On November 10, 2012 over 270 people gathered at Salem’s Hawthorne Hotel to mark the 50th Anniversary of housing organization Harborlight Community Partners and to honor Senator Fred Berry. A Celebration of Community Partnership brought together local politicians, business leaders, and even HCP residents to commemorate the occasion. Two of HCP’s properties, the H.E.A.R.T. Homes in Peabody, were renamed the Sen. Fred Berry H.E.A.R.T. Homes, in recognition of the outstanding support the Senator has given to those in need on the North Shore during his tenure as a State Senator. In addition, the HCP Board presented an award in memoriam to the family of dedicated board member, Joseph Lumino of Beverly, who recently passed away.
Along with the retiring Senator, those local officials in attendance included Sen. Berry’s successor, Joan Lovely, Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem, Mayor Ed Bettencourt of Peabody, State Representative Jerry Parisella of Beverly, Councilman Jason Silva of Beverly, and Councilwoman Melissa Cox of Gloucester, as well as a strong cross section of the region’s community and business leaders. Mayor Bill Scanlon of Beverly shared with the crowd not only humorous stories of Sen. Berry but also his admiration for his dedicated service to the North Shore.
The crowd was moved by a video created by local filmmaker Paul Van Ness, which told the story and community value of Harborlight Community Partners through the words of HCP’s residents who have benefited from HCP’s affordable housing, as well as through the eyes of board members and long-time staff members who have seen the effort grow and thrive. The video will be available for viewing on www.harborlightcp.org.
Carol Suleski, President of the Board of Harborlight Community Partners, noted, We are so fortunate that 50 years ago, this wonderful, dedicated group of people had the courage to make their vision a reality. To see how this has flourished to benefit so many seniors and families in need is truly inspirational.
The evening raised $145,000 for Harborlight Community Partners, thanks to the gifts of many generous local businesses, foundations, and individuals including the Ansara Family Fund, Beverly Cooperative Bank, Beverly Rotary Club, Boston Private Bank and Trust, generous individuals, and members of the Harborlight Community Partners Board of Directors.
HCP began 50 years ago, when the First Baptist Church in Beverly bought an historic victorian home in Monument Square which would become a home for the elderly on fixed incomes. They called it Harborlight House, gleaning its name from the church’s hallmark steeple. Over the next five decades, not only would Harborlight House evolve to meet the needs of the senior community, but so, too, would the efforts to establish much needed affordable housing. First Baptist Church in Beverly established Turtle Creek, followed by Turtle Woods, both for low-income seniors. Then in 2009, the non-profit boards that operated each of these facilities combined their years of experience into a regional North Shore affordable housing organization, which became Harborlight Community Partners. Today, more than six other collaborators in seven North Shore communities have come together to make up Harborlight Community Partners. What has been 50 years in the making has forged a solid path for the future.
We are honored to carry on the mission and energy that created Harborlight House, says Harborlight Community Partners’ Executive Director Andrew DeFranza. Our future is strong because we have been able to build on a foundation that was built with perseverance and heart.
About Harborlight Community Partners, Inc.
Harborlight Community Partners (HCP) provides a wide range of housing with services primarily for low and moderate income people living in Essex County. As the Region’s oldest and largest not-for-profit provider of affordable housing, HCP currently owns, manages, or supports 346 housing units providing home for nearly 500 people. They also host the Accord Food Pantry in Hamilton and provide management and accounting support for the River House Shelter.
HCP provides affordable housing for working families, elders, and those with disabilities. By focusing on the housing needs of the region’s increasing underserved population and creating, preserving and operating safe, affordable housing units and supportive services, Harborlight Community Partners, Inc. strives to make homes available to all North Shore citizens, regardless of means. For more information, visit www.harborlightcp.org.