City councillor Marc McGovern, right, is running his Second Annual Winter Warmth Drive with the help of city business associations.

City councillor Marc McGovern, right, is running his Second Annual Winter Warmth Drive with the help of city business associations.

For the second year, city councillor Marc McGovern has partnered with Cambridge business associations to address the shortage of basic winter necessities among the homeless population – and he is crowdsourcing support as well, with an Indiegogo campaign that as of Sunday, only four days in, was just over a quarter of the way to the $10,000 goal.

This year, for the Second Annual Winter Warmth Drive, McGovern and the Harvard Square Business Association are joined by the Kendall Square Association and Central Square Business Association to raise the money to make sure organizations working with the homeless have supplies to provide warmth, protection and comfort.

The business associations are helping to promote the drive and encouraging their members to contribute, and members are helping distribute the goods as well, McGovern said.

A press release from his office explained how the campaign got started last year:

“While serving at a local meals program, McGovern was taken aback by one request: a blanket. McGovern had been prepared to discuss affordable housing, jobs and job training, and the availability of shelter beds with guests at the meal; he hadn’t been prepared for such a basic request – one that indicated an immediate need for action. That week, McGovern partnered with the Harvard Square Business Association to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised almost $7,600 to buy 750 wool blankets and almost 3,400 pairs of cotton socks to be distributed to those in Cambridge experiencing homelessness.”

“While we discuss long-term goals to address homelessness, we can’t lose sight of the fact that people are cold tonight; people are hungry tonight; people need shelter tonight. This campaign is one way to address one of these immediate needs, and I’m grateful for all the support,” McGovern said.

Jesse Kanson-Benanav, an urban planner and community developer, said via Facebook that he contributed to the campaign Friday. “This is a small but important way to supply blankets, socks, hats and other wintertime essentials to families and individuals experiencing homelessness in our community,” he said.a

McGovern said he has made homelessness, affordable housing and income insecurity cornerstones of his work and “will continue to tackle long- and short-term goals to address these pressing needs.”


This post took significant amounts of material from a press release.