Nature and Purpose
Haley House's roots have been nurtured by the personalist tradition of the Catholic Worker Movement. As a community and as individuals we struggle to carry out our double mandate: to minister to the needs of society's forgotten people, to challenge and offer alternatives to the attitudes, institutions, and structures that create and perpetuate suffering and violence. We believe that an individual will be better equipped to help himself or herself if (s)he receives the respect that every human being deserves. This atmosphere is fostered in all aspects of Haley House. A few of our programs include:
Meals Program: Our soup kitchen is open 6 days a week - serving 6 breakfasts and one lunch for men, and 3 afternoon meals for the elderly. During meal shifts, students will assist in the preparation and serving of food, cleaning, and building relationships with the guests. Building relationships with guests is the goal. Many guests are homeless and all are economically or socially disadvantaged. A variety of reasons create one's homeless status, such as various addictions, serious psychological problems, or sudden financial difficulties. Some have marginal or temporary employment but do not earn enough income to afford permanent housing.
Meal shifts are: Monday-Friday (Breakfast from 5:30am to 10:00am; and Tuesday, Thursday afternoon elderly meals from 1:30pm to 5:00pm). We reserve about one half hour at the end of each shift to reflect on each volunteer's experience.
Haley House Bakery Café: Bakery trainees learn job and baking skills in the real-work world of our innovative social enterprise. Volunteers help with all the tasks of operating a model bakery café serving healthy food in the ethnically diverse neighborhood of Dudley Square, from washing dishes to marketing.
Food Pantry: We distribute food and fresh produce to low-income families and individuals, with few requirements, on Wednesdays from 9:30am to 1:30pm.
Low-Income Housing: Haley House has several buildings in Boston with low-income housing units. Often there are opportunities to befriend some of the tenants who may be struggling with various living tasks, or are just lonely.
Youth Culinary Classes: In 2005, Haley House began partnering with the McKinley School to provide at-risk students with basic domestic food-preparation skills in order to help them on the road to independence. Our chef at the Bakery Café now also offers youth cooking classes structured around more specific issues such as obesity and interethnic understanding. Our culinary classes are a unique way to develop mentoring relationships with at-risk youth, while also teaching them a vital life skill.
Tasks and Expectations
PULSE students have one morning kitchen meal shift each week as well as a second shift in another service area (with the Corner Bakery Shop, the Bakery program, the Food Pantry, low-income housing, or office administration).