By Vinny Vella
Ten years ago, South Park Inn’s inaugural Flag Day ceremony was a modest affair.
“Five people and a box of doughnuts,” that’s how Brian Baker, the assistant director for the homeless shelter on Main Street, described it: a tiny group huddled in solemn silence at the base of the flagpole in the South Green’s Barnard Park.
But at this year’s Flag Day ceremony, during the shelter’s aluminum anniversary, dozens of people packed into the park on Thursday to hear speeches from Mayor Luke Bronin, Rep. Angel Arce and Sean Connelly, commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Veteran Affairs.
It’s a metaphoric contrast for South Park Inn, which expanded its services in 2009 to include a weekly drop-in center for homeless veterans looking for help with paperwork, medical assistance or just a plate of hot food.
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