At Boston Public Library, a new outreach position for the homeless
Boston has hired a full-time outreach manager who will provide help to the homeless who are drawn to “the spaces and resources of the Boston Public Library,” City Hall announced Friday.
The new director, Mike Bunch, is an existing outreach case manager social worker at Pine Street Inn, a South End-based nonprofit that helps more than 1,900 homeless people daily, and previously worked with shelter and treatment providers in Austin, Texas, according to a statement from Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s office.
His position, according to the statement, “will work as part of a team providing assessment, crisis intervention and intensive case management services,” and will be based out of the Boston Public Library’s central branch in Copley Square.
The post is being funded through the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development and the Boston Public Library, and managed in partnership with Pine Street Inn.
“The investment in this newly created position and the resources being made available by our dedicated library staff join a range of citywide resources already helping to support and aid our homeless population in and around our libraries and across the city,” said Walsh in the statement. “These efforts directly support the BPL’s mission of serving everyone.”
Additionally, Boston Public Library is hiring a reference librarian who will specialize in health and human services and recently launched an addiction recovery resources guide, which includes information on substance use and recovery services designed for active users and their loved ones.
“The BPL is committed to providing all patrons, regardless of status, with the critical assistance they need, and the hire of the outreach manager is a significant ‘first’ for the BPL and will connect library users with the right resources to help them move forward,” said David Leonard, the president of Boston Public Library.
Lyndia Downie, the president and executive director of the Pine Street Inn, said the new hires and resources was a “thoughtful approach” to the issue of homelessness.
“Pine Street Inn is pleased to be part of this effort to provide homeless men and women the support and services they need to begin rebuilding their lives,” said Downie in a statement.