In 1997, a woman slept on the steps of the Union Baptist Church in Mystic for three nights. On her last morning there she joined the worship service and left a dollar bill with a note in the collection basket. Her note explained that upon losing her job she had become homeless. Three weeks earlier she had been stably housed.
In a community call to action, Rev. Dr. G. Kenneth Carpenter, Union Baptist Church's minister at the time and our Founder, recruited human service agencies, local business groups and neighboring congregations to work together to address the growing concern of homelessness. Always Home, formerly known as Mystic Area Shelter and Hospitality (MASH), was incorporated as a 501(C) (3) nonprofit in 1998.
Always Home was founded to address the needs of Eastern Connecticut's homeless and at-risk families. Our mission is Preventing Family Homelessness. As the region's leading service provider for families with minor children, we seek to prevent homelessness before it happens, to use shelter as a destination of last resort, and to limit any family's time in shelter to a maximum of 30 days.
We work holistically, combining caring case management support, short-term financial housing assistance and creative homelessness prevention services, like our Wheels to Work program, to help families overcome their immediate housing emergency, regain their economic footing, and create a path forward.
Always Home and Union Baptist Church continue to share a special bond. The church is at the heart of our founding and has generously supported our mission for the past twenty-five years. It provides a home for our organization by donating office space and shares our mission goals through meaningful Board participation. Founding Board member Rev. Dr. G. Kenneth Carpenter served for 20 years and is our first Emeritus Board member. The Church's present Senior Minister, Reverend Dr. Lonnie Brown, continues this history of stewardship by serving as Vice President of our Board of Directors. We are deeply grateful for the Church's commitment to community outreach and the countless volunteer hours its congregation has dedicated to our mission.