CHD’s Housing Stabilization Program has received its second consecutive Pony Up Award from Homes For Families, a non-profit homelessness advocacy membership group (of which CHD is a member) dedicated to involving families and shelter providers in improving the homelessness system and advocating for solutions.
The Pony Up award acknowledges CHD’s exceptional effort in getting client families to participate in the annual Visioning Day event, which is sponsored by Homes For Families and takes place in Worcester. Visioning Day is the organization’s most important annual event and the best opportunity for parents to have a voice at the table when state legislators discuss policy related to family homelessness.
“In 2015, I did a shout out to other Emergency Assistance providers to ‘pony up’ and bring more families to Visioning Day,” said Jane Banks, Program Director Homeless Services for CHD. “CHD brought more families to last year’s event than any other provider. We rented three buses to transport them all to Worcester. Because we ‘ponied up’ and brought so many people, we received an award of a pony head on a stick, the kind little kids play with. Well, this year we got so many families involved we had to rent four buses, and with more families and more kids in attendance CHD even provided child care on site. Since we ‘ponied up’ again, we received a second Pony Up Award, this time a stuffed toy pony.”
While these physical “trophies” are meant to be fun, the award itself is a serious recognition of CHD’s commitment to helping homeless families raise their voices in a major state-wide forum so they can be part of the solutions for ending homelessness.
“It’s important for EA providers to know that we aren’t the only voice for our client families,” said Banks. “They have their own voices. When EA’s pony up and bring them to Visioning Day, those voices can be heard.”