BRANCH OF THE VINCENTIAN FAMILY INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT: Sisters of Charity – Halifax
NAME OF SYSTEMIC CHANGE PROJECT: WAITT House (We’re All In This Together)
PROJECT ADDRESS: 117 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Roxbury, MA 02119
CONTACT PERSON: Mr. Stephen Hanley, Executive Director
PROJECT WEBSITE: http://www.waitthouseinc.org/
LENGTH OF TIME THE PROJECT/PROGRAM HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE: 31 years
The project began in 1979 under the leadership of the Sisters of Charity, Boston Province. Its mission is to offer adults, especially women, in the Roxbury area of Boston opportunities to improve their lives and their communities. This project meets the definition of systemic change because it enables people themselves to engage in the identification of the root causes of their poverty and to create strategies to change those structures. Its central focus is providing quality adult education, currently offering Adult Basic Skills, Boston’s External Diploma Program, Financial Literacy, Career Awareness, Computer Literacy, Counseling and Support Services, a Community and lifeskills project, Diploma Plus (a transition to college component) and a support group for male participants.
The project began by gathering residents of neighborhoods oppressed by poverty and crime to hear their stories. Project participants and Vincentian family member together developed the project. Needs for literacy and for high school equivalency were great. Programs were developed. For over 20 years the WAITT House program has involved learner leadership at every level: volunteer, student advisory council, internship, staff, community activism, and the governing level. Participants are involved in advocating at the State House for funds for such programs. Today, Project Participants fill leadership roles with Vincentian family member serving as advisor. This project has been developing for 31 years. The Center is now run by a board of directors and is financed by numerous grants from government and from foundations
WAITT House is well respected in the community. It has produced the highest number of graduates among adult literacy programs in Boston and has maintained a 96% placement rate of its graduates into college, jobs or skills training. Most participants feel empowered to continue to work for needed changes. WAITT House works to bring adults from different cultures together to bring about positive change – for themselves, their families and their neighborhoods.
Sally McLaughlin, SC provided this information and can be contacted at: