Civic Engagement

Neighborhood Response Team (NRT)



Email: (Bowdoin-Geneva); (Mattapan)


The Neighborhood Response Team (NRT), a cross-departmental group representing Public Works, Transportation, Inspectional Services, and the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, seeks to address the local and specific issues affecting Boston's neighborhoods. Meeting with residents, community organizations, and numerous municipal bodies, the Team will focus on basic city services and improvements such as street lighting and sidewalk repairs, prioritizing trash and debris removal, and cracking down on problem properties and health and safety violations.

As of Nov. 2011, there are three regular NRT meetings, to address Mattapan, Codman Square, and Four Corners; Dudley Square and Blue Hill Ave.; and the Bowdoin-Geneva areas. The meetings are co-chaired, with one chair representing an official body (such as the Office of Health and Human Services) and other representing area residents. 

The Mattapan/Codman Square/Four Corners meeting covers city services, with (as of Nov. 2011) a noted emphasis on foreclosure/absenteeism.

Likewise, the Dudley/Blue Hill Ave. meeting covers city services. Prostitution is seen to be particularly bad problem in the area and many interdepartmental actions have worked to address this issue (as of Nov. 2011).

The Bowdoin-Geneva meeting incorporates human services in addition to city services, with an emphasis on youth development and violence prevention -- specifically, the Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative. See a release on the formation of the Bowdoin-Geneva NRT here.

Key Partners: 

City Agencies:

Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Transportation Department, Boston Center for Youth and Families, Code Enforcement, Department of Neighborhood Development, Inspectional Services, Jobs and Community Services, Office of Human Services, Office of Neighborhood Services, Mayor's Office, Public Works Department, others?


Community Organizations and Collaborations:

Bowdoin Geneva Violence Intervention and Prevention, Upham's Corner Violence Intervention and Prevention,
United Neighbors Association (UNA), 4-Street Crime Watch, 

Bird Street Community Center, College Bound Dorchester, Family Nurturing Center, Roxbury Resource Center,


Faith-based: First Parish Church in Dorchester, St. Peter's Parish, 


Main Streets:

Bowdoin-Geneva Main Street
Four Corners Main Street


Bowdoin Street Health Center

Partial list!

Key Programs Offered: 

Biweekly meetings; neighborhood walkthroughts; forum for cross-departmental, cross-sector collaboration and neighborhood improvement.


Greater Grove Hall Main Streets




The Greater Grove Hall Main Streets is committed to supporting the Grove Hall area commercial district through marketing, technical assistance and organizing. GGHMS promotes Grove Hall's diverse business district while maintaining the neighborhood’s historical character. We encourage innovative and creative techniques for fostering economic development that enriches the lives of business owners, employees and residents of our community. 


Greater Grove Hall Main Streets
320B Blue Hill Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02121
United States
Key Partners: 

Neighborhood Development Corporation of Grove Hall

Project Right Inc.

Quincy Geneva / New Vision

United Housing

Prince Hall Grand Lodge


R.O.C. Neighborhood Watch

Hours of operation (or meeting times & dates): 

ROC Neighborhood Watch meets at the True Vine Church, 40 Norfolk St., Dorchester from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Third Thursday of every month.


Make our community a safe place to live, persue life goals and raise family. Reduce the occurance of violent crime in our community. Increase community engagement. Provide ongoing activities and events to increase the unity and solidarity of our community 


40 Norfolk Street
Dorchester, MA
United States
Key Programs Offered: 

ROC is about the business of maintaining a safe, clean, and closer community. Bringing back the good 'ol days when you knew who your neighbors were and you looked out for them!

We are changing mind sets one neighbor and one street at a time. We do not believe that we are alone, powerless, afraid and/ or cannot make the change necessary to solve the problem of violence on our streets!

We are made up of the residents from Norfolk St , Corbet St, Nelson St, Evans St, Crowell St, Dyer St, Stanton St, Thetford St, Capen St, Maxwell St, and Hopkins St.


