February 2024 Newsletter

Celebrating Black History Month with Guest Speaker, Robert T. Jones

In February, Open Sky's monthly race equity lunch and learn "CARE Chat", used a different structure than usual to welcome special guest Robert T. Jones.

Robert is a versatile and accomplished consultant in DEI, Leadership and Nonviolence and led a workshop titled “Black History: One step forward, three steps backward, the US, Reconstruction, and today!”

He began the workshop by asking everyone to share a few things they knew about Reconstruction in America following the Civil War. Attendees knew a few details, but overall this was not a topic most people were familiar with. Robert showed several videos, each followed by discussion.

Watch the Recording and Learn More About Open Sky's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Initiatives

A collage of Black historical figures displayed at Open Sky's Mann Street office.

Shoutout to Tara Corcoran, Donor Relations Manager, for putting this together!

Get your Safe Homes Gala Tickets!

VIP and Supporter Tickets are for sale.

Join us at the Safe Homes Gala and People of Courage Awards on April 12, 2024 at the AC Hotel by Marriott Worcester.

Proceeds from the event will support LGBTQIA+ youth in Central Massachusetts through the Safe Homes program. We will also recognize individuals and organizations making a difference in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Don't wait to purchase tickets. Last year's event was SOLD OUT!

Purchase Gala Tickets
Sponsorship Opportunities

Employee Wellness Workshops

For Valentine's Day, employees got crafty at the Alternatives' Whitin Mill making valentines and writing love letters to themselves.

This workshop is part of a series led by the Employee Wellness Committee to provide opportunities for Open Sky employees to refresh their energy and take a break during their busy days. Future workshops include a gratitude break and a relaxation experience guided meditation.

Open Sky/Hyde Park Honored with a Gold Recognition in Health Leadership Excellence

Through My25, an individual from the Hyde Park program was able to lose 15 pounds. Hyde Park was honored with a Gold Recognition in Health Leadership Excellence for their achievement. Congratulations!

My25 provides personalized, digital nutrition and additional supports tailored to the needs of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, behavioral and mental health challenges, autism, down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, clients in recovery/rehabilitation, and the elderly.

Spencer PD Awards Challenge Coin to Open Sky Housing and Homelessness Employees, Spencer Senior Center, and Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance

Last year, Spencer PD, Open Sky, Spencer Senior Center, and Central Massachusetts Alliance developed a task force to address the homeless community in Spencer. Spencer PD awarded the task force a Challenge Coin to celebrate a year of service in the community. Ron Hayes, Ashley Leiton, and Laurel Brazao from Open Sky's Housing and Homelessness Services are participating in this task force.

Ashley Leiton, FSP Housing Lead, shares the past year's accomplishments below:

"After the Spencer Point In Time Count, we observed there was a significant increase in homelessness in rural communities (even though the census reported 0 homeless) such as Spencer MA. So, we started a task force to try to help these rural areas where there isn't funding for these services.

This was the reason we conducted the booth at the Spencer fair this past year and were able to raise about $5,000 and all the proceeds from that will directly support the Spencer homeless for basic essential needs.

It is definitely my passion project as Spencer is where I was raised and it feels amazing to be in collaboration with the Spencer PD, CMHA, The Spencer Senior Center, and my amazing fellow Open Skyers!

We received these coins to commemorate a successful first year of service! It also is a wonderful reminder of the power of collaboration! A true testament of the success is that this year the unsheltered homelessness count in Spencer went from just short of 25 in 2023 to 4 in 2024!"

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