Home Again: Only a Home Ends Homelessness
Marge Purves - Member, Worcester City Manager's Neighborhood Cabinet

Marge Purves, chair of the Worcester City Manager's Neighborhood Cabinet and member and past president of the Crown Hill Neighborhood Association, has been an active Worcester resident for over 35 years.

Drawing on both her experience as a neighborhood activist and her work at the Daybreak shelter for women, Marge Purves has seen the direct effects of homelessness on Worcester. "There have been lots of issues surrounding homelessness for many years....Many people complain about the chronically homeless people in our streets but we need people to come together and do something about it if we want to see it end," says Marge.

Because of her reputation in the community, Marge was approached to join the Advisory Council of the Home Again project. After seeing the city rely on temporary shelters to address the needs of homeless people, it was Home Again's commitment to the "housing first" model in solving chronic homelessness that appealed to her. "I think housing first can really work and that would be wonderful for those who need it," says Marge.

Personally, Marge says she has gained the greatest understanding of chronic homelessness by hearing from individuals who once lived on the streets. "Hearing real individuals tell their very real stories allows you understand the issues of homelessness in a personal way."

Marge is looking forward to seeing the success of the Home Again model project in which housing and support services are combined because of the benefits it will have on the lives of homeless individuals and Worcester. "It would lead to a lessening of health care costs as well as a variety of other costs faced by the city," says Marge adding, "And homeless people would leave behind life on the streets and become part of the communities in which they live."