Park Street Community Service Agency (CSA)

Mailing Address (if different than physical location): 

ATTN: Natalie Sheehan Dias, 
Program Director 
Park Street CSA
The Home for Little Wanderers
15 Christopher Street
Dorchester, MA 02122



Hours of operation (or meeting times & dates): 

M-F 8am – 8pm

Monthly System of Care (SOC) meetings, last Thursday of the month from 3-4:30, place TBD


CSA- to coordinate, support and empower families dealing with children’s mental health needs in addition to complex family needs.

SOC- To build an integrated system of supports and opportunities that enhance the lives of community members and to commit to collaboration with community members who are defined as residents, providers, faith-based organizations, school, state agencies, and government.


To build an integrated system of supports and opportunities that enhance the lives of community members and to commit to collaboration with community members who are defined as residents, providers, faith-based organizations, school, state agencies, and goverment.


50 Redfield Street suite 300
Boston, MA
United States
Also (or Previously) Known As...: 

Park Street CSA


Partnerships Advancing Communities Together (PACT)


(617) 748-3100 OR (617)343-4410


The mission of PACT is to increase community safety in neighborhoods by developing a comprehensive strategy that improves collaboration and effectiveness among public safety agencies, city agencies, state agencies, social service

In July 2010, the City of Boston announced its new initiative to combat gang violence by working with the families and neighbors of the area’s most dangerous offenders. Partnerships Advancing Communities Together, also known as Boston PACT, arose out of the increase in random, senseless youth violence where more and younger innocent bystanders were being shot and killed in Boston. PACT has identified 200 to 300 of the city’s some 3,500 gang affiliates, and has distributed the list of high-risk individuals to law enforcement and social service agencies so that the groups can work together to support the individuals, their family members and neighborhoods. The hope is that, through social and financial support, the community along with city, state and federal officials can provide incentive to draw people out of gangs or keep them from joining in the first place. 

Key Partners: 
  • Boston Police Department
  • Boston Public Schools
  • Boston Public Health Commission
  • Boston Center for Youth and Families
  • Suffolk County Sheriff's Department
  • Executive Office of Health and Human and Services (EOHHS)
  • Department of Youth Services
  • Mayor's Office
  • Governor's Office
  • Suffolk District Attorney's Office
  • United States Attorney's Office
  • Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS)
  • Probation
Key Programs Offered: 
Youth Outreach
  • 90% of youth identified by BPD as most likely to be a victim or perpetrator of a violent crime are connected to a trained youth worker
  • Targeted outreach focused on PACT youth who are attending an educational program, participating in job training or working.
  • Initial efforts to identify and support younger siblings of PACT youth

Community Safety Task Forces

  • Academy/Bromley/Egleston
  • Dudley Square
  • Grove Hall
  • South End
  • Washington Street Corridor

Other Resources
– Housing
– Training capability
– Funds for programs and activities
– Specialists / technical assistanc 


Haitian Health Institute (Boston Medical Center)




617.414 3810


HHI's mission is to research unmet needs, identify gaps in services and evaluate existing programs for efficiency of service. HHI also links the Haitian Diaspora to public health initiatives and health care resources through translation. Regular activities include research, evaluating existing programs, networking with other organizations, community organizing, and rapid response to community health crises.


Haitian Health Institute, Boston Medical Center
771 Albany Street Dowling 4, Room 4416
Boston, MA 02118
United States
Key Partners: 

Haitian Multi Service Center (HMSC), Haitian American Public Health Initiatives (HAPHI), The Center for Community Health, Education and Research (CCHER)

Key Programs Offered: 

HHI's priority is the development of a common plan through which to improve health care and education in the Haitian community. To do so, we network between health, school, neighborhood, social service, faith-based groups and cultural agencies.

HHI physicians also investigate barriers to health care and the means of removing those barriers by collaborating with like-minded cultural institutions or state initiatives.

