Since 1974, Heading Home has provided emergency, transitional, and permanent housing solutions to homeless and formerly homeless families and individuals in Boston and surrounding communities.
CEO Danielle Ferrier refers to Heading Home as a “both/and” agency, with its unique focus on individuals and families, and provision of both housing and supportive services, including life skills, financial literacy, and job training. More than 1,400 clients benefit each year, including 500 households that are living stably. “Our job is to help folks move out of shelter, stay housed, and access the services they need to live independently at their fullest,” says Danielle.
During fiscal year 2021, single mothers led 90% of the 423 families supported in Heading Home programs. Ranging from infants to the elderly, 82% of clients identified as non-white and/or Hispanic/Latinx.
The Davis family first began supporting Heading Home in 1994. “Putting a roof over someone’s head and providing them with the services they need to remain secure in their housing is enormously transformative,” says Jon Davis. “It breaks a cycle and provides them with the stability to be more successful in their lives. Heading Home was an early leader in the provision of wrap-around services, designed not only to get, but to keep, its clients out of homelessness.”
“Heading Home was an early leader in the provision of wrap-around services, designed not only to get, but to keep, its clients out of homelessness.”Jon Davis
The Davis’ commitment to Heading Home is a multigenerational one. Stephen Davis joined the organization’s board of directors in 2015, and now serves as Chair. “Stephen understands the nuance and complexity of what we’re trying to build for the greater good,” says Danielle, pointing to the value of his real estate expertise. When Heading Home set out to develop the city’s largest dedicated location for permanent supportive housing, Stephen’s experience informed efforts to navigate the permitting process and gain approval through the zoning board, she adds.
Family members, together with their professional colleagues, also regularly participate in Heading Home’s “Up and Out” program, whereby volunteers spend a day preparing a new home for individuals and families moving out of shelter. The volunteers do everything from purchasing towels, furniture, housewares, books, and toys, to stocking the refrigerator and making beds. “Heading Home’s hands-on approach to engaging donors in its work—and in people’s lives—is a powerful part of what makes it unique,” says Molly Davis Macleod.
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