Interview with Scottie Wait
By Michaela Johnston
Pine Street Inn, founded in 1969, serves 1,900 homeless individuals each day by providing services such as housing, outreach, shelter and job training. According to their mission, they partner “with homeless individuals to help them move from the streets and shelter to a home and assists formerly homeless individuals in retaining housing.”
What impact does Pine Street Inn hope to leave upon the Greater Boston community?
We’re definitely making an impact in solutions to homelessness and housing. We already are a leader in the city of Boston in terms of solutions and support systems for the many men and women that we serve. But [we’re] also ensuring that people are moving on…into a situation where they are supported and can retain and maintain their housing.
What can BU volunteers expect to be doing while serving at Pine Street Inn during GDS?
We have a group that is set to come in and help in the kitchen with food production, so they’re going to be chopping vegetables and [doing] food prep. We make about 2,500 meals a day. That’s our opportunity for groups with the food production piece. That’s our greatest need for volunteers.
If people are interested in volunteering after GDS, how does that process work?
There’s lots of ways you can do things off site that don’t necessarily involve coming in and doing hands on service. That’s something I’d really promote among BU students. So often groups want to come in and have that on-site impact but they can make a great impact off-site as well. Recently we had a school group host a sock drive. You think about those basic need items that we have a need for everyday for our clients who…don’t have that extra money to spend on some basic toiletry items. [We] really encourage students to think outside of the box and the bigger picture and what they can do to make a positive impact.
What are Pine Street Inn’s most needed items?
In terms of the toiletry items, I always tell people to think about your daily routine; brushing your teeth, taking a shower, using different products. Those things that you use every day are the same thing for our guests, things that we can distribute to our folks in housing or on the street. Our outreach teams are on the street every night and connecting with people who…are not going to shelters. But we’re still getting them services…[and] making that connection with them.
It’s still cold out right now, so we still need warm winter wear and warm socks. I always think socks is such a great example because you change your socks every day. Many of our guests living in the shelter don’t change their socks for days.
Register for GDS today!