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The idea for the Community Day Center of Waltham was conceived by several
homeless and formerly homeless members of the Waltham community. The (CDCW) opened in 2003 as a drop-in daytime shelter with a welcoming atmosphere. We assist homeless and very poor adults in Greater Boston/Metro West in increasing their self-esteem and moving towards self sufficiency. On a typical winter day sixty guests spend time at the Center. While most guests are white males, roughly 25% are Hispanic, 12% are women, and 5% are African-American. Most are homeless, although a many are mentally disabled, living in local group homes or subsidized housing.
Above all else, the Day Center is a community. Guests often describe the Center as the only place they go where they are welcomed rather than tolerated, appreciated rather than begrudged. CDCW guests have access to telephones with free long distance, anonymous answering machines, a high-speed internet café, and use of an anonymous P.O. Box. With these resources, which are otherwise unavailable to them, they search for jobs, arrange housing and shelter, access community resources, and maintain tenuous family ties. Staff provide vital information on available social services in Waltham and beyond to our guests. Our staff and trained interns offer crisis counseling and traditional counseling to those in need. Other volunteers help guests write resumes, locate resources on the internet and find available jobs and housing.
The Day Center has an active board of directors and an Executive Director. We are located at First Presbyterian Church, 34 Alder Street, in Waltham.