Media Coverage

Joyce A. Murphy. Photo courtesy St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children.

Canton resident to be honored for work at Dorchester women’s center

By Tréa Lavery The Patriot Ledger

Posted Jun 14, 2018 at 4:24 PM

Canton resident Joyce Murphy, founding president of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, will be honored this October at the center’s Diamonds of Dorchester event with the John Corcoran Award for Excellence.

Murphy helped establish St. Mary’s in 1993 on the campus of the former St. Margaret’s Hospital, when the hospital’s operations were moved to St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton.

Amazon makes good on $1 million pledge to St. Mary’s in Dorchester

By Tim Logan GLOBE STAFF  JUNE 04, 2018

St. Mary’s Center in Dorchester just received its biggest donation ever, from one of the world’s biggest companies.

Amazon said Monday that it will give the family homeless shelter and social service center $1 million, making good on a pledge last fall to match up to $1 million in donations. The combined $2 million will go toward a community resource center St. Mary’s hopes to build on its Jones Hill campus, offering legal help, domestic violence counseling, and other services for both St. Mary’s residents and the neighborhood at large.

“When Amazon approached us and gave us this tremendous opportunity, we began to think about the impact we could have on so many levels,” said St. Mary’s Center’s chief executive, Deirdre Houtmeyers. “It has been amazing.”

Nonprofit gets boost from Amazon

By DONNA GOODISON |PUBLISHED: October 13, 2017 at 12:00 am | UPDATED: November 17, 2018 at 12:00 am

(10/12/2017- Boston, MA) St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children President and CEO Deirdre Houtmeyers speaks about a partnership with Amazon at a press conference at the center’s Dorchester headquarters on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Staff Photo by Matt West

Amazon is giving St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children the biggest corporate gift in the Dorchester nonprofit’s 24-year history.

The online retail giant will match donations up to $1 million to St. Mary’s Center, which will use the proceeds to help fund a new resource center.

St. Mary’s works with families — mostly young mothers and their children — who have experienced homelessness, poverty, trauma, abuse and profound neglect. It has five residential and three employment, education and prevention programs.

CityLine and the Power of Radio: GRLZ Radio

BOSTON —Danielle Johnson, also known as DJ Ms. Hot Sauce discusses GRLZ Radio in Dorchester and helping young girls amplify their voices.

Amazon donating $1 million to Dorchester nonprofit

By Tim Logan GLOBE STAFF  OCTOBER 12, 2017

Amazon is still in the early stages of deciding whether it might bring a massive “second headquarters” to Boston. But the tech giant came to Dorchester Thursday with a big check.

The company said it will donate $1 million to St. Mary’s Center, a nonprofit in Upham’s Corner that provides housing, job training, and other services to homeless families. It’s the biggest gift ever received by the social service agency and comes ahead of its annual fund-raiser next week, which will be headlined by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. Amazon said it will match donations up to $1 million.

What it’s like to be homeless during the holidays?

The Boston Globe – DECEMBER 26, 2016

Christmas is hard, Dorice M. said.

Dorice M. struggled to make ends meet while taking care of her children and working near-minimum-wage jobs for 10 or 12 hours a day. But when she became unemployed, times grew more dire for the 42-year-old and her two youngest children, a 12-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl.

Dorice and her kids ended up sleeping in the emergency room at Boston Medical Center for two nights this year. She then qualified for emergency housing assistance from the state, and was placed at a shelter at St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in Dorchester.

Dorchester’s GRLZ Radio wins national awards

GRLZ Radio participants including (l-r) Saun Green, Danielle Johnson, Michelle Novelle, Taja Boone, and Fatima Doumbia celebrated their awards at the Golden Mic Award Ceremony earlier this month.

By Reporter Staff
March 30, 2017

Dorchester’s own GRLZradio program, a youth development program and 24/7 web-based radio station ( based in St. Mary’s Center on Jones Hill, won two awards and was a finalist in a total of three categories at the 77th Annual International Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) Conference and Golden Mic Award Ceremony this month.

GRLZradio was awarded two golden microphone trophies, winning Best Public Service Announcement and Best Use of Facebook and was a finalist for Best Use of Instagram.

4 Your Community: St. Mary’s Center For Women And Children

WBZ News Weekends 2016

Deirdre Houtmeyers talks about St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, which helps families break the cycle of poverty.

WBZ Cares: St. Mary’s Center Graduates Women From Education And Job Training Programs

July 27, 2016 at 4:00 am

Marisa Centeio, Women’s Learning Center Graduate at St. Mary’s (Photo Credit: St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children )

BOSTON (CBS) – St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in Dorchester not only provides housing for young women and their children, they also provide job training for those women who otherwise might not be able to make it on their own.

Yanira Ayala is among the recent graduates from the center’s Women At Work Plus program.

