Project Hope was founded in 1981 when the Little Sisters of the Assumption opened the doors of their Magnolia Street convent so homeless women and children could live with them. Over the years, Project Hope’s mission expanded beyond sheltering families and providing childcare to a multi-service agency at the forefront of efforts in Boston to move families up and out of poverty. This is our journey through Project Hope’s history.
The Little Sisters of the Assumption arrive in Dorchester providing home health and social work services in neighborhood residents’ homes and assisting families who were experiencing crisis.
The Sisters open their doors to homeless women and children establishing themselves as Project Hope, House Open People Enter. Project Hope became one of Boston’s first family shelters providing housing services, a food pantry and childcare.
Continuing to respond to the issues impacting the shelter residents, Project Hope establishes new programs to address education, affordable housing and childcare needs.
Working in collaboration with families and community partners, Project Hope further empowers families by providing career exploration, job development programs and opportunities for higher education.
Putting its energies into building strong collaborations and advocacy networks, Project Hope expands its housing and job training services to the community. As the needs of families grew, so did Project Hope. Moving its programs to a new location at 550 Dudley Street increased the ability to expand programming and improved the presence in the community.
Project Hope built its new, green Community Building from the ground up and opened the doors in October 2006. The Community Building is its public site, where residents throughout the community take basic education and ESOL classes, learn job readiness and resume writing skills, sign up for financial literacy and affordable housing workshops, and earn the credentials needed to start their own childcare business. The former convent on Magnolia Street is a private residence for eleven women and their children, and is also home to the Project Hope Children’s Center.
Project Hope established the Speakers Bureau in 2008 composed of current and former participants who want to develop their communication skills and use those skills to educate the community about issues of poverty and homelessness. Project Hope continues to work with families to develop stronger, more integrated programs to ensure they are on their path out of poverty.