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    Housing for the homeless in Malden spruced up

    BOND employee Rose Conti and chief financial officer Dan Flannery work together on landscaping grounds.
    BOND employee Rose Conti and chief financial officer Dan Flannery work together on landscaping grounds.

    HOME IMPROVEMENT: Several employees of Bond Construction recently volunteered their time and skills to update a 19-unit home belonging to Malden-based Housing Families Inc.

    The workers gathered at 354 Cross St. in Malden to fix trim around windows, replace railings on porches, restain railings and spindles, landscape, and perform other home improvements on the property.

    “Bond is excited to once again work alongside Housing Families on improving the lives of the homeless,” said Robert Murray, president of the Everett-based firm. “We are very proud of our employees who volunteered their time and service to make a direct impact on the city and citizens of Malden.”


    Housing Families is a nonprofit founded in 1986 by community members concerned about the growing crisis of homelessness among families in Malden, Medford, Everett, and Revere, as well as Boston and surrounding communities.

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    It has grown into one of the largest providers of family shelter in Massachusetts, serving some 250 homeless families, including 450 children, each year. It provides temporary emergency shelter and affordable housing units and offers an after-school program.

    Housing Families’ central mission is to help families build the skills and understanding they need to make a successful transition into their own homes, and to prevent the recurrence of homelessness.

    “We are thrilled to have Bond support our mission of ending family homelessness,” said Jim Goebelbecker, chief executive officer for Housing Families. “The employees’ generous donation of a full weekend day and construction skills to improve our property exemplifies their corporate values of giving back to strengthen the community.”

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    CELEBRATING DIVERSITY: The third annual North Shore Pride Parade and Festival is Saturday in Salem.

    The mission of North Shore Pride Inc. is to promote the general welfare and enhance the social life of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, and to promote acceptance by the broader community.

    An interfaith service takes place before the parade, at 10 a.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Salem.

    The parade begins at noon in front of the Salem Post Office, then proceeds down New Derby and Derby streets to Hawthorne Boulevard and Salem Common.

    The festival — which includes live entertainment; food, beverages, and retail vendors; information from LGBT and other area nonprofits; and activities for families — kicks off on Salem Common immediately following the parade and runs until approximately 4 p.m.


    The festival also features a special appearance by singer and television and film actor Alex Newell, who played a transgender teenager on the series “Glee.” Newell was born in Salem and raised in Lynn.

    “We’re so thrilled to have Alex with us this year,” said Hope Watt-Bucci, president of North Shore Pride. “Not only is he a wildly talented performer, he was born and raised right here on the North Shore. His appearance will be a true inspiration for our LGBTQ community, particularly the youth.”

    Newell will also appear at the North Shore Pride afterparty at Murphy’s Pub, beginning at 4 p.m. Guests will have an opportunity to participate in a special “meet and greet” with Newell.

    “Now in our third year, we’re focusing on encouraging participation from every town on the North Shore,” said Watt-Bucci.

    To that end, the group is launching a Show Your North Shore Pride contest. Community members are encouraged to take a photo of themselves, family, and friends somewhere that represents their own town.

    Photos tagged @NorthShorePride will be highlighted on the group’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Visit

    WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Three retired Northern Essex Community College faculty and staff, Cynthia “C.J.” Crivaro of Haverhill, Judith Kamber of Newbury, and Thomas White of Boston, recently received emeritus status during the college’s 52d commencement exercises. The honor recognizes excellence in performance, character, and service to the college. . . . Betsy McGinnity of Middleton has been honored by the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired with the 2014 Virginia Sowell Award for advancement of knowledge and understanding of deaf-blindness and multiple disabilities. McGinnity joined the staff at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown in 1980, and for more than 25 years has focused on providing information and training to teachers, professionals, and families with children who are visually impaired with additional disabilities.

    Wendy Killeen can be reached at