“I really love it,” said Yanira. “I really love that I took this opportunity for Women at Work. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be doing anything right now, and that’s not good.”

Kenzie Ramirez is another grateful graduate of St. Mary’s Women at Work Program. “They are so good, they just keep pushing you and pushing you, “said Kenzie. “So I think without them no, I really wouldn’t have made it.”

NightSide – WBZ Cares – St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children

July 22, 2016 at 12:52 am

L-R- Susan Keliher, VP of Development and Communications, Deirdre Houtmeyers, President, and Dan Rea, Host on Nighttside

BOSTON (CBS) – As part of our ongoing series WBZ Cares, WBZ News Radio will be featuring a different charitable organization every month. Tonight, Dan will be join in studio by Deirdre Houtmeyers, President of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children. St. Mary’s works with women and children to help families break the cycle of poverty, providing shelter, clinical and educational services, job training, employment placing, and help finding permanent housing. Tune in to hear about the incredible work they do.

Originally broadcast July 21st, 2016.

WBZ Cares: St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children Has a Long History of Helping

July 20, 2016 at 4:00 am

Ribbon cutting for new “Mass Maternity First Home” at St. Mary’s Ctr, featuring President Dierdre Houtmeyers, Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans (Photo Credit: St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children)

BOSTON (CBS) – The WBZ Cares Campaign continues for the month of July. Each month, WBZ Newsradio 1030 highlights a worthy non-profit organization, and tells the story of what it does for the community.

This month, WBZ profiles St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in Dorchester, which provides housing, education and services for young women and their children.

St. Mary’s Center has been helping women and children for more than two decades, but it’s history dates all the way back to the 1870’s, when an infant was left on the doorstep of a local church.

WBZ Cares: Young Women Learn Valuable Skills On Internet Radio Station

July 13, 2016 at 4:00 am

St. Mary’s Ctr. President Dierdre Houtmeyers, Director Saun Green and other staff members with awards grlzradio has won (Photo Credit: St. Mary’s Center)

BOSTON (CBS) – This month, the WBZ Cares Campaign is profiling St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in Dorchester, which provides housing, education and services for young women and their families.

A unique program at St. Mary’s Center is – “GRLZ Radio,” an internet radio station based at the center, teaching high school girls some valuable skills, and helping them stay in school.

“GRLZ Radio teaches them such great skills,” says Director Saun Green. “It teaches them leadership, it teaches them research, it teaches them just how to come together and work together in a group to get things done.”

WBZ Cares: “St. Mary’s Center” in Dorchester Helps Women and Their Children

July 6, 2016 at 4:00 am

Each month, WBZ Newsradio 1030 highlights a worthy non-profit organization, and tells the story of what it does for the community.

For the month of July, WBZ profiles St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, located on Cushing Avenue in Dorchester. St. Mary’s Center provides housing, education and services for young women and their children.

The Center supports more than 600 women, children and their families by giving them a safe place to live, along with educational and employment training. They’ve been providing help for more than two decades.

Former St. Kevin’s Parish in Dorchester, Mass., Transformed Into Affordable Housing

Uphams Crossing provides housing for workforce and formerly homeless families.

July 1, 2016

By Christine Serlin

The former St. Kevin’s Parish in the Uphams Corner neighborhood of Dorchester, Mass., continues to help those in need—in its redevelopment as much-needed affordable workforce housing and permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless families.

Now known as Uphams Crossing, the 80-unit community is following in the footsteps of its predecessor, which, prior to its closing, had a long-standing mission of providing support for the homeless.

St. Mary’s Center snags $100k for new Rec Center

By Elana Aurise, Reporter Staff
June 15, 2016

St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children has secured a $100,000 grant to build a new recreation center at their Jones Hill campus. The gift is one of 100 grants given out by the Cummings Foundation, a Woburn-based philanthropy.

St. Mary’s Center stands out for its seven programs that are built on education, employment, preventative, and residential programs. Each year, more than 600 underserved families and children who may have experienced domestic abuse, trauma, poverty or homelessness receive the help and resources needed to build a brighter future for St. Mary’s.


Domingas Dos Santos is “the epitome of persistence,’’ one of her teachers said.

By Kevin Cullen GLOBE COLUMNIST  MAY 07, 2016

Every weekday, the alarm goes off at 5 a.m., and Domingas Dos Santos rolls over. Sometimes she would like to ignore it, but that’s not an option.

She taps the alarm, gets up, and gets herself ready. Then she makes breakfast for her three boys: Victor, 10, Diego, 8, and Christian, the baby, who is 4.

“With Christian, it’s eggs,” she says. “Every day, scrambled eggs. Christian’s got to have his eggs.”

