City Mission Society of Boston (CMS) is the oldest multi-service agency in New England. They have been offering assistance to low-income and marginalized men, women, and children in Boston since 1816. They try to offer a vision of wholeness of human life against the realities of economic, racial and social injustice.
The services provided by DMS reach over 4,500 people each year. As a multi-service agency, CMS has three focus areas for its programming: Homelessness Prevention, Youth Peace Promotion, and Faith and Community Engagement. While addressing distinct issues, the three focus areas overlap to form a coherent whole. Below is some information on each:
- Homelessness Prevention
- CMS devotes its resources to identifying and assisting families and individuals who are at risk of homelessness, as it is far more caring and cost-effective to intervene before someone needs to become re-housed.
- The Emergency Needs Network (ENN)
- assists some of Greater Boston’s most vulnerable individuals and families who are in crisis due to illness, unemployment, low income, or sudden emergencies. Financial assistance is available on a one-time basis to resolve an immediate problem. Information, referral and advocacy services assist clients to identify resources which may provide long-term assistance.
- A Lift Up
- serves female-headed households, providing flexible funding and up to a year of case management to assure that they remain in stable housing and to support them on the path to economic self-sufficiency.
- Youth Peace Promotion
- CMS provides educational and recreational activities that encourage youth to play a positive role in their communities.
- Humboldt Youth Partnering for Empowerment (H.Y.P.E.)
- a cooperative effort with four churches in the Humboldt Avenue neighborhood of Roxbury. It exposes young people to positive role models while learning useful life skills and violence prevention techniques.
- The Peace Workshops
- based on the CMS-produced video “Jahmol’s Vision for Youth Peace.” The Workshops aim to reach at-risk youth and promote non-violence, using as an example the video, which focuses on the challenge facing a group of young people to promote peace in the climate of escalating teen handgun violence.
- Faith and Community Engagement
- CMS invites religious congregations and other groups to take part in service projects that challenge their notion of “who is my neighbor” while they work and learn in the neighborhoods of Boston.
- Boston Urban Outreach
- brings together groups of youth and adults from all over the country to perform service projects, worship together, and learn first-hand about social justice issues. Day-long, overnight and extended stay programming is available. Groups stay at a local inner-city church, gaining a unique opportunity to develop new relationships and experience what it means to serve others.
- The Christmas Shop
- brings the joy of the holiday season to over a thousand children and adults in the Boston area. Each year more than 200 volunteers gather and distribute over 10,000 toys and clothing items directly to CMS clients and other families in crisis.
- Vacation Bible School
- a partnership between CMS and local churches that provides urban kids with the opportunity to learn about God’s love while enjoying the arts, music and each other. VBS uses hands-on activities to help at-risk young people develop their individual talents and creative gifts.
For 2008 our contribution to CMS was toward their ongoing important work, with special emphasis toward Humboldt Youth Partnering for Empowerment (H.Y.P.E.).
Their address is: 14 Beacon Street, Suite 203, Boston, MA 02108
Their Phone is: 617-742-6830
Their website is: City Mission Society of Boston (www.cmsboston.org)
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