Announcement: Leadership Changes at Victory Programs

Posted on by Joy Mosenfelder

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Victory Programs Board of Directors, I am writing to inform you that Jonathan Scott has resigned as president and CEO of Victory Programs, effective December 31, 2018. As many in our community know, Jonathan has been dealing with a serious health condition for more than two years. He has resigned at this time to focus on his health and to ensure he receives the care and benefits he needs to address any health issues moving forward.

Jonathan has been the face and leader of Victory Programs for decades, devoting an impressive 43 years to the organization and its mission. He was the agency’s first volunteer, working at Victory House in 1976 as a Boston College PULSE intern. Jonathan went on to become the fifth Executive Director of Victory House in 1984. He has since grown the agency to 19 health, housing and prevention programs, creating the multi-faceted organization we know today as Victory Programs.

In recognition of his vast contributions to the organization, the Victory Programs Board of Directors will honor Jonathan with the title “Founder and President Emeritus.”

The Board is grateful that Jonathan has offered to stay involved in Victory Programs as a volunteer consultant.

The Board has named Sarah Porter, Victory Programs’ Chief Operating Officer, as interim CEO.

A search for a new president and CEO will commence immediately, as part of a broader strategic planning process designed to ensure Victory Programs continues to provide critical services to more than 2,500 individuals and families each year.

We want to express our deepest gratitude to Jonathan for everything he has done to make Victory Programs what it is today and for the countless lives he has touched in a positive way over more than four decades. He leaves an incredible legacy and a clear mission for all of us to look to as our “North Star”: opening doors to recovery, hope, and community for individuals and families facing homelessness, addiction or other chronic illnesses like HIV/AIDS.

Please join us in wishing Jonathan all the best in his next chapter, and thank you for all that you do to generously support Victory Programs’ mission.

Sincerely,

Sara Andrews
Board Chair, Victory Programs

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New Play Space at Chamblet Family Home!

Posted on by Joy Mosenfelder

A beautiful new play space was added to the amenities at Chamblet Family Home, one of our three family shelters, thanks to a magnanimous grant from the Cabot Family Charitable Trust to renovate the space. Horizons for Homeless Children helped to design and outfit of the play space with furniture, toys, etc.  Horizons will also provide fice Playspace Activity Leaders to come to Chamblet every week to provide developmental play activities for children and families.

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Check it Out!

Posted on by Joy Mosenfelder

We’re completely wowed by these colorful, creative projects from the children enrolled in our ReVision Family Resource Center Day-Care Program and we think you will be through. Please, click through our gallery to see what they’ve been up to!

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Transgender Day of Remembrance

Posted on by Joy Mosenfelder

Guest Blog by Aaron Piracini, Transgender Health Coordinator, Victory Programs’ Mobile Prevention Team

November 20th is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. A day when we remember and honor the people whose lives were tragically cut short at the hands of anti-transgender violence and hatred. In this year alone, we have lost 22 people that we know of due to anti-transgender hatred.

Some may be wondering why we need a Transgender Day of Remembrance here at all. Massachusetts just became the first state in the union to uphold transgender protections at the ballot box, and by an overwhelming majority.  It was a great show of support for the trans community, but we still have a long way to go in the journey toward true acceptance, free of fear of prejudice and violence. Just five days after 2017 came to a close, a woman named Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien became the first transgender homicide victim of 2018. Christa Leigh was a beloved member of the trans community in Massachusetts. She founded the Miss Trans America and Miss Trans New England beauty pageants, and was the cofounder of the New England Trans United Pride March and Rally. She was a proud activist who believed that being a member of the transgender community was something to celebrate. On January 5th, 2018 she was found dead in her North Adams home. This was the first homicide North Adams had seen since 2013.

Many human rights movements faced major challenges and hurdles, and the fight for trans rights is clearly no exception. We have lost many good people in the fight for justice and as we look toward the Transgender Day of Remembrance we do so with sorrow for those lost, but also with hope and a belief that one day we will no longer have to fight or push for legislation to protect our civil rights. The pain we experience can make us lose all hope, but the progress we see give us the strength to persevere. On November 20th, we honor and remember Rita Hester, Chanelle Pickett, Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien and so many more. We honor those recently departed, and those whose souls have not walked this earth for a very long time.

This year we remember:

Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien

Viccky  Gutierrez

Zakaria Fry

Celine Walker

Tonya Harvey

Phylicia Mitchell

Amia Tyrae Berryman

Sasha Wall

Carla Patricia Flores-Pavon

Nino Fortson

Gigi Pierce

Antash’a-English

Diamond Stephens

Catalina Christina James

Keisha Wells

Sasha Garden

Dejanay Stanton

Vontashia Bell

 Shantee TuckerLondon Moore

Nikki Enriquez

and Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier.

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Congratulations Massachusetts!

Posted on by Joy Mosenfelder

Yesterday’s election ushered in groundbreaking new candidates across our country, marking a history of firsts in many state and local districts. Here at Victory Programs, two races in particular held special meaning for us.

Congratulations to Congresswoman-Elect Ayanna Pressley, for making history as the first black woman from Massachusetts to serve in Washington! Ayanna has shown up for the Victory Programs’ community time and again during her career as an at-large member of Boston’s City Council and has a strong track record supporting fair housing initiatives, substance use disorder treatment, and HIV/AIDS services.

      

Pictured:  Pressley serving tables at our 2012 Celebration of Life Thanksgiving Dinner for the HIV/AIDS community and standing with Victory Programs’ President & CEO Jonathan Scott, former Victory Programs’ Board Chair David Bancroft, and David’s husband John Nickulas at our 2015 Gratitude Dinner.

And congratulations to Freedom for All Massachusetts on organizing a record-setting grassroots campaign to preserve transgender nondiscrimination protections here in Massachusetts by building a strong coalition of community groups, businesses, and individuals to get out the vote on Question 3. An essential victory, hard fought, leading to a well-earned landslide win for human dignity and respect.

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