The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of November 7 to November 14, 2019
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To All Our Veterans
on Veterans Day 2019
The Winchendon Courier
wants to say
All Service Emblems and American Flag

Winchendon Veteran’s Day Ceremony Schedule

Monday, November 11

The ceremony will be held inside the American Legion Post 193 located at 295 School Street.

The ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. sharp. We ask all participants to arrive by 10:30 a.m. We ask guests to arrive no later than 10:45 a.m.

At 2:00 p.m., weather permitting, the local Boy and Girl Scouts will remove the flags off the graves of our departed veterans. We will start at the Calvary Cemetery and then proceed to River Side Cemetery.

Winter is coming...and the Winchendon CAC is ready

The Winchendon Community Action Committee (CAC) is ready for the start of cold weather, with its new day shelter and homeless resource center, Haven of Hope, joining its many programs and services for the community. Executive Director Jennifer Sibley says the biggest challenge is getting the word out about everything the CAC offers to those who most need it.

Haven of Hope has served about ten clients since it officially opened last month. A warm and friendly space next to the CAC's clothing and food pantry section, Haven of Hope includes laundry facilities and a handicap-accessible shower. A spacious dining area holds a long table where families can sit together for a meal, and refrigerators containing cold drinks and pre-made, re-heatable food. Next to the dining area is a room where clients can relax on comfortable chairs and sofas and enjoy television or games.

A storeroom is filled with donated toiletries, underwear, socks and other necessities. Small bags of toiletries are pre-filled to give to clients, and large knapsacks contain a change of clothes, blankets, food, and other things needed by the homeless.

Haven of Hope day shelter Haven of Hope day shelter Haven of Hope day shelter

Ms. Sibley explains that the CAC can't prepare food without a commercial kitchen on the premises. Ready-made meals from Hannaford are available for clients, as well as food that doesn't require cooking.

Homelessness can be self-perpetuating; without a phone number and address, homeless persons face even more barriers in applying for jobs or services. They may have trouble finding a place to shower and wash their clothes so they can job-hunt or work.

Haven of Hope provides homeless persons with facilities for self-care and an address to use for applications. Pre-paid government cell phones are available if a homeless person needs a phone number and has no phone of their own.

Ms. Sibley says that anyone in need of services only needs to come into the CAC and apply. Staff will do a full intake interview and evaluate their needs. Clients will have assistance in applying for services including overnight sheltering, permanent housing, disability benefits, SNAP, WIC, mental health services, detox and rehab programs. There are many different services available for people with all levels of need. As of November 18, the LIHEAP Heating Assistance program, based in Fitchburg, will send staff to the CAC to take applications from Winchendon residents for fuel assistance.

"There's no shame in anything we offer here," Ms. Sibley says. "We're respectful of confidentiality."

Ms. Sibley says that the only thing they ask of clients is a willingness to commit to "taking the next step" and following through on the help that is offered.

Ms. Sibley notes that most of the CAC clients don't want to leave Winchendon and go to another community for shelter or housing. Our Father's House in Fitchburg has been expanding and improving its program with numerous satellite shelters around the area; Ms. Sibley says that she's urging Our Father's House to establish an overnight shelter in Toy Town.

Homelessness in Winchendon tends to be out of sight to everyone except those who do direct intervention work, like the CAC, or the police and fire departments and the Senior Center. Some of our homeless folks camp in the woods or stay in trailers and outbuildings. Some live in their cars or trucks. As winter approaches, they'll be coming for help. Many more "couch surf" from one friend, co-worker or family member's house to another.

Asked what her "number one wish" would be, Ms. Sibley said, "more funding, to staff the shelter" for expanded hours, and for "outreach--mobile outreach out on the streets" to get people to come in, get help, and make better choices for their lives going forward.

There are some frustrations--Ms. Sibley explains that transportation services were discontinued due to the requirement for livery insurance, which costs thousands of dollars. The Worcester County Food Bank is too overwhelmed to deliver fresh produce for the next few weeks. Only Ms. Sibley has received the required training to pick up loads of food in person, and she can't leave the CAC office for that long.

Recently, Ms. Sibley issued a public plea to generous contributors to respect the CAC's donations policies and only bring donations during the posted hours. Only at these times are volunteers available to accept donations, sort them, clean them and store them properly. Donated clothing is washed, sanitized and dried at high heat settings. Ms. Sibley said that a few times, bags of dirty clothes and rubbish have been brought in and left on the floor, or left on the front steps when the CAC was closed. This only means that the CAC ends up paying to take bags of unusable stuff to the transfer station. One bag of clothes was contaminated by rodents.

