Year In Review

Dear Friends,

2022 was a record year for Haley House and one filled with new opportunities. Our commitment to equity demands that we serve all members in our community according to their needs. With this in mind, we continued to feed our neighbors while also reaching deeper into our community by expanding and adapting our programs to better suit those we serve.

This is a testament to the commitment and dedication of our partner agencies, financial supporters, volunteers, and staff.

Community investment is a critical strategy for effecting deep, long-term improvement in the social determinants of health. We understand that to truly break down barriers and empower people we must invest in them.

In the last year, Haley House expanded our housing to 110 affordable units throughout the South End, understanding the housing crisis we are up against and the rising need for housing in our community.

Since 1966, over 2 million meals have been served in our bustling soup kitchen. Early this year we committed to upgrading our space to be even more welcoming to our guests. This capital project has been long overdue, but we are pleased to be beginning construction this fall. We are thankful for every donor that has contributed to this effort.

We are also investing in our Single Room Occupancy housing, by updating all of our common bathrooms and kitchens in the coming year. We have already started working on the facade and repointing of our building to ensure that our facilities are welcoming and safe.

Over the next year, we will make additional investments in both the expanding physical plant of Haley House and the operational and programmatic staff we need to deliver our programming. I invite you to contact me if you would like to support these investments.

Being a part of the Haley House community, I have found a tremendous appreciation in learning about the rich history of service to others and being the voice of the unheard. As you read this newsletter, I encourage you to reflect on your role in this community and take pride in what we are accomplishing together.

Reginald Jean
Executive Director

Bricks and Mortar: Investing in the Places We Call Home

Haley House has always been deeply invested in the communities we serve. This year, we are undertaking significant projects to improve the places we call home.

SRO Residences

The Columbus Avenue single-room occupancy apartments (SROs) were purchased in 1993. They provide housing for 24 residents, all low-income and formerly homeless. 

As part of a long-planned set of repairs and improvements, we repointed the back facade of these buildings and repaired both roofs in 2021. 

This year, working with Narrow Gate Architects, we will complete the repointing of the front brick exteriors to both residences.

Once this work is completed, we can begin to plan for renovations to the shared kitchens and bathrooms, as well as some much-needed repairs to individual units.

The Soup Kitchen at 23 Dartmouth 

Among the oldest meal programs in the City of Boston, Haley House’s Soup Kitchen is loved both for the quality of the meals we serve, and also for the warmth and sense of community here.

Despite serving 36,000 meals each year, the kitchen has not received significant upgrades in 30 years. For example, though we serve hundreds of guests each week, we have never had a commercial dishwasher; for more than 50 years, every pot, plate, and fork has been washed by hand.

This year, we are finally undertaking this much-needed renovation. Work will begin this winter with an upgrade to electrical service at 23 Dartmouth to support the modern appliances to be installed.

Additional improvements include a new food disposal system, four sink dish-washing set up, commercial double convection oven, six-burner stove, flat-top grill and new hood venting system.

Improvements to the dining room will include a new ventilation system, flooring, lighting, and bathroom upgrades.

We expect to complete this project and unveil the new and improved Soup Kitchen in 2023. Please come by and take a look!

2147 Washington Street: The New Home of the Haley House Bakery Cafe

The Haley House Bakery Cafe is currently closed pending completion of an exciting construction project at 2147 Washington Street.

2147 Washington will provide much-needed housing in Roxbury as well as retail and arts spaces intended to support economic development in the neighborhood. We believe this project will help re-establish Nubian Square as a vibrant cultural district.

The project is owned and managed by Dream Collaborative and New Atlantic. Haley House has entered into a land swap agreement to help this project move forward. In return we will own our new space on Washington St.

When the project is complete, Haley House Bakery Café will be relocated to a higher-profile ground floor space on Washington Street, allowing us to significantly expand operations. Our new space will include a public courtyard and space for outdoor dining.

The building will include a total of 74 residential units with a wide range of affordability including 62 rental apartments for households with incomes ranging from below 30% Area Median Income (AMI) to 80% AMI.

The project is slated to be completed in the spring of 2024.

