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Pine Street opens new Veterans’ Services Offices in Roxbury, South End

Pine Street opens new Veterans’ Services Offices in Roxbury, South End

The Dudley Square community welcomed Pine Street Inn into the neighborhood as Pine Street opened a new Veterans’ Services office at 2304 Washington St., Roxbury, next to Dudley Station. Veterans may walk-in Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. A handicap-accessible location is open at 434 Harrison Ave., South End, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The goal of Pine Street Inn’s Veterans’ Services is to provide an integrated, comprehensive system of social services. Veterans can find assistance in addressing urgent needs such as housing, food, mental health, medical treatment or a personal crisis. They may also seek assistance in achieving such long-term goals as pursuing educational advancement, vocational training or employment.

Often, veterans lack copies of the military records required to receive veterans’ benefits; others may need assistance in documenting a disability or upgrading their discharge status before they can receive federal benefits. Others simply haven’t been informed about the programs already available to them.

Veterans’ Services case managers guide their clients through the paperwork, advocate on their behalf and connect them with helpful resources in the community. The ultimate goal is for veterans to find the stability and support needed to rebuild their lives and to move forward in civilian society.

 According to Mary Johnson, who oversees the program on behalf of Pine Street Inn, “We are very pleased to provide critical counseling, case management and housing services to veterans and their families. As a resident of Dorchester, I know how important these services are to the community.”

State Rep. Gloria Fox has been instrumental in ensuring that these services are available to area veterans. “Veterans need and deserve our support, whether they have just returned from Iraq, Afghanistan or served in the military many years ago,” she said in a prepared statement. “I am glad that there are services available for the veterans in the Roxbury/Dorchester community to take advantage of.”

Veterans are welcome to drop by or call 617-541-8652.

RI officer to plead guilty in teen’s beating

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A white Rhode Island police officer accused of beating a black teenager has agreed to plead guilty to depriving the boy of his civil rights.

Prosecutors agreed Friday to drop an obstruction of justice charge against Woonsocket Officer John Douglas and recommend a reduced prison sentence.

Douglas was indicted in December after an FBI investigation that began after the boy showed up in court injured and said several officers had beaten him. He was 16 at the time.

Douglas was accused of punching the teen in a police station after his arrest in September. The boy was recognized as having escaped from a probationary program.

Douglas faces up to 10 years in prison but is likely to get less as part of his plea agreement

Patrick fails to give stimulus money

A top state prosecutor says Gov. Deval Patrick promised to provide district attorneys with $4.1 million in federal stimulus funds but failed to deliver.

Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett says he asked Patrick to explain why the promised stimulus money has never been provided. Prosecutors said their 11 offices are the only public safety agencies to not receive stimulus money.

Public Safety Secretary Mary E. Heffernan, the administration’s top public safety official, says $4.1 million was not earmarked for prosecutors. She says federal stimulus money was used to keep state prisons open, avoid State Police layoffs and help municipalities rehire laid-off police and firefighters.

Heffernan says Patrick promised prosecutors he would not cut their budgets in fiscal 2011 and steer new federal money toward them.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts is breaking ground on what backers say is the first health center in the country to be funded in part with money from the federal stimulus program.

The $20.7 million, 49,000 square-foot ambulatory care building is designed to expand services at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.

The center’s CEO Jack Cradock said the facility will let the center better serve patients in need of primary care, vision services and dental care.

The facility will receive $12 million in federal stimulus money.

Cradock said the project will create 150 construction jobs and 50 permanent health care jobs while boosting access to health services in East Boston, one of the city’s most geographically isolated neighborhoods.

Pink and White Affair to benefit the Codman Square Health Center

106.1 Disc Jockey and nationally known Comedian Jonathon Gates is planning a fundraiser to benefit the Codman Square Health Center cancer initiatives. Gates lost his mother Maggie Mae Gates Waltower to cancer in 2006.

The upcoming event is a result of Gates coping with his family’s loss and a way for him to raise money for the Codman Square Health Center. The monies raised will help pay for the health center’s new digital mammography machine. The Pink and White Affair will be an evening of live entertainment and music and will be held on Saturday, June 19, 9 p.m. at Mosley’s on the Charles in Dedham.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by logging onto http://pinkandwhite.event

Gates said he hopes to sell out and raise a significant amount of money. “I look forward to making this an annual event,” he said. “My entire family is committed to supporting initiatives that provide cancer education and care. In addition to the fun aspect of the evening, there will also be plenty of educational information available.”

For more information, log onto http://pinkandwhite.event
or call Jonathon Gates at  617-590-8334.

Associated Press