Governor Charlie Baker, Karen LaFrazia of St. Francis House, event co-chair Pam Norley of Fidelity Charitable, honoree Steve Neff, Fidelity Investments and event co-chair Dan Brownell of Fidelity Investments
On Wednesday October 25, Governor Charlie Baker and more than 450 of Boston’s most influential business leaders, philanthropists and advocates at the Fairmont Copley Plaza joined to support St. Francis House’s annual All The Way Home gala.
The All the Way Home gala celebrates and raises funds for St. Francis House, the Commonwealth’s largest day shelter serving over 500 poor and homeless men and women each day. This year’s honorary co-chairs were Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh. The fundraising dinner helped raise over $750,000 for the program and services at St. Francis House.
“Helping individuals and families fighting homelessness is a top priority for our administration and the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are committed to working with partners like St. Francis House to provide support services, affordable housing, workforce development training and recovery services for our most vulnerable populations.”
The event highlighted the work of St. Francis House and the impact it is making on the lives of the individuals it serves.
Additionally, it highlighted the redevelopment of their new building at 48 Boylston Street, in partnership with the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, which will create 46 new units of affordable housing, a social business enterprise, and more robust counseling services.
Speakers at the podium included event co-chairs Dan Brownell, of Fidelity Investments, and Pam Norley, President, Fidelity Charitable. Both co-chairs recounted the tireless work and commitment of the evening’s honoree, St. Francis House board member and Head of Technology and Global Services at Fidelity Investments, Steve Neff.
“Here at St. Francis House, we keep our doors open 365 days a year, welcoming and serving 6,800 unique individuals every year with compassionate care,” said Karen LaFrazia, President and CEO of St. Francis House. “Thanks to the countless ways our supporters sustain our life-changing mission, St. Francis House is able to create more housing, employment and recovery opportunities with the renovation of 48 Boylston Street.
There are a million reasons people get lost – childhood trauma, addiction, mental illness, poverty. But the big difference between many of us and our guests is that we’ve had a safety net when things have fallen apart — and they have not.”
Honoree Steve Neff recounted his experiences as Board member and active volunteer.
“St. Francis House truly does rebuild lives. Since I’ve become involved as a Board member for the past nine years, I have been genuinely moved by the grace and compassion with which they serve their guests who come to St. Francis House for an opportunity to rebuild their lives.”
The evening concluded with a inspiring and hopeful story of recovery from our Sullivan Family Moving Ahead Program graduate Andrew.
“MAP is where I saw possibility, a future, and felt the kind of validation you can only get from people who have been through trials as bad as yours – and sometimes event worse. For the first time in my life, I shared my story honestly and completely. It’s where I finally understood how much I had overcome, not just how much I had screwed up, lost, or missed out on.”
Thank you so much to all our supporter and sponsors.