Barbara Smith-Bacon- Vice president, Berkeley Investments
Barbara Smith-Bacon is a Vice President and Project Manager for Berkeley Investments and is involved with the development of the City Square project, which is intended to transform the heart of the City of Worcester.With a focus on transformation, Barbara believes that finding a proven and compassionate solution to chronic homelessness will vastly improve the quality of life for all of Worcester's residents.
It was Barbara's dedication to improving Worcester and her experience in both business and working with homeless people that led Jan Yost, the CEO and president of The Health Foundation of Central Mass, to ask her to be a member of the Home Again Advisory Committee. "When Jan explained how the Home Again program provides chronically homeless people with the combination of a permanent home and support services, I immediately saw the benefits of this approach and wanted to be a contributing part of this program," says Barbara.
Barbara has a long history of civic engagement around homeless issues that started with volunteering in faith-based programs as a youth.Over the years, she has been involved in a number of shelter programs for homeless people and victims of domestic abuse in Massachusetts and is very aware of the power of a home to people who want to improve their lives. "Home Again's focus on breaking the cycle of dependence on emergency services and shelters by providing permanent housing makes logical sense to me," says Barbara. "Having a home is one of the most important things in all of our lives and if we can create residential stability in the lives of chronically homeless people, while supporting them in making the transition, they too can enjoy the benefits of a home and focus on addressing the issues that are causing them to live on the streets."
Barbara understands through personal experience working with programs for homeless people that those who are living on the streets come from a range backgrounds and circumstances and face a great deal of adversity in trying to live day to day. "I understand how frustrating, debilitating and uncertain living on the streets because I have observed first-hand the fine line between having a home one day and being homeless the next," says Barbara. "That is why we need to come together to help those who are willing to work hard to change their lives by participating in the needed support services available through the Home Again program."