The Pine Street Inn recently held a graduation ceremony to honor individuals who have completed the Inn’s job training program.  Both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald captured photos.  The Inn has been offering the training program for 20 years with approximately 200 people enrolling this past year.   Those completing the program have the opportunity to participate in a graduation ceremony like the one recently held.  For many, it is the only type of  commencement ever celebrated.

The Inn’s website includes additional information about the jobs training program — together with other targeted initiatives  including housing, street outreach, veteran services, recovery services, homeless court assistance and advocacy.  All these programs are in support of the Inn’s mission of partnering with homeless individuals to find solutions.

Last year, I was fortunate to attend a breakfast event for the Inn where I heard a beneficiary of the Inn’s services speak.   The story shared was quite impressive.  Simply put, the support provided by the Inn, combined with the individual’s  hard work and dedication,  allowed her to move forward with dignity and hope.  A short video from that event posted online called “Many Roads Home” tells the story of how the Inn is working to get people off the streets, out of shelters and into housing.

Homelessness is an intractable issue and obviously not one that can be solved with any easy answers.   The good work of the  Inn (and its long-time president Lyndia Downie and committed board, officers, staff, sponsors and supporters) is a shining example of resiliency, helping people navigating change and finding solutions.  For those reasons, I thought this short post about the Inn fit nicely within the theme of highlighting forward thinkers and problem solvers.

In that regard, it is worth noting that this Spring the Globe ran an article about Richard Ring, whose 48 year-long career in advocating for homeless issues includes many years leading the Inn earlier in his career.  At a time when people’s perception of homelessness was quite different, he was instrumental in building awareness, helping to set strategy, and exhibiting ceaseless devotion to the topic.

Perhaps someday, there will be no need for the Inn.  In the meanwhile, those served and the greater community can be very grateful.   The Inn details out numerous ways to donate in support of its mission at this page and other ways to support this mission and get involved at this page.