Father Bill's & MainSpring (FBMS) was formed when two nonprofits merged in 2007-Father Bill's Place of Quincy (f.1984) and MainSpring Coalition for the Homeless of Brockton (f.1982)-combining strengths and gaining the capacity to respond regionally to the work of ending homelessness.
In 1982, MainSpring Coalition for the Homeless was founded when Marie Sheehan and Jack and Patti Conway, along with other community leaders, noticed the growing number of families and individuals in the greater Brockton area struggling with homelessness and decided to take action.
MainSpring provided safe refuge and nourishing food to homeless men, women, and children. Over the years, MainSpring expanded its services from providing emergency shelter and advocacy services to adding programs such as homelessness prevention, adult education, employment training, and health care.
In 1984, Father Bill's Place, began operating as a shelter in the basement of the Salvation Army. Started by Reverend William “Father Bill” McCarthy and other local clergy, community leaders, and social service professionals, it began as the Quincy Interfaith Sheltering Coalition. From its early days as a basement shelter, Father Bill's Place soon moved to its current shelter location.
After a decade of serving homeless individuals in an emergency shelter, the leaders of Father Bill's Place recognized the need to provide housing opportunities and supportive services that would end homelessness. Father Bill's Place was one of the first organizations in Massachusetts to pioneer an approach known as Housing First.
Housing First is a nationally recognized best-practice approach to ending homelessness for individuals with a chronic history of homelessness who have significant disabilities or challenges that are barriers to obtaining housing. Rather than setting requirements for access to housing, Housing First is based on the belief that people in shelter or on the streets should be moved to housing first. Then, with the stability of their own place to live they can begin to address the issues that had contributed to their homelessness. Services are then provided to people in their housing setting to help them stabilize and achieve greater self-suffiency.
After two decades of striving to end homelessness in the South Shore and Southeastern Massachusetts, MainSpring Coalition for the Homeless in Brockton, and Father Bill's Place in Quincy merged to become Father Bill's & MainSpring (FBMS) on July 1, 2007.
Today, Father Bill’s & MainSpring cares for thousands each year who come to our doors for help.