Thursday, October 28, 2010

November 6th: Youth Homelessness Awareness Event

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month
StandUp For Kids - Worcester is inviting you to participate in our November awareness event:

Youth Homelessness Awareness Sit-in
Saturday, November 6th
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
in front of Worcester City Hall
Candlelight Vigil at Dusk
Contact us at with any questions.
2nd Annual Worcester Talent Showcase
Also, save the date for our 2nd Annual Worcester Talent Showcase, which will be held on Thursday, January 27th (evening). We are still working on the logistics but last year we pulled in some incredibly talented musicians, poets, and dancers.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Point in Time Survey

The Worcester Teen Housing Taskforce held their first point in time survey in August 2009 to get a sense of the homeless youth population within the Worcester community. The second annual survey was conducted this week on Octoer 20, 2010. Our outreach team participated by surveying youth on the streets during our weekly street outreach. We'll keep you posted on when these survey results will be released.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Local Service Spotlight: The Mustard Seed

If someone asked you where they could grab a hot meal, what would your answer be? Most of us have a home, a kitchen, a refrigerator full of food. But there are many homeless adults and youth who struggle to get a good meal each day.

One of the main requests we get as an organization is for food bags. Our counselors carry around backpacks full of these food bags on outreach night. What do our food bags consist of? Chef Bouyerdee, a Fruit Box, Water, Chips, and maybe a fruit bowl. One food bag may be good for a youth to have when nothing else is available but we really don't want the kids living off the contents of these food bags on a continous basis.

Thankfully, Worcester has a wide array of food pantries. Worcester also has a long running soup kitchen called the Mustard Seed.

What's a soup kitchen?
A soup kitchen, or a free meal program, allows people to come in from the cold and have a warm, cooked meal.

How does the Mustard Seed operate?
When you enter the Mustard Seed, it is one big open room with several tables and chairs. The meals come from local community organizations and churches. Volunteers from the Worcester community (college students, church members, etc.) arrive each night to set up, serve dinner, and clean up afterwards.

Where is the Mustard Seed located?
The Mustard Seed is located at 93 Piedmont Street in Worcester at the corner of Austin and Piedmont. Don't go looking for a building. This soup kitchen is quite literally a house with a sprawling lawn. During the nice weather, there are picnic tables outside where people can sit and enjoy their dinners.

When are meals served?
Supper is Monday through Saturday from 4:00 to 6:30 during the winter and 5:00 to 6:30 during the summer. There is also lunch served on Sundays at noon.

The Mustard Seed is one of many places a homeless youth can get a free meal in Worcester. If for some reason the hours at the Mustard Seed don't work out or a youth needs breakfast or lunch, we have a two page list of options.

There's no reason anyone should go hungry. To start learning what options are out there, check out the Worcester Resources website ( It's good to be aware of the local food pantries and soup kitchens in your area. You just never know when or why you'll need to know about such services.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Local Chapter Update: Anna Maria College Raising Awareness

On Monday, October 4th, Kristina England (Co-Director of Adult Training) and Ally Trull (Volunteer) presented to students of the Homelessness course at Anna Maria College. The class addressed such topics as local and national statistics, reasons youth could end up on the street, and what we can do as a community to prevent youth homelessness. Thank you to Professor Evangelina Gonzalez and her students for such an engaging discussion.

Farewell to Liz Burrows
Volunteer Liz Burrows left the chapter on September 25th. She is currently applying to graduate schools and studying for the GREs. Liz volunteered with us for a year, which including four months a Co-Executive Director. Liz brought a lot to the program, including some wonderful budget tracking forms and leading the planning efforts for our backpack outreach program. Thank you Liz for your amazing contributions over the last year! We'll miss you!