Speaking with the Friendship Center of New Britain
Turning heads as they passed in the halls, students at the Satellite Careers Academy couldn’t help but pause to gather some of the wisdom being shared by Ellen Perkins Simpson, Executive Director of the Friendship Center.
All JAG students are either members or elected leaders of JAG’s Career Association, and as such study and discuss local resources and needs as they decide on community service projects. The SCA’s JAG students have opted to give back to their community by working with the Friendship Center of New Britain. The center has stood as a pillar of the community for decades, with services now including emergency shelter, community outreach and homelessness prevention, and permanent supportive housing.
Mrs. Simpson was kind enough to visit our JAG class Jan. 15th and discuss with a rapt audience the history of the Friendship Center and the services rendered therein. From humble beginnings, Ellen has seen the center evolve over decades. Her involvement came at grassroots levels with her acting as liaison to local ministries to illicit donations and further the improvement of the center. Modern times see the center playing host to low income families with assistive housing and help planning their economic present and future.
Participation was key in this presentation as Mrs. Simpson asked each student questions regarding their experience with New Britain’s homeless, how they believe the situation can be improved, and what they can do to help and work with the Friendship Center. Whether via volunteer work or by considering professions that contribute to the Friendship Center’s team of dedicated employees, Mrs. Simpson made it clear that any and all who wished to be a part of the organization were welcomed with open arms!