SMOC'S MISSION To improve the quality of life of low-income and disadvantaged individuals and families by advocating for their needs and rights; providing services; educating the community; building a community of support; participating in coalitions with other advocates and searching for new resources and partnerships.
SMOC's 2014 Summer Jobs for Youth
This summer,18 youth aged 17-22, participated in the Summer Jobs for Youth program. They were placed in 10 different paid internships both at SMOC and the United Way Pearl St Cupboard and Café. The program provided the youth with on-the-job training and a series of workforce development workshops aimed at enhancing their job readiness. At the end of the program, the youth were better prepared for employment and each participant finished the program with a new toolbox of skills as well as a resume, cover letter and a thank you note.
New Police Substation opens in Framingham with help from SMOC
On July 30, we celebrated the opening of a new Police Substation housed at 73 Hollis Street, a SMOC building. The substation supports the Framingham Police Department's community policing initiative. It will also house Framingham Downtown Renaissance, an initiative dedicated to the revitalization of Downtown Framingham. SMOC is pleased to donate the space to these vital partners in the community.
U.S. Congresswoman Katherine Clark visits SMOC
Congresswoman Katherine Clark, who represents the 5th Congressional District of Massachusetts, paid a visit to SMOC on July 1. Congresswoman Clark met with staff representatives to learn more about our programs and expressed her appreciation for the range of integrated services available at SMOC. She then stopped by our Child Care program to read a story to some of her youngest constituents (pictured here).
22 Students graduate from GED program at SMOC
On June 20th, in front of a room packed with friends, family, staff, Board Members, local and state officials, 22 graduates of the GED program at SMOC's Joan Brack Adult Learning Center were presented with certificates of completion. The students, both local and international, celebrated their accomplishments with joy and pride. Keynote speakers congratulated the students on their hard work and for overcoming difficult barriers. The Town of Framingham generously donated the use of the Blummer Room in the Framingham Town Hall for the celebration. It was an inspirational event with an all-time high number of graduates.
SMOC Celebrates Opening of 266 Main Street, Oxford, MA.
The Open House was held on Tuesday, June 17 to celebrate the preservation and rehabilitation of this historic property in downtown Oxford. The property consists of 16 units of supported housing for individuals, featuring a shared kitchen and living spaces. The dedication ceremony was attended by neighbors, financing partners and state officials. This $1.4M project was financed by MA Department of Housing and Community Development, Mass Housing, Federal Home Loan Bank and Southbridge Savings Bank. Pictured left to right: Roger Herzog of CEDAC, Aaron Gornstein of DHCD, Senator Richard Moore, Father Alfred T.K. Zadig of Grace Church, SMOC Board Member Steve Penna, James Sandagato and Brian Chandley, both of Southbridge Savings Bank.
SMOC's ESL program presented certificates to 24 students on March 27 in recognition of over 100 hours of English instruction during the winter of 2014.
The immigrants from 14 countries worked together for 12 weeks to improve their English communication skills in order to function in and contribute more to their new American community. SMOC's ESL students learn about finding success in the U.S., communicating at home, and making community connections. In this session, students with 8 different native languages focused on exploring American culture.
Bill Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award
SMOC's own Margaret Davitt was recognized by the MetroWest Advocacy Coalition when she received the 2014 Bill Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award. The ceremony took place on April 4th, 2014 at the 12th Annual Legislative Breakfast. Margaret has been with SMOC as a dedicated human service professional for 48 years. She is currently a member of the Common Ground Resource Center Team.
Pictured with Margaret (far right) are Senator Karen Spilka, Senator James Eldridge and SMOC Executive Director Jim Cuddy (left to right).
SMOC celebrates opening of its new Triage/Assessment Center in Worcester
The dedication ceremony, attended by neighbors, partners and local and state officials, was held on Tuesday, May 14th at the 25 Queen Street, Worcester site. The $3.2M project, financed by Country Bank, the Commonwealth's Department of Housing and Community Development and local foundations replaces the old 701 Main St. site (formerly known as the PIP Shelter). The triage and assessment approach is designed to swiftly transition the homeless into a coordinated system of supported housing and care. Pictured is Worcester City Manager Michael O'Brien addressing guests at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
SMOC celebrates the publishing of Building a Culture of Care: The Ongoing Saga of the South Middlesex Opportunity Council by Hugo "Holly" Hollerorth, EdD.
Pictured are the author with longtime SMOC staff members Susan Gentili and Darlene Assencoa-Mazurek.
Green Jobs Academy graduates it's 23rd Weatherization Installer training class on August 14, 2014.
SMOC's Green Jobs Academy offers an opportunity for a career path in the growing field of weatherization and conservation for unemployed, underemployed and under-skilled individuals. Academy graduates are competent, skilled individuals who are equipped to provide weatherization services in the community by enhancing the existing weatherization contractor base.
Former Framingham Police Chief, Steven Carl, was presented with SMOC's Community Partner of the Year award during SMOC's Annual Board Meeting on October 15th, 2013. The Community Partner Award is given each year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the agency's ability to carry out its mission with particular reference to building community support and participating in advocacy around positive change. Congratulations Chief Carl!
Pictured above from left to right: Jerry Desilets, SMOC Director of Policy, Planning and Public Relations; Bruce Hulme, President, SMOC Board; Former Framingham Police Chief Steven Carl; Framingham Police Chief Kenneth Ferguson; and Jim Cuddy, SMOC Executive Director. Read more+