At present, we continue to hold Take Back the Kitchen and LiFT programs in the teaching kitchen in the Cafe’s basement.

Reopening & Reimagining Hospitality

Hospitality became a tricky word during the pandemic at Haley House. For over 50 years, opening our doors was the most simple way to live out our mission of offering food and community to anyone who came to our door. The sudden inability to do that challenged the Haley House Live-In Community to reimagine what hospitality meant. Looking back, we’re grateful for the ways that these challenges led to improved service and a deeper sense of community.

In the face of the pandemic, outdoor dining was the only safe option to dine with Haley House. Now, many months after we reopened our doors for guests to come inside, that space remains lively, allowing us to welcome more guests than we ever thought possible. 

As we moved from indoor meals, to only take-out, and then back inside again, the faces of our guests have changed. Prior to the pandemic, we primarily served men in 

our soup kitchen, a tradition that came about decades ago when fewer agencies in our area had services for men. The forced break in traditional service allowed us the chance to grow and meet the needs of our current community, and now we’ve welcomed new community members to join us at the table, regardless of gender.

This year marked the joyful return of special traditions, as guests rejoined the kitchen to help with dishes and friends connected over a game of chess and coffee in the early morning hours. It also marked the beginning of a new moment in our history, as we reflected on our mission and work, and pushed ourselves to adapt to continue to meet that mission for our ever-growing community.

LiFT: A Warm Welcome for Neighbors Coming Home

Supporting neighbors who are returning to the community post-incarceration has been a crucial part of Haley House’s work. Known as “re-entry” programs, these services help returning citizens reconnect with their communities and establish a foundation for the rest of their lives.

Haley House has a long history of helping individuals come home after incarceration. In the mid ‘90s, guests of the Soup Kitchen struggled to find employment when they came home. Some of these guests began baking  bread to sell to our neighbors, launching Haley House’s first social enterprise right out of the soup kitchen.

In 2005, the bakery moved to Roxbury, eventually evolving into the Haley House Bakery Cafe, which offered employment to returning citizens and others who faced barriers to employment.

In the basement of the Bakery Cafe, we began the Transitional Employment Program, supporting 3-6 participants at a time on their journey from incarceration to employment and stable housing. By gaining experience in baking, financial and computer literacy, and mindfulness, participants were able to work towards more stable living conditions. 

With the Bakery Cafe currently closed for construction, Haley House is exploring alternatives to the transitional employment approach. We are proud to announce our Life Foundations Training program, or LiFT, as the newest program in the Haley House family.

LiFT offers returning citizens a safe space to build relationships with peers and allies and to learn from community partners about resources for further entrance back into society. Twice a month, LiFT participants meet to learn about community resources, share struggles and successes, and prepare and enjoy a meal together.

At each meeting, a community partner presents resources that may be of interest to attendees. Recent presenters have included Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Cambridge HEART (Holistic Emergency Alternative Response Team), Community Servings, Community Work Services, Father’s Uplift, and Justice for Housing.

We see this iteration of LiFT as a pilot program where we can gain feedback from participants and community partners on what skills and resources are most needed by returning citizens. Over the next six months, we expect to expand and hone the LiFT program to better meet the needs of these valued members of our community

Building Soil, Building Community at the Thornton Street Farm

Haley House and YouthBuild Boston are natural partners, sharing the goal of supporting Boston’s young people and grounding them in their community as they explore their paths in life. The two organizations have worked together for several years, building improvements at the Thornton Street Farm.

With funding support from Boston Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Living Initiative, we have expanded our work together this season—investing in both the land and in the partnership between these organizations.

Haley House hosted 35 work days with YouthBuild Boston this year, working with 28 YouthBuild participants in the Building and Trades, Pre-Apprentice, and Designery programs.

YouthBuild constructed 71 raised beds for our community gardeners, giving us the capacity to host all of our neighbors who want to participate. Materials for this project were funded by a City of Boston Food Sovereignty grant from the Office of Food Justice.

YouthBuild also constructed a four-part composting structure that helps us rebuild the soil on this land while separating out plants from the edges of the property which are more likely to be contaminated with lead.

