I remember the first time I heard that Family Promise North Shore Boston was opening a local program to “solve homelessness one family at a time.” One family at a time was a phrase that rang true to me. It meant we could make a small difference, time and again. I liked the sound of it then and I still like it now.

This was a program I could wrap my arms around.


Starting Slowly

First I made a dinner for one of the guest families. Then I made a meal and ate with the guests, getting to know them and their kids. Then I participated in the Walk To End Homelessness with my own family to raise money for what I was quickly discovering was a great cause. (We’ve walked every year for the last three years.) The Taste of the North Shore inspired me to gather friends for a great night out with delicious food from local restaurants and a chance to hear from a guest who has benefited from the Family Promise program — and it’s an easy way to support a fabulous cause.

I was humbled when I got a call a couple of years later from the head of Family Promise’s board. He wanted to get to know me and learn why I was drawn to the organization. When Dunc Ballantyne and I talked a bit he brought up the possibility of becoming a board member. And here I am!

Summer Event

Now I’m planning a new event for Family Promise this summer: Cardboard Box City.

We’re inviting families, sports teams, church/temple groups, scouts, groups from high schools and middle schools and individuals to sleep outside in cardboard boxes for one night. Each participant will get sponsors to help raise money and awareness for family homelessness.

Check out my next post for more information about this fun night in a park.

My hope is that people, especially our youth, will understand that homeless families are our neighbors, our classmates and our colleagues right here in Beverly, Ipswich, Hamilton and the rest of the North Shore.

I can honestly say that I have received much more than I’ve given to Family Promise. Every meal, every chance to meet with guests, every opportunity to help has been a gift.

We can all make a difference, one family at a time.

Linda Goodspeed is a member of the board. If you are interested in helping with Cardboard City, please contact Linda at linda@familypromisensb.org