Posted by boston.com December 14, 2013 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the Somerville Homeless Coalition:
Wanting to honor the memory of his friend, Officer Sean Collier, Sgt. Stephen Louf of the Manchester (MA) Police Department recently presented a check for $4,000 to the staff of the Somerville Homeless Coalition (SHC). Officer Collier was tragically killed in the line of duty on April 18, 2013, in connection to the Boston Marathon bombings. With this gift, Louf helped fulfill Collier’s desire to help those less fortunate in the Somerville area. Over the course of seven months, Louf and his colleagues sold nearly 1,000 “Collier Strong” decals.
“Sean had great compassion for the homeless people he encountered regularly while working at the MIT Police Department,” remarked Sgt. Louf when he and Officer Meola presented the check.“He always wanted to do more to help, rather than just move them along when they were looking for a warm and dry place to spend the night,” he explained.
“These funds will make a great difference in our work to help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless,” affirmed Mark Alston-Follansbee, SHC’s executive director. “We are deeply grateful for Officer Collier’s service and Sgt. Louf’s efforts to honor him.”
Collier and Louf met at the beginning of their careers as security guards and attended Salem State University together. Collier graduated with Honors in Criminal Justice in 2009, then went on to work at the Somerville Police Department in information technology for five years before he joined the MIT Police Department in January 2012. He also served on the Somerville Auxiliary Police, which provides coverage for the Somerville Homeless Coalition’s 5K Road Race each October. In August 2013, Officer Sean Collier was sworn in as a Somerville Police Officer posthumously, fulfilling another of his life ambitions.
Since 1985 the Somerville Homeless Coalition has been “working to put ourselves out of business,” by providing Homeless Prevention Programs, Case Management and Supportive Services for those seeking assistance to find or maintain their housing, Adult and Family Shelters, and a food pantry, Project SOUP. Last year SHC served over 2,000 people, a number expected to grow as government support for affordable housing and meals programs continue to decrease. The government sequestration reduced the SHC budget by $60,000 this year. To learn more about SHC, please visit www.shcinc.org or call 617-623-6111.