Donations for CAC clients should be brought to the CAC and handed to a volunteer on Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Items accepted are: winter clothes for adults and kids, holiday food, holiday toys, non-perishable food items, boots and gloves. Used or new, donations should be squeaky-clean, complete, in good repair and in good working order. Food items should be within their expiration date.

Winchendon CAC services are available to eligible Winchendon residents; to apply, come to the CAC office with proof of income and proof of residency. Services on site include a food pantry, clothing pantry, toiletries and household items, a coupon and store flyer exchange, holiday food baskets, a Christmas children's party and a Christmas toy distribution. Follow the CAC on Facebook at or check their website for updates. If you have any questions, call the CAC at 978-297-1667.

The CAC is located at 273 Central Street, Winchendon, and its hours are:
Monday and Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday and Wednesday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The Haven of Hope day shelter is open whenever the CAC office is. Its hours may be extended during severe weather conditions.

Murdock grad heading for law school gets some real world creds in Winchendon law office

Ready to graduate from Fitchburg State University in December and head for law school after that, Tim Enwright is getting a first-hand look at the profession by interning with Dave and Jeremy LaPointe in their Central Street office.

Plenty of students who major in history and political science gravitate to the law so while Enwright is hardly unique following that path and while the law classes he took at the Mount piqued his interest, there were other factors which pushed him towards law school. One was a current events class at Murdock High School taught by Steve Forte which referenced law a lot. One was, naturally enough, a desire to help people. Or more to the point, "I want to help people protect themselves and their rights," Enwright noted. Another was, yes, television.

"I know it's obviously not real," laughed Enwright, "but my fiancée and I watch a lot of Law And Order: Special Victims Unit. I like watching the legal part of it."

Interning has enabled Enwright to see how a law practice operates on a day-to-day basis. He'd played Little League baseball under Dave LaPointe and they had stayed in touch through the years. "He told me if I ever chose law to come see him." That's exactly what Tim did and "I jumped at the opportunity."

"Tim has the feel for this," said Dave LaPointe. "He certainly seems to have the passion for it," remarked Jeremy.

He has time before deciding on which field to specialize and is in the process of applying to law school but Enwright is sure he's made the right career choice. "I did," he assured the Courier.

Are you interested in being involved in a community project to bring more healthy food to Winchendon?

Are you interested in being involved in a community project to bring more healthy food to Winchendon? Come to the first CIRCL group meeting November 12th at 9:15 am – 10:15 am at the Clark Memorial YMCA in Winchendon. Please RSVP to Daniel Forkner if you can make it via email ( or phone at (678) 764-3550.

To recap, the HEAL Winchendon Food Project will seek to answer the question: how can we bring more healthy food to Winchendon in a way that meets residents’ needs, supports local producers and retailers, leverages the strength of large “anchor” institutions, and in a way that is economically viable and sustainable? One of the most important products that will come out of this project will be a hub-and-spoke model of food distribution delivering CSA meal kits filled with local produce to older adults and other Winchendon residents. But the CSA meal kits are just one piece. The community has also expressed interest in cooking classes, nutrition education, gardening projects, building relationships with local farmers, and other engagement activities.

Such an ambitious project as this cannot succeed without the participation of the very people who are the Winchendon community.

That is why we are inviting you to be part of the process! Come to the November 12th meeting to find out how your gifts and talents can be utilized to support healthy and affordable food in your community.

Can’t make the meeting? You can still help:

Fill out a market survey. The answers from these surveys will tell us about the food needs of Winchendon residents and how the project can best serve to meet those needs and other challenges. If you have 15 min please help us by completing a survey today!
Online Survey
Print-and-Mail Survey (PDF)

Let us know if you would be interested in hosting a future CIRCL group meeting or community workshop!

Visit our webpage (still in progress) to learn more about the Winchendon Food Project and find dates/times for future CIRCL group meetings as well as the minutes from each meeting.

Village School Open House

Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home

Winchendon Subway

Toy Town FYIs

Monday, November 11: Town Hall will be closed today for the Veteran's Day holiday.

Tuesday, October 15: The annual draw-down of Lake Monomomac will begin and will continue until it reaches the new winter draw down level of 3 feet on or around December 1st. The drop in the water level during the winter months allows property owners to do maintenance to their waterfront, including docks, walls, and beaches. It also helps with the weed control.

Be aware that the lower level increases the danger of hitting submerged rocks, trees or other hidden obstacles. Extreme caution should be taken by boat owners if you are planning to get in some late fall boating or fishing.

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