Net of Compassion is a collaborative effort of many community groups founded and driven by a highly committed citizen of Worcester, Massachusetts. After overcoming his long battle with homelessness and addiction, Director Richard Gonzalez now reaches out to the homeless, addicted, and under served in our community. Together with his wife Elizabeth and a dedicated group of volunteers, Net of Compassion tirelessly works on the streets of Worcester to seek out citizens with the most need.
Since it’s inception in 2010, Net of Compassion has been providing an opportunity for many volunteer groups and people of faith to come together to save the lives of the city’s most vulnerable population. This community organization is overseen and driven by a highly committed man of God, who overcame his own lifelong battle with substance abuse. Director Richie Gonzalez and his team now run an extensive outreach effort in Worcester, Massachusetts. Clients include men and women struggling with active addiction, prostitution, homelessness and those living with mental illness symptoms.
The volunteers of Net of Compassion help by forming a safety net of support for these folks, providing peer support, food, clothing, intensive recovery counseling and many other services. Mr. Gonzalez and his wife Elizabeth are also ordained ministers, offering spiritual guidance and times of prayer during Net of Compassion outreach activities. Net of Compassion is truly a web of many talented individuals coming together for the people of the street. Through relationships with Richie and his team, many now have the opportunity to restore their faith and get reconnected to a healthy and productive life.
Director Richie Gonzalez started this outreach effort over 6 years ago with just a card table and some bagged lunches. He returned to the very spot where he used to struggle himself with addiction. He knew that now that he had found his faith and sobriety that had to share it with his community. Now along with countless volunteers, he is cooking and serving a hot meal to an average of 250 people per week. Richie and Elizabeth Gonzalez are incredible people of faith and all of their program needs have always been met through private donations. They do have plans for the future which include a permanent office space and they would eventually like to open a housing program.
“So I went down to the potter’s house and saw him working with clay at the wheel. He was making a pot from clay. But there was something wrong with the pot. So the potter used that clay to make another pot. With his hands he shaped the pot the way he wanted it to be. Then this message from the Lord came to me: “Family of Israel, you know that I can do the same thing with you. You are like the clay in the potter’s hands, and I am the potter. This message is from the Lord.” Jeremiah 18:3-6
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Richie has been featured in many publications, visit here to read the Worcester Spy Interview.
The Worcester Telegram an Gazette also featured Richie recently, click here.
CHANGING OUR CITY,
ONE MEAL AT A TIME.
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” Matthew 25:35-36