The South End neighborhood is special for so many reasons, one of the most important of which is the way we support each other as neighbors and friends. Our neighborhood is also unique because from those that live in million dollar homes to live-in residents of our local homeless shelters, our urban community strives to be welcoming to all. A South End institution that is vital to this welcoming spirit is Haley House, whose soup kitchen has been located on the corner of Dartmouth and Montgomery streets since 1966, making it one of the oldest homeless service providers in the city.
The Haley House soup kitchen provides a healthy, made-from-scratch breakfast for men of all ages struggling with homelessness six mornings a week, lunch for food-insecure elders three afternoons a week, and a weekly food pantry. For many guests, this is the only real meal they receive each day. The meals are coordinated by the live-in residents of Haley House, as well as volunteers from the neighborhood. Guests are greeted by name and treated with respect, which feeds their souls while their bodies are being given much needed nourishment. The live-in residents of Haley House practice a form of intentional restorative justice to help resolve personal disputes among visitors and to infuse every interaction with understanding and kindness.
The soup kitchen has been operating since 1966, and out of its success has grown a variety of important programming, including the Haley House Bakery Café in Roxbury, which was first located in the storefront at 23 Dartmouth Street. The café has become well known for its delicious made-from-scratch foods, especially their baked goods, its extensive community programming, and the employment opportunities offered to those with barriers to traditional employment, especially histories of incarceration.
Our exciting two-month partnership with Haley House will focus on many fronts. First, we want to spread the word about the good work of their soup kitchen, and encourage our neighbors and customers to volunteer for a shift serving breakfast to our less fortunate neighbors. We’ll be organizing a group of UG staff to do the same.
Secondly, we want to help you learn more about the two social enterprises of Haley House, both in Roxbury: Haley House Bakery Cafe and Dudley Dough, and their excellent food. To that end, we will be holding three pop-up shops over March and April. This is a chance for you to taste their delicious goods (including their famous empanadas and chocolate chip cookies), as well as learn more about Haley House and meet some of the members of their community. The first pop-up date is an night of empanadas this Friday March 3rd from 5-8 pm, with the other dates to be announced.
Lastly, our Cheers to Community wines will provide necessary funds back to the soup kitchen. All you need to do is stop by, purchase these wines, and we will donate 10% back to Haley House. You can also donate directly via this link. Learn more about this spring’s Cheers to Community wines below!
Neighbors helping neighbors. It’s the mission of Urban Community, and we can’t think of a better partner for this spring than Haley House.