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What’s in a Name? Reaching Home Celebration Rings True

2 May 2019
Mark Walerysiak Jr., Partnership for Strong Communities

Mark Walerysiak Jr., Development and Communications Consultant, Partnership for Strong Communities

For 13 years the event honoring the outstanding individuals and organizations working to end homelessness in Connecticut was called the Reaching Home Dinner. This year, the name has changed to reflect a more fitting title—the Reaching Home Celebration.

The name change was done to more prominently feature the work and successes of the Housing Awards recipients, and the joy in advancing the mission to end homelessness, explained Jane Peters, event coordinator and Partnership for Strong Communities Administrative Director.

“It was never about a dinner,” said Peters. “It was really about taking an evening to pause and celebrate—to honor special individuals advancing an important mission, and to inspire and recharge so that even more can be accomplished.”

This year the freshly titled Reaching Home Celebration will take place amid stunning scenery at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven on June 13 from 5 pm to 8 pm. The event will have an exciting new format in response to our supporters, and will now feature a 2-hour outdoor networking cocktail-style reception. In place of a plated dinner, there will be an array of hors d’oeuvres and food stations (including a cash bar), as well as a jazz trio that will keep the evening humming. This special night of reflection will also feature a robust silent auction – which is now conducted through an easy to use online mobile platform. (Register here for tickets, sponsorships, ads, and access to the silent auction).

The event will be emceed by Renee DiNino of iHeart Radio and following the cocktail reception guests will be escorted inside for the awards ceremony—the true highlight of the evening.

“The speeches are incredible,” said Peters. “The stories told are truly moving. It’s hard to have dry eyes as these stories of success and triumph from providers, individuals, or tenants, demonstrate why we do what we do.”

The awards below will be presented at this year’s Reaching Home Celebration:

  • The Carol Walter Housing Tenant Awards recognize tenants who show commitment to advocacy for permanent housing solutions, exhibit leadership skills, and work to make their community a better place.
  • The Diane Randall Leadership Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates exemplary leadership in the public or private sector by promoting systems change, policies and funding that create solutions to prevent and end homelessness.
  • The Rev. Richard Schuster Advocacy Award recognizes a professional or volunteer who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to raising awareness about the needs of individuals and families currently/in danger of experiencing homelessness.
  • The Barbara Geller Lifetime Career Achievement Award recognizes those special individuals who work tirelessly throughout their lifetime or career to help people experiencing homelessness.

This year’s celebration is backed with good reason too. Since 2007, Connecticut has seen a 25% reduction in homelessness. At the same time, approximately 9400 individuals are still homeless in our state, including 5000 youth and young adults, and 300 families. Clearly, there is much more to do.

Ultimately, we determined a dinner is something you can enjoy each night, but a celebration is a rare and special occurrence—a reason to pause in recognition of incredible achievements. Let us celebrate the successes together. The beauty of like-minded people in one room provides us an opportunity to create connections, make a collective impact, and spur more moments worth celebrating in the future.

So please join us in celebration and a whole lot more on June 13, and help us in moving this important mission forward.

Visit the Official Reaching Home Housing Awards Celebration event page to learn more

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