HHI has spent the past year researching and assessing the needs of the Haitian community members who access care through BMC and the associated Health Net. The affiliated Neighborhood Health Care (Health Net) centers at Codman Square, Mattapan, Harvard Street, Whittier Street and Upham's Corner often refer Haitian American children and adults to BMC for care that is not available at the clinic locations. Although this extensive network of resources and providers offers an unparalleled opportunity to develop a hub through which to link services and information to Haitian patients using BMC or the neighborhood health care centers, the task of providing culturally and linguistically competent services continues to fall upon a few Haitian health care providers.

The Haitian Health Institute continues to work to meet the health needs of the Haitian community including the organizational and networking requirements of the Haitian community agencies.


Haitian American Public Health Initiatives


(617) 298-8076


(617) 296-1570


HAPHI is a minority run, non-profit agency dedicated to providing members of the Haitian-American community in Metro Boston with culturally and linguistically accessible information and services to improve their health and wellbeing. Located in Mattapan, HAPHI was founded in 1989 by a group of Haitian-American health care professionals to address pressing public health issues confronting Boston's Haitian community. HAPHI has grown tremendously and today provides a comprehensive range of prevention, education, and direct service programs to Haitian-Americans from the greater metropolitan area of Boston. Several of its programs serve Haitian Americans throughout New England.


1464 Blue Hill Ave
Mattapan, MA 02126
United States
Key Partners: 


New Routes/Twa Zanmi

The Twa Zanmi (Three Friends) Project brings together three partners to address stigma associated with mental illness in the Haitian community. The partners include the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), a joint program of the University of Massachusetts Boston and the world-renowned Children’s Hospital Boston, the Haitian American Public Health Initiative (HAPHI) and Camera Mosaique, a weekly educational TV Show produced by the Haitian Media Network. Twa Zanmi is conceived as a community-directed television program) that will follow the lives of three recent Haitian immigrants who experience depression and anxiety as a result of relocation and the accompanying social isolation, loss of identity, and separation from family and friends.

Mutual Assistance Association (MAA Coalition)
The MAA coalition is made up of over 12 Community Based Minority Organizations. The mission of the coalition is to promote solidarity and collaboration among grassroots Community Based Minority Organizations (Combs) serving refugees and immigrants to provide and strengthen a voice for these communities in Massachusetts.  The MAA Coalition is committed to advocating for their communities through capacity building,  leadership development, and addressing needs through the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

Key Programs Offered: 


English as a Second Language (ESL)
The adult Education Program currently serves 40 students in any given day through 2 classes from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The low intermediate level meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and the intermediate level meets Tuesday and Thursday. The lack of available adult education classes is very obvious in Mattapan. The Adult Education Program emphasizes the establishment of linkages with local adult education and skills training programs, employers, colleges and universities, to ensure a continuum of services for learners and to facilitate "next steps" for program graduates. This includes developing referral relationships and formal collaborations.

Citizenship project
Currently HAPHI is providing citizenship classes on Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursdays 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The current citizenship class has a bilingual curriculum that includes a naturalization process overview and units on personal, application, and general questions; American History; Government; Elected Officials; how to fill out the N400 application form; the interview process; and civic participation. 

HAPHI assists students through the entire process providing class instruction,  advocacy with the INS or referral to legal services, and mock interview tutoring. Student materials include a bilingual textbook, N400 application forms, and an interview practice audiotape. We encourage students to be independent and take charge of their naturalization. In class, students are instructed on how to complete the N-400 application forms and then they fill out their own N-400's. Audiotapes make it possible for students to practice at home on their own.

Civic Engagement Initiative (CEI)
The goal of CEI is to integrate voter education into HAPHI’s current programs, register participants to vote; solicit volunteers to conduct Voter registration drives; design neighborhood campaign; hold workshops on voting and educate on why it is important to vote; conduct drives at supermarkets, stores, intersections and community events; and continue to recruit and train volunteers. The project also provides training for community residents, staff and volunteers on civic engagement during annual meeting.

