Celebrating 25 Years

Founded in 1993, St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children celebrates 25 years of service to the community—building on a rich history of caring for young mothers and their children in Dorchester that dates back nearly 150 years. Today, St. Mary’s continues to serve as a safety net for vulnerable families and children—providing a haven and home as well as life-changing programs and services.


Early 1990’s—During the early 1990’s and in a controversial move, all operations of St. Margaret’s Hospital located on Jones Hill in Uphams Corner are moved to the new Women’s Health Pavilion at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton.

St. Mary’s Home remains on the Dorchester campus providing support to pregnant, teen girls who have been displaced from their homes.

1993: Joyce A. Murphy is appointed St. Mary’s Executive Director, the agency’s first president.

1994: A $2.5 million redevelopment project begins to transform the campus.

1995: St. Mary’s establishes Margaret’s House, immediately providing 26 families with transitional and emergency shelter.

1996: Bridge Home is established and was the first of its kind program in Massachusetts and a model for other emergency shelter programs that provide a safe place for children to call home.

1996: Judy Beckler is appointed President.

1998: Women@Work a job-readiness training program is launched for St. Mary’s residents and women of the community.

2002: Women’s Learning Center is established to support women’s educational achievements including obtaining high school degrees.

2006: St. Mary’s takes on GRLZ Radio, an empowering, employment and afterschool development program for at-risk teenage girls, training 100 teens a year in all aspects of radio programming.

2012: Crossroads Family Center located in East Boston becomes St. Mary’s Center’s seventh program and fourth residential shelter, expanding the agency’s reach and service area.

2013: St. Mary’s Center appoints a third president, Deirdre Houtmeyers.

Upham’s Crossing formerly St. Kevin’s

2014: St. Mary’s Center partners with the Planning Office for Urban Affairs to provide 33 families with affordable housing units in Dorchester’s Uphams Corner neighborhood via Uphams Crossing in the former St. Kevin’s Parish.

2016: Mass Maternity First Home a transitional supportive housing program for 12 families opens its doors and becomes St. Mary’s Center’s eighth program.

Amazon’s Delivering Smiles, Fall Fun Festival

2017: Amazon pledges a million-dollar match gift challenge to help prevent family homelessness. St. Mary’s Center is only the third organization in the country to receive a million-dollar gift from Amazon and the only one in the Northeast.

2018: St. Mary’s Center meets and exceeds Amazon’s million-dollar match challenge.

St. Mary’s Center 2018
St. Mary’s 1994
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