On Sunday, March 29, 2015, the Grace Center Inc. held its 3rd Annual “Glow with Grace” candlelit walk to raise awareness for its mission to help those in crisis on Cape Ann.
Founding Executive Director, Rev. Tom Bentley opened the evening with an enthusiastic and compelling talk about the impact that Grace Center is making on the Cape Ann Community. He spoke about the benefits of the cost-effectiveness of the program, noting that the organization is run primarily by a strong volunteer base.
Also, present were City Councilman, Paul McGeary and Senator Bruce Tarr. Both officials emphasized the positive contributions this program has made in such a short time.
Following the 10 minute walk from the Gloucester High School to the Fisherman Statute, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken greeted the walkers where she also spoke of the benefits of the Grace Center. Mayor Theken stressed the increased need for the Grace Center to be open more days in the week, and she pledged additional funds if a space for operations could be found. Presently the Grace Center program must rely on donated space in three churches which can offer no more than one day each per week.
Sen. Bruce Tarr echoed the Mayor’s appeal and pledged also to help secure additional funding if possible.
The evening was concluded with Rev. Tom Bentley offering a prayer, and guiding the participants in singing “Amazing Grace.”
The Grace Center Inc. operates as a day resource center for those adults on Cape Ann who are homeless, low-income and in crisis or transition. To date, the organization has served over 600 individuals, offering breakfast and a hot lunch, along with social services. Learn more at www.gracecenterinc.org
In the winter of 2009, the Cape Ann Clergy Association recognized an increasing number of requests for help from low-income and homeless adults. A Needs Assessment Study identified a number of pressing needs including the absence of a safe day space for the homeless in Gloucester. On December 22, 2011, the Grace Center, Inc. opened as a day resource center with professional staff and volunteers. To date we have served over 600 individuals. While we are proud to get to know and encourage individuals currently experiencing homelessness, we also continue to welcome the many older adults, lonely community members, or those at high risk of or currently experiencing crisis. No matter the life circumstances that have brought our guests to our doors, we strive to always provide gifts of acceptance, hospitality, and opportunity to all we meet.