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ABCD Dorchester Neighborhood Service Center

Nature and Purpose

Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) was incorporated in 1962, as a precursor to the national War on Poverty and part of a national movement to end the hopeless and debilitating effects of poverty.

Today ABCD serves more than 94,000 low-income Boston-area residents through its central offices and network of Neighborhood Service Centers (NSCs), Head Start centers, Family Planning sites and Foster Grandparent sites. Programs and affiliations include Fuel Assistance; Head Start; Child Care Services; Education; Career Development; Housing and Homelessness Services; Health Services; Family Planning; Urban College of Boston; University High – an Alternative High School; Ostiguy High School for high school students in recovery; Weatherization; Foster Grandparents; Elder Services; Intergenerational Programs; Food Pantries; advocacy and consumer services.

The Dorchester Neighborhood Service Center is one of 14 Neighborhood based centers that carry out the mission of ABCD throughout Boston. Clients receive services in the center, and also are referred to programs within the ABCD citywide network when appropriate.

Current Programs and Services

Since 1966 the Dorchester NSC has provided food, education, job training and jobs, advocacy and income relief for thousands of its residents. Today more than 2,000 households annually receive basic emergency supports of food, clothing and housing support, assistance applying for food stamp, Mass Health, fuel assistance, summer job and tax benefits.

We also provide an expanded training and education program for families. These trainings cover a range of necessary educational topics like child safety and food safety, but will place heavy emphasis on financial literacy and job skills.

We provide year round care for 50 school age children in our Youth Academy focusing on Health and Nutrition, Education and Character.

Families from the DHS Youth Academy are a priority and receive a range of ABCD services.

The program focuses on the following areas:

  • Education
  • School Year Academic Program
  • Academic Tutors and research based curriculum
  • Summer Literacy Retention Program
  • Financial Skills and Entrepreneurship training
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Gardening
  • Cooking
  • Fitness
  • Character
  • Presentation and public speaking skills
  • Honesty, Service and Perseverance

Our DHS Youth Academy “Seed to Table” curriculum integrates the knowledge of urban gardening with nutrition and basic cooking skills.

We also have a school year literacy support program to help students develop reading skills and a summer literacy retention program to prevent the literacy gap. Children in the program will receive homework support from college students and college bound high school students.


PULSE students will be cross trained to assist in all of our seasonal programming. In September and October they can participate in our after school program. In November and December PULSE students can assist with processing home heating aid applications and distributing Thanksgiving meals and Christmas toys. January begins our volunteer driven tax preparation season and in February teens begin applying for summer jobs. All programs will require PULSE participants to work directly with Dorchester residents, provide intake and assessments of families, enter data of information gathered and analyze the kinds of needs that they see with families in order to improve and customize the services offered by the DNSC. Each student may also work on a unique project of interest to them.