From WCVB 5: Thousands gather on Boston Common for fundraiser to end homelessness

February 11, 2024

By Brianna Borghi, WCVB TV Reporter

Brianna Borghi

BOSTON —Sunday marked the 8th annual Winter Walk, a fundraiser that benefits 13 local organizations to help unhoused people in Massachusetts.

The event saw its biggest crowd yet this year, as more than 4,000 people gathered on Boston Common to walk 2 miles around the city to raise awareness about Winter Walk’s effort to end homelessness.

The goal is to raise $500,000 by the end of February, as agencies are currently seeing unprecedented demand for services amid an influx of migrants.

“They are consuming our basic services, just for things like meals and clothing, at higher rates because they literally have nothing but the clothes on their backs,” said Karen LaFrazia, chief executive officer of Saint Francis House. “It’s incumbent upon government and private philanthropy to ensure that we have the resources to make sure people are at least fed and clothed.”

“It’s a world where you have to help other people. You’ve constantly got to help other people,” said Winter Walk participant Jojo Silva.

Silva and other teenagers hand out gift cards, which they call “dignity cards,” to people experiencing homelessness.

“We’re giving them to people that have nothing and lost everything, so they’re usually really grateful about it,” said Winter Walk participant William Verge. “It’s nice to see people smile over something so little.”

This year’s Winter Walk has raised nearly $400,000 so far.

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