Hike for the Homeless benefits Groundworks

Groundworks Collaborative will hold the ninth annual Hike for the Homeless fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 5, on Mount Wantastiquet.

“Groundworks is an organization of dedicated people working passionately every day to meet people's basic needs with dignity,” Executive Director Josh Davis said in a news release. “This event aims to call attention to the need and help us raise the funds we need to do the work.”

The hike will begin at 10 a.m., with check-in beginning at 9:30 a.m., at the Mountain Road trailhead in Hinsdale (the immediate left after the second bridge on Route 119 when coming from downtown Brattleboro).

Hiking to the summit or walking the River Trail at the mountain's base, participants enjoy fall-foliage views of the town of Brattleboro.

Hikers may raise funds individually (raising a minimum of $50 per person is suggested) or as a team. All proceeds from the Hike benefit Groundworks' programs to house and support families and individuals experiencing homelessness in Brattleboro and surrounding communities.

Groundworks offers food, shelter, and supportive services to neighbors in need through a number of programs.

Groundworks Shelter (formerly Morningside Shelter) provides 30 beds for families and individuals - serving more than 75 people each year, while the Seasonal Overflow Shelter (opening in November on the Winston Prouty campus) provided a warm place to sleep and a nightly meal for 139 individuals last winter.

Additionally, Groundworks operates the region's most heavily utilized food pantry - now called “Foodworks” - which recently opened at 141 Canal St., in Brattleboro, in the former home of Domino's Pizza.

Groundworks also provides housing case management for over 100 area households, and - through the Representative Payee program - is a financial intermediary for more than 50 people receiving Social Security disability benefits who have trouble balancing a fixed monthly budget.

Groundworks Drop-In Center on South Main Street is a day shelter- offering a place of belonging where those with nowhere else to go can take a shower, do a load of laundry, check mail and email, use a phone, prepare a meal, and get a hot cup of coffee.

According to Libby Bennett, Groundworks' director of development, Hike for the Homeless is one of the organization's most significant fundraisers.

“We are so appreciative of the generosity of supporters in the community - those participating as hikers, sponsors, or contributors to the efforts of our hikers - to help us raise these critical funds,” she said.

Bennett said in years past as many as 150 participants have raised over $20,000 to help house those experiencing homelessness in the community. The goal for this year's Hike is to raise $22,000.

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