A Mission Moment with Marilyn, 
From the Desk of the Executive Director of The Open Hearth

Today I am reminded that for the men of The Open Hearth opportunity = success. Most days I’m bogged down in the details of making sure the men of The Open Hearth have access to opportunities. 

But today, when a former client stopped by, I was reminded not of the details, but of the reason why the work I do matters and why your support as a friend of The Open Hearth helps change lives. 

Eddie, who left The Open Hearth over four years ago, came to say thank you today.  Eddie’s path to gainful employment and permanent housing was not an easy one.  As a teen, Eddie began running with the wrong crowd. That combined with what he says was low-self-esteem and poor decisions landed him in prison. 

He arrived on the door step of The Open Hearth upon his release with no place to go and no way to support himself.  Eddie says, “I had no direction or purpose.”  

The Open Hearth helped connect Eddie with his first job at Valvoline Instant Oil Change. For two years, Eddie lived at The Open Hearth and took a bus daily to this job. Eddie also took advantage of job coaching and trainings offered at The Working Men’s Center (WMC) at The Open Hearth.  With the help of WMC staff, Eddie enrolled in and successfully completed a truck driving course earning a Class A Commercial Driver’s License.

Today Eddie lives in an apartment in Southington and is employed as an 18-wheeler truck driver.

When I asked Eddie why he thinks he has been so successful over the past five years, he said,

“I found the resources I needed and used them.  The Open Hearth gave me confidence, skills, and connection with a job and taught me to set goals and take action.  I learned that if you want it, then you have to go get.”

Access to opportunities and the skills and support to make the most of those opportunities equaled success for Eddie as well as for many of the other men who come through the doors of The Open Hearth.

You help make these opportunities possible.  And you help change lives for the better. 

With deepest gratitude,


Marilyn E. Rossetti
Executive Director