Circle of Hope Turns Ten
In the decade since Circle of Hope was established, we have given tens of thousands of homeless infants, children, women, and men the clothing and necessities they need to stay healthy. When Circle of Hope was established in 2008, volunteers brought donated clothing to three homeless shelters in Boston. Today, Circle of Hope gives clothing, shoes, bedding, and toiletries to 5,500 homeless individuals in 21 homeless shelters in Boston and Metro West.
give 10 for 10
Help us celebrate ten years of impact! Donate ten packages of new socks or underwear for homeless individuals of all ages.
Amplify your impact by hosting a collection drive in your workplace, school, church, or neighborhood. To learn more about how to run a drive, click here. Questions? Email Carolyn at Carolyn@circleofhopeonline.org.
Circle of Hope Timeline
Circle of Hope was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization on October 2, 2008.
At the time, nearly 5,200 people were experiencing homelessness in Boston and almost 500 more in Cambridge. These numbers do not include individuals and families living in their cars or bouncing between friends’ and family’s homes.
By 2009, Circle of Hope was giving donated clothing to seven partner shelters, clinics, and programs including Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP), Project Hope Family Shelter, and Renewal House, a domestic violence shelter.
Circle of Hope added two new partners: an emergency shelter for survivors of domestic violence called Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK), and a lunch program serving homeless women in Boston called Women’s Lunch Place.
Circle of Hope began serving Rosie’s Place, which was the first women’s shelter in New England, and Children’s Clothing Exchange, which serves homeless children and families in Cambridge.
By 2012, Circle of Hope had already given $1 million worth of clothing and necessities to homeless individuals and families.
Circle of Hope celebrated its 5th birthday.
A Volunteer Coordinator position was created, allowing Circle of Hope to engage more volunteers, open for additional hours throughout the week, and bring in more donations from the community.
Circle of Hope began serving six new partner shelters and programs, including Fenway Health and Southampton Street Shelter.
In October 2014, the Long Island bridge closed, suddenly displacing 700 homeless women and men who sought refuge at Long Island Shelter. Circle of Hope immediately implemented an action plan to determine where the residents went next to find resources and continued providing them with warm clothing and necessities.
In 2015, there were nearly 6,500 homeless individuals in Boston and 464 in Cambridge. The fastest-growing homeless population was children under five years old.
In order to accept and deliver more donations, Circle of Hope expanded its donation drop-off hours and procured a delivery van. The Dignity Project was created to provide toiletries and socks to homeless adults, helping them stay clean and healthy. In just one year, Circle of Hope provided 650 “Dignity Bags” full of these essential items to homeless individuals.
Circle of Hope partnered with Woods-Mullen Shelter for women, Heading Home family shelter, and Clinton Street family shelter in Framingham. By partnering with Clinton Street Shelter, Circle of Hope began expanding into Metro West to address the growing rate of family homelessness in Greater Boston.
Circle of Hope also held its first family volunteer event, Full Circle, on Needham Town Common.
The Emergency Response Program was created in 2016, allowing Circle of Hope to provide clothing to individuals and families who suddenly become homeless as a result of house fires, domestic violence, or other crises.
Circle of Hope partnered with the Visiting Moms program at Jewish Family & Children’s Services (JF & CS). Volunteers at JF & CS now bring Circle of Hope’s Welcome Baby Bags to homeless mothers with new babies.
Circle of Hope also continued its expansion into Metro West by partnering with a second family shelter in Framingham, Pearl Street Shelter.
The Boston Foundation reported that family homelessness in Massachusetts had doubled in 9 years. It was one of the highest increases of family homelessness in the country.
Circle of Hope extended its partnership with Y2Y Harvard Square after launching a successful pilot program in winter 2017-2018. This partnership enabled Circle of Hope to meet the needs of young homeless adults between ages 18 to 24.
To date, Circle of Hope has provided more than $4.5 million worth of clothing and necessities to children and adults experiencing homelessness in Boston and Metro West.