Stone House, Boston, Nancy Owens Hess discussed on CBS Weekend Roundup
I'm Nicole Davis. We'll start this week with Nancy Owens Hess. She is the executive director of the Elizabeth Stone House in Boston, and for years they have been working to open up a brand new building to support survivors of domestic violence. Just weeks before the doors opened, tragedy struck, and now they need your help to get back on track. After that, we hear from John the bow he is the commissioner of the state's Department of Agricultural Resource is Farmers markets are still up and running, even though of course it's pretty cold outside, especially this weekend. The pandemic has been tough on farmers here in Massachusetts. These markets are critical right now to keep them going. So we'll talk with the commissioner about ways you can support the state's farmers and get that fresh, tasty local food into your house. Also, we'll have part of an interview with WBC's Drew Mulholland. He had a chance to sit down and speak with Tom Rush member of the folk scene from back in the sixties and seventies, and they'll talk about what it's like to perform live music during the pandemic. For almost 50 years Now, the stone House in Boston has provided essential services for victims of domestic violence, everything from child care to parenting courses, counseling for parents and Children who suffered abuse. And from there Roxbury base. They're offering transitional housing as well. A safe harbor. Really? For anybody who needs it. Their latest move has been to open a brand new center to do all this great work from, but they have just suffered a terrible setback. So on the show now to tell us all about it, how you can help them out. We've got the director of the Stone House, Nancy Owens Hess. Let's see. I really appreciate the time. You're quite welcome. All right. So the stone house Nancy is well known here in Boston. You do some incredible work supporting some survivors of domestic violence. When did you decide that you wanted Or maybe you needed to open up this new facility. Well, it happened in a dream are then board president. We had had a fire in 2007 on dweeby couldn't save the building. Nor could we rebuild it to be handicapped accessible. So she came to her first meeting as president and said I had a dream last night that we build a new building on and that was in like 3007 s. So it took us a long time to get to the point we're at, but that's how we began. We had to look for buildings and we had to. We finally found a piece of land. It was the last unbuilt land in our neighborhood because he didn't want to move. Very far. And so it took time to purchase it. And then it took time to put together the funding that goes into this big project. And so we did that and Finally hired a contractor and began work and then The pandemic. Hit on, so we had to stop work for a while and come back on stone houses really well known. We don't do any little things little problems. We have our problems, whether it's a fire play or flood their biblical so this is just in keeping with what we are, but because we do this all the time. We actually were ready for this particular problem, but it just has taken a long time. We have great partners on the project. When is this, too, for help for housing and urban development on duh, great contractor like fish and the Del Book, folks, So we've been very lucky in terms of putting together the partnership and the financing. This is not what we expected. Of course not. And you know, as you mentioned you've been working on this building for quite some time You had all the planning and the fundraising before we talk about the flood. We'll talk about that in a second, but I want to talk about quickly. What this new building includes. I mean, this is not just your typical housing situation. No. The top two floors. Ah, ha have 32 units of low income housing, and that's been house. We're not moving some of our families over, but we're also using ah families that are being brought to us by home Start. And the lottery. So it will house 32 families when we open and then on the we're also going to have a licensed child care center. But one that we're all of our staff is trained to work trying to work with Children who have experienced trauma because we experience with you know, there's it's so hard to get services for little kids. And that's when they needed. So think about the mom congratulate her child. It's 7 30 in the morning and know that that child is going to be with people that know how to work with that particular child issues. So that's now that was supposed to open in April. That's not been pushed, pushed to later and then we also have ah, the majority of people we serve. We're sort of known as a shelter. But actually 80 or 90% of the folks we serve never lived with us. Never will. They come to community programming that we do. Uh, now we do it remotely, But so we had put in some big space for those programs. Because we've been very limited. We could only do one big group. One little group every night. But in the new building, we will be able to do three big groups and Bunches of little ones, eh, so that we could begin to serve even more people. I'm just thinking about obviously the amount of space this is going to take your in the city of Boston. You talk about how you were able to snag the one less lot that you couldn't build on. I mean, it sounds like you've got a lot going on in a small space. Yes, because well, we've gone from current building in Roxbury is 19,000 Square feet and we're going to a building that 55,000. Wow. It's a It is a big building for sure. All right. Well, then, let's talk about what happened back on the 11th. This was early in the morning. Let's walk through what happened here. Tell me how you found out something went wrong. Well, the person one of the people that from del Brooke Began trying to make calls that I think 2 33 30 when he was alerted the fire alarm sprinkler system had gone off. S O. He lived there near near there. He went over and that the fire department and wouldn't happened. There was a fitting fixture fault in one of the fittings. And so the experience simply went off on one section of the building that impacted 10 or 11 housing units. Ah, childcare, part of our child care and part of our Office and groups face so it touched a great deal of the building. On so they the water had run unabated for about 20 minutes. Because they had to make sure there was no fire at which there wasn't so anyway. At that point, they Began to get in touch with us. But now are we finally reached us about eight. About now or later, we'd already set up a crisis Response team. It's Stone House. Oh, that's so and we've been in that team meets every day at nine and that four And Justin..