Impact of Homelessness


Boston City Council

Published on Apr 14, 2016

Hearing regarding the impact of homelessness on children, young adults, and families in Boston
(Off-Site held at St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, 90 Cushing Ave, Dorchester)
Docket # 0269 – A hearing regarding the impacts of homelessness, on children, young adults and families in Boston.

Struggles of homeless aired at Jones Hill hearing

Sabrina, who lives at the St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, testified at a hearing on homelessness. At right are Boston city councilors Andrea Campbell, Frank Baker and Annissa Essaibi-George. Maddie Kilgannon photo

By Maddie Kilgannon, Special to the Reporter
April 14, 2016

City Councillor At-Large Annissa Essaibi-George and four of her colleagues heard emotional testimony on Jones Hill Tuesday evening at the second hearing of the new Committee on Homelessness, Mental Health, and Recovery at St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children on Cushing Avenue.

“When I was teaching, I had students that were homeless,” said committee chair Essaibi-George, who was a Boston public schools teacher before being elected to the Council last fall. “I didn’t realize the magnitude of the issue, particularly of family homelessness.”

Nurse Alma

Wahlberg family with production group and St. Mary’s Center staff.


Aired on: Mar 30, 2016 Duration: 21m 16s

Mark, always the prankster, finally gets a dose of his own medicine when he plays golf against Masters Champion and PGA bad boy Bubba Watson. Meanwhile, Alma, Bob and Brandon visit the former hospital where Alma use to work as a nurse and where all the Wahlberg boys were born.

Helping women, children get over life’s challenges

By Thomas Farragher GLOBE COLUMNIST  DECEMBER 22, 2015

Her name was Mary. And as much as she loved her baby, she gave birth to him at a time when many unwed mothers, especially those without means, could not keep their children.

So in the early 1930s, she entrusted her infant into the arms of caregivers at the hospital on a hill in Dorchester, where he was cared for, loved, and nurtured. Eventually, mother and son would reunite. But as the boy grew into a man — a military veteran and then a beloved teacher — he never forgot the warm kindness he received at the hospital.

And that explains why, weeks after Robert Cosmos died in October at age 83, St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children received a check from his estate for $20,000.

Groundbreaking for Women and Children’s Transitional Housing

highprofile | June 18, 2015

(l-r) Rep. Russell Holmes; Rep. Evandro Carvalho; City Councilor Frank Baker; Rep. Dan Hunt; Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry; Mayor Martin J. Walsh; Deirdre Houtmeyers, president of St. Mary’s; Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley; Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito; Yanira Ayala, resident of St. Mary’s; Nolly Corley and Anne Groves, board members of Mass. Maternity and Foundling Hospital; and Katherine A. Hesse, Esq., St. Mary’s Center Board chair.

Dorchester, MA – On June 16, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley attended the groundbreaking of a supportive housing project in Dorchester. The center, located on the campus of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, will create 12 units of transitional housing.

DMS design, llc of Beverly is the architect, and NEI General Contracting of Randolph is the general contractor. Funding was provided by the Massachusetts Maternity and Foundling Hospital, the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

Legislators push for local line items in final state budget

By Lauren Dezenski
July 16, 2015

As Gov. Charlie Baker pores over the state budget submitted by the Legislature last week, local elected officials are working hard to ensure line items that have thus far escaped a red pen make it into the final version signed into law.

Creating a Lasting Change: Women and Children’s Center Breaks the Cycle of Poverty

By Kelly Church, Mass Realty

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito

St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in Dorchester, MA works to break the cycle of poverty through emotional well-being, educational achievements, and economic independence. Every year, the Center supports 600 women and children with shelter, clinical and educational services, job training, employment placement, and search for affordable permanent housing.

St. Mary’s Center’s history began in 1874, when an abandoned baby was left on a Boston church’s doorstep. By 1902, just eight years after opening, the Center had provided care and shelter to 1,000 babies and unwed mothers that were commonly rejected by society. Over the years, St. Mary’s Center has continued to provide comfort and care for pregnant women and infants, including teenaged girls.

Jordan Knight lends a hand for center’s gala

By Meredith Goldstein GLOBE STAFF  FEBRUARY 09, 2015

Tito Jackson (left) and Jordan Knight at The Estate on Saturday.

New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight was the VIP guest at St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children’s fifth annual Dancing for Hope gala on Saturday night. The evening, held at The Estate, raised money for the Dorchester agency, which provides residential, education, and employment programs for young families affected by homelesssness, poverty, and trauma. Other guests at the party included Councilor Tito Jackson and center president Deirdre Houtmeyers. The night’s entertainment included a performance by the New England Patriots Cheerleaders.

Florian Hall fundraiser raises funds, profile for St. Mary’s Center

By Jeanette Origel, Special to the Reporter
June 12, 2014

Florian Time for St. Mary’s: Elected officials joined with organizers for a photo. John Gilloolly/PEI.

