(Many children had their faces painted at
the South Marshall Street Block Party!)
Community Coming Together, Changing a Neighborhood!
10th South Marshall Street Block Party a Huge Success!
HARTFORD – On Tuesday, June 25, the 10th Anniversary
South Marshall Street Block Party brought together a community in fun and
fellowship. Over 500 residents attended. The Salvation Army’s Marshall
House, neighborhood organizations, and many volunteers, with special thanks to
The Hartford Project, teamed up to host another fun-filled event, sponsored by
the Greater Hartford Arts Council and South Marshall Interfaith Coalition.
(A few of the many Aetna volunteers pose
with a lucky bike winner!)
Contributions from Aetna and the Little Angels Program to the City of
Hartford Police and Fire Departments reinforced widespread recognition for how
this event benefits the neighborhood. Great food, ice-cold refreshments,
engaging information tables, and various crafts, games and prizes, and
activities were offered, in addition to local entertainment.
(Child with West Indian stilt
The South Marshall Street Block Party is a free event in Hartford,
Connecticut. It is held outside of The Salvation Army’s Marshall House
Family Shelter, for neighbors on South Marshall and adjacent streets.
Elaborating on its purpose, Sandy Barry, Housing Stabilization Coordinator,
commented, "This event not only allows Marshall House to let its neighbors know
they are appreciated, but it also promotes positive fellowship in an area of
Hartford that was at one time seen as violent and unsafe. It is a time where
local residents from many different cultures and backgrounds gather, have fun,
and feel safe. The same partners that plan and contribute to the event are also
responsible for the neighborhood’s continued overall improvement, from
building new housing to planning for a future community playground."
(Children playing some of the many games
Major Brian Glasco, Greater Hartford Area Coordinator for The Salvation
Army, masterfully emceed the event at an exciting pace. Assisting Major Glasco
were Spanish, Burmese, and Nepali translators. A nonstop schedule kept
attendees clapping and captivated, from traditional music and dance by
neighborhood Karen refugees to other local performers that embody this diverse
neighborhood. Bicycles were given to many thankful children and adults, while
snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy, and a delicious meal brought steady lines of
(A picture of the duck pond game.)
Games, activities, a dunk tank, information tables on various community
resources, and more extended down the street. Happy children and families were
everywhere, laughing and talking as if one big family, grateful for this event
that many hands and God helped to make possible. In the end, the take-home
message was that this community is cared for and we are here to serve them, if
not personally, than collectively.
(Some of the Marshall House staff
The Salvation Army’s Marshall House, the event’s founder, has
operated on 225 South Marshall Street for 25 years. It provides a safety net of
emergency shelter services to families and single women in crisis due to
(A group of Hartford Project
volunteers with Sandy Barry from the Marshall House.)
Although the primary objective of the program is to provide residents with
emergency housing and nutritious meals at its 50-bed facility, it offers much
more than that, with an array of services designed to reduce the trauma of
being homeless and empower residents to secure and maintain stable housing.
Marshall House also provides services for those at risk of homelessness through
its Homeless Prevention Program, and for those transitioning to more stable
housing through its Housing 1st program.
(Greater Hartford Arts Council was one of several
sponsors who helped to make this event possible.)
Also involved in the event and neighborhood year-round, Catholic Charities
offers a variety of migration, refugee, and immigration services. They have
extensive resettlement experience with refugees, including the Karen