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Community Coming Together, Changing a Neighborhood!

Released 27 June 2013

Face Painting(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.

Aetna Bikes(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 Interacting(Child with West Indian stilt walker.)

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."

Games(Children playing some of the many games offered.)

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 eager eaters.

Duck Pond(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.

Marshall House Staff(Some of the Marshall House staff in attendance.)

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 homelessness.

Hartford Project(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.

GHAS(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 community.








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