Lowell General Hospital ball raises $56G for Dwelling House of Hope
LOWELL — Dwelling House of Hope, a local nonprofit in Lowell’s Pawtucketville neighborhood, has grown to be one of the largest food pantries in Middlesex County. And it all started in the basement of founder and Executive Director Levenia Furusa’s home in 2009.
Since 2016, though, DHH has expanded its outreach — and its footprint — and now occupies a large building on the corner of Mount Hope and White streets, adjacent to Fusion Lowell, a nondenominational church, which partners with DHH.
The nonprofit helps thousands of non-English speaking immigrants and lower-income families in the Merrimack Valley with food and clothing assistance, as well as providing the community with educational, social, youth and cultural programs.
On March 4, the mission received a glamorous boost when more than 500 guests attended the Lowell General Hospital Ball for Community Health Initiatives at the InterContinental Hotel in Boston, which raised $56,000 for DHH’s food access program.
The event, held for the first time in three years due the pandemic, brought together hospital leadership, physicians and staff with community leaders in health care, business, education and social services from across the Greater Lowell region.
“Dwelling House of Hope provides thousands of local families with food resources, support and compassion, and we could not be more proud to support their efforts,” Lowell General CEO Jody White said.
In addition to its food assistance programs, the organization is committed to addressing the public health burden of drug use and overdose in the community.
In a statement, LGH said DHH was chosen as this year’s Fund a Need recipient because of its work to address food insecurity and behavioral health, issues identified as two of the region’s most pressing public health concerns in the region’s latest Community Health Needs Assessment, completed in late 2022.
The level of food insecurity in the community is evident every Saturday, as cars with families line up for blocks, to receive one of the 800 to 900 boxes of food that DHH distributes.
It was also evident last November, when DHH partnered with United Way to distribute more than 2,500 Thanksgiving meals to area families.
That food need is expected to grow as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients all over the commonwealth face a decrease in their food benefits. The pandemic-era aid increased monthly benefits by almost 30% since March 2020, but the last emergency allotment was March 2.
By April, the elevated food assistance will be over, with many families facing a food cliff. The money raised at the ball will help address the anticipated increase of food insecurity in the community.
“The only way we can accomplish our goals to improve health beyond the four walls of the hospital is by partnering with our incredible non-profit partners across this region,” White said.
The Lowell General Hospital Ball for Community Health Initiatives was established in 2006 by Lowell General Hospital, its medical staff and members of the community.