“Coming Home,” the theme of Cogswell Hall’s annual gala, certainly captures the atmosphere and mission of the historic institution. Founded in the late 1800’s as a home for “friendless girls,” Cogswell Hall currently houses low-income men and women who have physical, cognitive, mental, developmental or financial difficulties. Cogswell Hall strives to end homeless and provide all individuals with quality housing.
The Coming Home gala serves as the ultimate reminder of what Cogswell Hall is: a home. I believe that there is a misconception of the word “homeless.” Traditional definitions describe homelessness as the lack of permanent housing. While this certainly constitutes the technical aspect of homelessness, I find it hard to ignore the emotional element of home. A home can be a building, sure. But it is also the feeling of safety and warmth, and a sense of belonging and comfort. Mainly, having a home is having a community to fall back on and trust. Cogswell Hall certainly addresses this necessity, and provides its residents with the support and security they need to thrive.
Part of my job at Cogswell Hall this summer is to create and implement a more comprehensive volunteer program for the organization. Volunteers are crucial to the inner workings of Cogswell Hall, providing assistance in all forms – from administrative work to building upkeep and maintenance. By recruiting and organizing volunteers, Cogswell Hall hopes to build its community even further, and expand and advocate its message through the stories of residents, volunteers and staff.
Join us the evening of Saturday, September 24th at the historic Calfee Building for Coming Home, where you can hear some of these stories and learn about the mission and history of Cogswell Hall. The Cogswell family looks forward to sharing our story and welcoming you into the Cogswell Hall community.
Katherine Karpinski, a senior at Cleveland State University double majoring in Business Administration and English, is placed at Cogswell Hall. Katherine develops marketing strategies for volunteer programs and assists with assessment of existing participation and implementation of improved volunteer management procedures.