Program to Enhance Elder Services (PEERS)

PEERS Program conducts community outreach, advocacy, referral and others education and support services for elders. The overall program objectives are to strengthen the existing coordination and collaboration between refugee and elder services providers in Boston to address unmet needs of refugees and asylees  60 years of age or older who have not yet attained citizenship status. 

Services Objectives:

  • To identify refugee elders who have lost, are at risk of losing, or are ineligible for SSI and/or other federal benefits;
  • To assess their service needs;
  • To develop individualized service plans in conjunction with these refugees;
  • To provide them with transitional social services including access to emergency food, shelter and medical care as needed;
  • To promote intergeneration  connection between refugee elders and their grandchildren;
  • To link the refugee elders to employment and volunteer opportunities that promote leadership and enhance independent living;
  • To refer them to other needed services; and,
  • To provide them with naturalization services in order to maintain their eligibility for benefits and address long-term self-sufficiency nee

MA Medicare/Medicaid Outreach and Education (MORE) Program 
The program is designed to improve access to quality health care services among limited English proficiency (LEP) Haitian elders by increasing knowledge, awareness among LEP Haitian elders. The general goal of the program is to make hard to reach LEP Haitian elders aware of their eligibility for benefits and provide them with information about Medicare and Medicaid: abuse, fraud and errors.

Neighborhood Walk Program
The Neighborhood Walk Program is designed to encourage community members to walk together to improve their health.

Food Distribution Services

HAPHI works with Greater Boston Food Bank and provides limited food distribution to its clients and the larger community.


Weed and Seed


Weed and Seed, a community-based strategy sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), is an innovative, comprehensive multiagency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and community revitalization. Weed and Seed is foremost a strategy—rather than a grant program—that aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang violence.

The strategy involves a two-pronged approach: law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in "weeding out" violent criminals and drug abusers and public agencies and community-based private organizations collaborate to "seed" much-needed human services, including prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood restoration programs. A community-oriented policing component bridges the weeding and seeding elements. 

Key Partners: 

Dorchester's Weed and Seed Sites:

Grove Hall Safe Neighborhood Initiative (Project RIGHT, Mass Housing, Boston Police District B-2 & additional partners) to reduce crime, improve the quality of life, and to increase the efficiency of local criminal justice operations within the Grove Hall area. Meets 2nd Thursday of each month from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Grove Hall Community Center on Geneva Avenue. Contact Michael Kozu (617-541-5454, ext. 5 for details. Grove Hall is a graduated Weed and Seed site.

Washington Corridor/Talbot Weed & Seed, Safe Neighborhood Initiative: Washington/Talbot Weed & Seed group meets the fourth Tuesday of each month from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. The location changes monthly. Boston Police District B-3 attends these meetings. W&S information is mostly communicated via email. To be added to the email list, contact Paul Malkemes (617-929-0925;


Sustainability Guild International


(877) 797-7938 OR (617) 930-6508


(857) 366 4292


Sustainability Guild International is a Dorchester-based social enterprise dedicated to inner city sustainability and innovation. Their Vision in Action strategy for a Sustainable Metroscape guides the design and piloting of collaborative sustainable development solutions that promote equity, health, beauty, and prosperity.


Venture Development Center
100 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125-3393
United States
Key Partners: 

UMass Boston

Key Programs Offered: 



In June/July 2012, Sustainability Guild launched the 100 for 100 initiative.  100 for 100 engages 100 inner city residents in 100 sustainability projects and programming for environmental, economic, and social opportunity creation involving:

Living Walls | Upcycling | Energy | Community Cafe - in partnership with the Dorchester Community Food Co-op | Arts, Culture & Wellness | Sustainable Design.



