North Star Seeking Community Support for “Journey Home Project” with Capital 2.5 million-dollar Campaign
A new project from North Star Family Services, Inc., will bring the first of its kind supportive housing community to North Central Massachusetts in the Spring 2023. North Star is seeking support for the project, which aims to help local homeless families stay permanently housed, through an ongoing $2.5 million capital campaign.
Known as “Journey Home,” the project will include the construction of a 15-unit apartment building in Leominster that will house homeless families with children. The building will also feature offices with onsite staff who will provide services to help families overcome challenges so they can transition to long-term stable housing, including skills building and mentoring.
On March 30, the City of Leominster, Zoning Board of Appeals, unanimously approved a zoning permit for Journey Home, positioning the project to be shovel ready in the Spring of 2023.
The building will be located down the street from North Star’s family shelter, which has served families in North Central Massachusetts for over 20 years. North Star President and CEO Dr. Jon Hogue notes that Journey Home will extend the shelter’s work in an innovative way.
“This project is unique in North Central Massachusetts and will bring the first-ever housing continuum,” says Hogue. “Our emergency shelter takes families who have been living in areas not meant for human habitation, and now we are creating an outlet that is supportive, affordable, and permanent. The project’s number one goal is to keep people housed long-term so they can build better lives.”
Journey Home is being funded in part by local City, State, ARPA and private donations. Additionally, an endowment fund has been created at the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts that will support annual program operations for North Star, including Journey Home.
The capital campaign, led by volunteers Martin F. Connors, President & CEO of Rollstone Bank and Trust, and his wife Kathleen, is essential for funding the initial construction of the building.
“We decided to lead the Journey Home capital campaign because this ambitious project will make it possible for previously homeless/low-income, working families to move out of the North Star shelter,” says Connors. “This new housing program will be one of a kind and serve North Central Massachusetts families in need of support for generations to come.”
Robert Antonucci, President Emeritus of Fitchburg State University and Honorary Champion of the Journey Home capital campaign, adds, “North Star Family Services is an organization whose primary focus is to assist homeless families with the most critical basic needs, housing and support services. I am more than pleased to support the capital campaign and hope that others will join us in doing all we can to ensure that families in need will continue to be served. By joining together we can make a difference and contribute to the quality of life in our communities. “
Donations to the Journey Home capital campaign can be made at northstarfs.org, or by mailing or dropping off a check to the following address: North Star Family Services, Inc., 758 Main Street, Leominster, MA 01453.