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Monthly dinner service returns to support homeless of New London

Homeless Dinner Party

(l-r): Brittani Algarin, MA; Sharelle Riley; Betzaida Riley, MA; and Samaria Selvie

On July 24, 2021, Brittani Algarin, MA; Liz Hernandez, PSA; and Betzaida Riley, MA from Northeast Medical Group Cardiology - Waterford and Kathleen Ellis, psychiatric clinician, crisis services, L+M Hospital, prepared a dinner of fried chicken, pasta salad, rice, tossed salad and cupcakes for approximately 20 residents of the New London Homeless Hospitality Center. Special thanks to Cultura Restaurant of New London for generously donating the rice and pasta salad. The event marked the first dinner service at the center since January 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally, each month, a different NEMG office volunteers to provide a warm meal to all in attendance.

The center is a place of safety and welcome to adults facing homelessness in southeastern Connecticut. It collaborates with dozens of public and private programs and agencies to address the underlying causes of homelessness for each person and help him or her find permanent housing as quickly as possible. 

“The Homeless Hospitality Center meals have been on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic due to facility restrictions,” said Kimberley Abell, clinical practice optimization specialist. “Our NEMG staff have always looked forward to this volunteer opportunity as each office rotates hosting their meals one Saturday each month. Staff who have participated in past meals have expressed the instant gratification they have experienced while helping the growing number of community members who are in need. Once word was out that the events could occur again, the calendar quickly filled up with volunteers well into 2022. This is one example of the dedication that the NEMG New London and Westerly region has to assisting our community.”

“It was a really great feeling being back,” said Hernandez. “It’s always a welcoming environment but everyone seemed especially happy to see us.”