A large crowd gathered at Florian Hall last Thursday, June 5 for the Neighbors Supporting Neighbors fundraiser held to aide St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, located on Jones Hill in Dorchester.

“This is absolutely beyond our wildest dreams,” said Deirdre Houtmeyers, president of St. Mary’s Center in a speech at the Thursday night fundraiser. “When they said they wanted to do something we had no idea that so many people would come to support what we do in growth.”

Former St. Kevin’s property to become apartments

By Thomas Grillo – Real Estate Editor, Boston Business Journal
Jan 2, 2014, 1:23pm EST

An artist rendering of the former St. Kevin’s Parish in Dorchester that will become an affordable apartment community.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley and public officials gathered Tuesday to break ground on the rehabilitation of the former St. Kevin’s Parish in Dorchester.

The $36.7 million redevelopment, led by the Boston Archdiocese’ Planning Office for Urban Affairs as well as St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children and Holy Family Parish, will offer 80 affordable housing units in Dorchester’s Upham’s Corner neighborhood.

St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children Appoints New President

July 9, 2013 — St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, an anit-poverty agency based in the Dorchester section of Boston, announced that it has named Deirdre Houtmeyers, as its new president, succeeding Judy Beckler, who served in the post for 17 years.

New president chosen to lead St. Mary’s Center

By Reporter Staff
July 3, 2013

The longtime president of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children on Jones Hill will retire this year. Judy Beckler will be succeeded by Deirdre Houtmeyers, who has worked as a manager at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton for 33 years.

Air waves

They learn radio production, communication, and interviewing skills while on-air.

By Scott Helman GLOBE STAFF  MAY 12, 2013

A group of Boston teenagers, a baker’s dozen, crowds into the basement studios of WERS, the Emerson College radio station housed in the Ansin Building on Boston Common. They’re all girls, because, well, that’s the whole point. These are the future voices of GRLZ Radio, a radio station and after-school program run by St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, in Dorchester’s Uphams Corner. 

Boston tries to deter girls from violence

Grlz Radio in Dorchester has a role in the campaign for young women.

By Meghan E. Irons GLOBE STAFF  APRIL 08, 2013

The girls were all friends, police in Charlestown say. Then, one evening in February, three of them attacked a fourth. They punched her, pulled her hair, and as she lay defenseless, prosecutors said, one of the girls, 17-year-old Samantha Owen, stole $30 from the girl’s purse.

It was just one of a roster of violent crimes by girls in recent months, punctuated last week by horrific allegations that 17-year-old Samia Jones used a butcher knife to repeatedly stab a young mother in the Savin Hill section of Dorchester.

Jordan Knight joins ‘Dancing for Hope’ for St. Mary’s Center

By Staff, February 20, 2013

Master of Ceremonies, City Councilor, Tito Jackson, gets a hand from New Kid, Jordan Knight, at the 2013 Dancing for Hope fundraiser to benefit St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children. (

New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight helped raise $95,000 for St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in Dorchester at the fourth annual Dancing for Hope benefit over the weekend. The party, which drew about 500 guests (including City Councilor Tito Jackson, who helped emcee), was held at Club Royale and was chaired by Evelyn Knight and Jill Hayes.

State gives $2.7 boost to St. Kevin’s rehab

By Gintautas Dumcius
February 14, 2013

The redevelopment of the former St. Kevin’s parish property, considered crucial to the Uphams Corner area, received a boost last week as state officials announced an influx of funds for the project. The firm developing the former school building, called the St. Kevin’s Limited Partnerships, will be receiving $2.7 million in state Department of Housing and Community Development subsidies on top of $768,950 in federal low income housing tax credits.

New Kids On the Block’s Jordan Knight calls Milton ‘The Promised Land’

By Dave Eisenstadter

Town Corresponded  February 6, 2013 09:00 AM

As one of the New Kids on the Block, Jordan Knight has loved touring in places like Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Dublin, Ireland, but he still considers the town of Milton “the promised land.”

“I love Dorchester, I’m a Dorchester guy, but when you grow up you have dreams, and Milton is one of those places you dream about,” Knight said while sitting in East Milton Square’s Abby Park on Tuesday.

Dorchester center maintains tradition of supporting families

By Christopher S. Pineo
The Pilot

DORCHESTER — In a tough economy where just working a job doesn’t always cut it, St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children works to restore dignity by helping women, children and families achieve economic self-sufficiency and stability.

New deal for St. Kevin’s and St. Peter’s properties

By Gintautas Dumcius, Contributing Reporter
March 11, 2010

The former St. Kevin parish campus on Columbia Rd

The former St. Kevin’s Parish property in Uphams Corner and two parcels of the St. Peter’s Parish campus on Meetinghouse Hill are going to be converted into affordable housing for Boston families, with some of the new residents emerging from homelessness.

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