteers in HFI’s youth program, the gala was a great way to celebrate work that’s sometimes challenging but always important and gratifying. “I love working with these young kids,” said Mary Lynch. “They are amazing – always excited – and they make me laugh.”

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