Partner Charity Highlight: Net of Compassion

March 2018: Hotel Grace is the city's overflow shelter for the homeless during the coldest days of Winter. There are three churches that sponsor and support Hotel Grace: St. John's Catholic Church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester and Net of Compassion, a Pentecostal church.
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News

  • TFT's 21st partner charity, Dismas House (housing, ex-convicts’ employment) was added in December.
  • TFT's 22nd partner charity, Net of Compassion, was added this March (see featured article).
  • We continue to support Hotel Grace as a temporary partner charity. Net of Compassion is one of the three churches contributing to Hotel Grace.
  • We received a mini-grant from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation for $3,000!
  • The WRTA continues to struggle to absorb yet another funding deficit due to insufficient state funding of all the Massachusetts transit authorities. We attended a public rally in front of city hall to support the efforts of many politicians, the WRTA's union, and riders hoping to get the legislature to add an additional $8 million to the state's budget for transit authorities.

Net of Compassion

Hotel Grace is the city’s overflow shelter for the homeless during the coldest days of Winter. There are three churches that sponsor and support Hotel Grace: St. John’s Catholic Church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester and Net of Compassion, a Pentecostal church. Together they provide beds, and some meals, for 50 people each night (not always the same 50 people). Over 250 different individuals have taken advantage of Hotel Grace’s presence during this Winter.
 
This month, Net of Compassion became TFT’s 22nd partner charity. I first encountered this organization one Saturday in 2014. Walking up South Main Street from Clark University toward City Hall, I began to hear music that became louder as I approached Chandler Street. What I saw as I approached seemed like a block party. I soon realized it was Net of Compassion doing what it does every Saturday on the sidewalk next to the Compare Supermarket, giving out free meals, clothing, shelter and recovery support to as many as 300 needy individuals each week.
 
The Net of Compassion is the brain-child of an ex-drug addict and felon named Ritchie Gonzales. Ritchie Gonzales grew up in the Worcester South Main Street neighborhood. During and after his prison time Gonzales worked to turn his life around, a full 180-degree turnabout! After his release from prison he, and his wife, Elizabeth, became ordained Christian ministers. Together they decided to establish a faith-based nonprofit organization directed toward helping the truly needy of Worcester. They named this organization The Net of Compassion, and began its activity in 2010. They continue the work of this charity each Saturday and each week of the year. TFT is glad to be able to add the Net of Compassion as one of its Partner Charities.

Stats from the March 2015 launch of Tasks for Transit through March 2018

5
Partner Charities
3150
Bus Passes Dispensed

More to explore

Eight Perspectives on Homelessness in Worcester

1Q 2020: According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) a person is homeless if they are staying/sleeping in a shelter or in a place not fit for human habitation (i.e., there are sheltered homeless and there are unsheltered homeless).

Tasks for Transit Accomplishments for 2019

4Q 2019: TFT’s plan for 2019 was to continue its steady growth by adding four Partner Charities to its network. As has been done for the previous two years, one more was added during each quarter of 2019. TFT ended 2019 with 30 Partner Charities.

The Status of the Fare Free WRTA Idea

3Q 2019: In April 2019, the Greater Worcester Research Bureau published a report analyzing the possibility of the WRTA running a “fare free” bus system. Other cities, e.g., Portland, Oregon, are doing this or have done it in the past. Clearly, a fare-free WRTA would be a great benefit for those living in poverty.

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