BOSTON (CBS) – The WBZ Cares Campaign continues for the month of November.
Each month, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what it does for the community.
For the month of November, WBZ profiles “New England Center & Home For Veterans,” a national leader in housing and serving veterans who are at risk of homelessness.
The Boston-based group offers services throughout the region, supporting and connecting veterans with innovative services that enable success, meaningful employment, and dignified independent living.
Veterans from all branches of the military were honored during the 14th Annual “Leave No One Behind Gala” held at the Seaport World Trade Center earlier this month.
It is the Center’s signature fundraising event and includes a live auction. Half a million dollars is raised through the Gala, that is a good chunk of the total amount money raised every year, through fundraising according to the Center’s Charlene Pontbriand.
“We raised $3 million dollars, a penny at a time, and every penny is important to us.” she said.
“We have many donors who give us ten, fifteen, twenty-five dollars and have been doing so for twenty-five years. We also have other very generous individuals with private family foundations who are really dedicated to the work we are doing.”
The rest of the Center’s $8 million-dollar annual budget comes through public tax payer’s subsidies according to president Andy McCawley.
“We have grants and contracts from U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Labor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Veteran Services, so we have federal, state and city taxpayer dollars made available to us.”
McCawley says most of the money the center receives goes to staffing.
“New England Center for Homeless Veterans is not this building, it’s the people here. We have a staff of over 100. And I think probably 75- 80% of our expenses are people. The case managers, the counselors, the custodial, all those folks. It’s really about staffing.”
The center received a four out of four star ranking this year by Charity Navigator, a popular independent rating website for non-profits.
They are ranked by their financial statements filed with the Internal Revenue Service and their transparency.
“The message to our donors is I think we are and would like to think of ourselves as transparent and accountable stewards to the resources that are entrusted to us.”
If you’d like to know more about NECHV, volunteer or wish to make a donation, visit their website www.nechv.org