International Peer-Reviewed Journals

Our publications build core knowledge and provide insight that guides holistic strategy, action, outcomes and innovation. The Guild FOCUS journal series emphasizes key issues in sustainability from institutional and organizational perspectives. The Guild CULTURE journal series examines sustainability from broad, social and cultural perspectives. Guild journals promote critical discourse through in-depth articles, interviews, case studies, program profiles, opportunities, technology assessments and book reviews.

Digital Library Series (DLS)

Our DLS publications provide deeper insight into sustainability topics and issues that emerge from our research, journals and collaborations. Leveraging the deep insight and experiences of a diverse array of strategic leaders and scholars, the series features case-study-framed examinations of quantified outcomes, emerging issues and innovation.

Arts Engaged

Reaching out to stakeholders of the art world, Sustainability Guild International seeks to determine how the players in arts and culture are involved with society, sustainability and social projects. By publishing data and articles online, holding online exhibits, holding annual events and more, the Guild will make known the points of intersection between the arts and society.


FAMILY, inc.


(617) 969-1454

Hours of operation (or meeting times & dates): 


Codman Square Health Council Meeting
  • Third Thursday of every month
  • Codman Square Health Center (637 Washington Street, Dorchester) Board Room

To create secure and nurturing environments of mutual support in which all children and families can thrive. A community organizing system, we create partnerships with individuals and institutions to connect educational, health care, economic, and other systems to collaboratively create healthy, safe, sustainable communities throughout the world.

Our values:
  • Every person is valued: from the youngest to the oldest, from the richest to the poorest
  • For healthy development, all children need to be nurtured through intergenerational relationships;
  • Harmonious support systems enhance the lives of children and families within the community;
  • Society’s systems should be in harmony with nature’s systems;
  • We must think globally and act locally – FAMILY starts at the local level and develops sustainably;
  • We are one family.



80 Waban Hill Road
Newton, MA 02467
United States
Key Partners: 

Community Agencies and Organizations:
Artists for Humanity
BOLD Teens
Boston Neighborhood Network
City Year
Codman Square Merchants Association
Codman Square Neighborhood Council
Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corp.
Dorchester Neighborhood Service Center
Roxbury Youth Works


Education Institutions:
City and State Departments
Mayor Menino
Boston Police Department 
Boston Public Health Commission
Department of Youth Services
Business Community
Valvoline, Inc.
Mount Washington Bank
Silverbrook Farm
Coutinho Farm
Partners in Haiti:
Community Agencies and Organizations 
Association of Schools and Teachers
City Of Verrettes
Caisse Populaire Solidarite Des Verrettes (Bank)
ODKM (Desarmes)
MCC Desarmes
Faith in Action International
Societe D’exportation de Fruits et Legumes
The Haiti Connection
Education Institutions:
DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Tuskegee University
University of Fondwa
Ecole Normale de Liancourt (Local Teachers College)
Ecole Providence
Government Agencies:
Bureau de District Scolaire des Verrettes
How to get involved/application guidelines and procedures: 

The individuals and families who take part in FAMILY are invited to become members of FAMILY. They are not clients, but members. The benefits of membership will vary from one individual and family to another, depending on their needs, but the major benefit is the security of being part of a caring network of mutual support.

The mission of FAMILY is global, and our vision is for its concept to spread in very natural ways. We are eager to engage in dialogue about all aspects of FAMILY, including potential areas of collaboration with interested parties. We invite you to join us.

Key Programs Offered: 

FAMILY works at both the level of the individual and the organization, in both Codman Square, Dorchester, and in Haiti:

  • We connect individuals with existing resources in the community so that they are surrounded by a uniquely tailored network of mutual support. To do this, we place FAMILY Advocates into strategic locations within the community to work directly with children and their families.
  • We partner with organizations to enhance their capacity to provide effective support to children and families by eliminating redundancy, improving community responsiveness, and sharing resources. To do this, our Director of Community Organization convenes gatherings with partner organizations where effective strategizing can occur. 
Also (or Previously) Known As...: 

Fathers And Mothers Infants eLders and Youth

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