Helping the homeless

December 19, 2010

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Waltham’s Community Day Center is the only daytime drop-in center for homeless people in the suburbs west of Boston. Marilyn Lee-Tom is the organization’s new executive director and as she’s been acclimating to her job, she’s been reaching out to the community to create a web of resources for people who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless. Last week, she sent about a thousand letters to donors and area businesses, and she has already received donations. “I think as a community, Waltham is very tight and they understand giving,” she said. One of the recent donors was Waltham’s Extech Instruments, which gave the day center $1,550. Lee-Tom used the money to buy 80 backpacks, and local churches have been donating hats, gloves, tissues, and other cold-weather items to fill them. At the day center’s Dec. 23 holiday party, Lee-Tom will give the backpacks to the center’s guests. “They’ll have some things they need for the harsh winter,” she said, noting that backpacks are important since guests must carry all of their possessions with them at all times. Donations can be sent to the Community Day Center at P.O. Box 541066, Waltham, MA 02454. — Megan McKee