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Renewal House

Nature and Purpose

Renewal House, a program of the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry, is a domestic violence shelter for individuals and families in crisis. We provide an atmosphere of safety and hope in which physical, emotional and spiritual needs all are considered significant in the healing process. Renewal House provides shelter and services to both men and women, and our staff is knowledgeable about domestic violence issues specific to the LGBTQ community. 


Since 1980, Renewal House has provided temporary emergency shelter and advocacy services to more than 1,000 individuals and families escaping domestic violence.  Renewal House provides one-on-one advocacy that addresses the particular needs of each individual or family, including public assistance as well as connecting residents to area programs that offer financial assistance, legal services, job training and education, counseling, health and dental services and childcare.  Renewal House also leads and facilitates community-based domestic violence support groups. Topics include self-discipline, developing healthy relationships, stress managements and budgeting.



Students at Renewal House will work in conjunction with parents and children in the shelter.  They will interact on a daily basis with children that have experienced significant trauma and have witnessed violence.  Students will work on developing healthy relationships with the children, help the children to develop age appropriate interactions with others and healthy boundaries.  They will participate in our ongoing art therapy and movement program. Students may also be given the opportunity to work with parents about developing a nurturing relationship with their children outside of a violent relationship.  Proficiency in Spanish is helpful.

Time Requirement

Students at Renewal House will be at the ESL program two times per week.  Available shifts include: Mondays and Wednesdays 9am-1pm, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings 4pm-8pm, every other Sunday 4-8pm, and occasional Saturday responsibilities.

*Mandatory Fall Training Dates for all RH volunteers:
         - Tuesdays, October 6, 13, 20, 27, and November 3 from 6-9pm. AND
         - Saturday October 15 from 9am-5pm.


PULSE students will have a staff member in the shelter with them at all times. The students will also have monthly supervision with the shelter director. In October, the students will attend a volunteer training to support their work at Renewal House.


Rev. Susan Chorley, Director

confidential location in Roxbury
(617) 277-4194

Council Member
Kasey Jong