HCN News & Notes

ServiceNet’s Erin Forbush Receives Commonwealth Heroine Award

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) celebrated its 20th class of Commonwealth Heroines at the 2023 awards ceremony on June 23 at the Massachusetts State House in the Great Hall of Flags. Erin Forbush, director of Shelter & Housing for ServiceNet, was among the 130 recipients honored.

MCSW Chairwoman Sarah Glenn-Smith offered the opening remarks, followed by recognition of the honorees.

“The Commonwealth Heroines are women who don’t make the news, but make all the difference in their communities,” Glenn-Smith said. “Thousands of women in every community across the Commonwealth perform unheralded acts on a daily basis that make our homes, neighborhoods, cities, and towns better places to live. Commonwealth Heroines use their time, talent, spirit, and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others in their community. They are mentors, volunteers, and innovators — they are the glue that keeps a community together.”

Each year, the commission partners with state legislators to identify women who make outstanding contributions to their organizations and in their communities. Legislators are encouraged to nominate a woman from their constituency who is making a big difference in the community in order to recognize her invaluable efforts and extraordinary acts of service.

In her nomination of Forbush, state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier noted that, “in every aspect of her work and life, Erin Forbush sets the example for respecting others, especially the most disabled, disenfranchised members of our community. Erin has a natural ability to connect with and inspire people who are at their lowest point in life. Recently, she guided our family and individual shelters through the COVID-19 pandemic, engaging in problem solving and answering the call 24/7 for three years. Her leadership bolstered the staff during these strenuous times, as it does every day. Erin’s professionalism, knowledge, humility, and compassion make her an invaluable asset to ServiceNet and to the community.”

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency legislatively created in 1998 to advance women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The MCSW provides a permanent, effective voice for the women of Massachusetts.

A program book with bios of each Commonwealth Heroine is now available at mcsw@mass.gov.