YouthBuild’s Designery program also began to design an outdoor kitchen for the farm, construction of which is scheduled for 2023.

About YouthBuild Boston

YouthBuild Boston provides underserved young people with the support and credentials needed to enter the construction and design industry. Its programs support Boston youth in developing the social, vocational, academic, and life skills needed to create a livelihood and a self-sufficient adult life. Programs include:

Building Trades Exploration: a 6-9 month for 17-24 year-olds who do not have a high school diploma. It introduces construction and landscaping skills while supporting students with the academic skills needed to earn their high school equivalency.

The Designery: an afterschool program for highschoolers that teaches graphic, modeling, and design skills.

Pre-Apprentice: a 15-week program for 18-25 year-olds with a diploma or equivalent offering field experience on construction sites to prepare participants for employment in the field.

Facilities Maintenance: an 18-month program combining classroom instruction and on-the-job training in plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and other skills. Participants must have an employer sponsor and can earn credits towards a degree.

Take Back the Kitchen 

It has been a busy year in our Take Back the Kitchen (TBK) culinary education program! Young students, families, and seniors joined us year-round to learn cooking techniques, create beautiful dishes, and gain valuable life skills along the way. Check out these photo highlights and a recipe below!


TBK Latke Recipe

Harnessing the Good in People and Community

On a sunny Saturday in early June, Montgomery Street and the surrounding blocks in the South End swelled with the music of brass band JP HONK!, announcing the return of the Annual Haley House Block Party after two years off. Kids danced in the street as neighbors and friends reunited for a long-overdue celebration of community. Our Block Party has always been multi-purpose, allowing us to bring the community together while also raising funds to support our work. This year, though, the party had an additional goal: to celebrate Bing Broderick and welcome Haley House’s third Executive Director in our 56-year history, Reggie Jean. 

Longtime friend of Haley House Sheila Dillon shared a reflection on Bing’s leadership, saying, “Bing was successful not because he provided extraordinary leadership – although he did – but because he was able to harness the good in both people and community, and did it by modeling it himself. If we were to give Bing a gift for his service, it would be for us to all stay close to Haley House, support its new Executive Director Reggie Jean, and to continue to love and cherish all that this organization has given us.” The Block Party was just one way to pull this community in close and recognize that we need each other to face the challenges that surround us. Looking to the future, we’re grateful for the community’s continued investment in all that Haley House stands for.

Get Involved

No matter who you are and what you have on your plate, there’s always another seat at our table. Some ways to connect with us: 

Lend a Hand:

Organize an in-kind donation drive for our most-needed items 

Join us for a volunteer shift:

  • Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry Shifts: nearly daily, mornings, year-round
  • Garden Support Shifts: weekly or monthly, afternoons, seasonal
  • Take Back the Kitchen Shifts: multiple shifts each week, mornings and afternoons, year-round


Join Us Everyday:

Follow us on social media for up-to-date information on our many events

Join us for the 15th Annual Haley House Souper Bowl


Fund our Impact:

  • Make a donation, online or by check (mail to Haley House at 23 Dartmouth St., Boston, MA 02116
  • Monthly gifts ($30, $50, $100+) ensure we can sustain our daily operations throughout the year, even when the demand is high and giving is low. Click here to set up a recurring gift.
  • Double your impact; ask your employer about a Matching Gifts Program
  • Planned gifts ensure you leave a legacy of service in your will and make your mark on the history of Haley House–talk to your estate planner or email Michelle mholcomb@haleyhouse.org if you have questions
  • Give through your Donor Advised Fund–if you use Fidelity, Schwab, or BNY Mellon, you can designate a gift here
  • Support Haley House and enjoy tax benefits by donating appreciated securities you’ve held for over a year here or contact Michelle at mholcomb@haleyhouse.org with questions

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Sample language to share with your attorney:

“I bequeath to Haley House, 23 Dartmouth Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116, [the sum of __________ Dollars ($____)] [ _______ % of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate], to be used for its general charitable purposes.”

Sample language to share with your attorney:

“I bequeath to Haley House, 23 Dartmouth Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116, [the sum of __________ Dollars ($____)] [ _______ % of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate], to be used for its general charitable purposes.”