Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) has been working through community organizing, activism and empowerment in the Dorchester/Roxbury neighborhoods for more than 30 years.DSNI helps families and individuals reach their personal goals, all while surrounded by a community of residents committed to seeing the neighborhood thrive.
Foundation Beyond Belief, through its Compassionate Impact Grants, has supported DSNI’s Fair Chance for Family Success Initiative, which helps individuals and families set financial goals and receive education and training to strengthen their economic security.
Dudley resident Michelle Rubiera is a health professional and fitness instructor who benefitted directly from the Fair Chance participant program. “To me it’s an amazing program because it teaches you how to be organized,” said Rubiera. “I’ve used Fair Chance to help with financial planning, health, nursing school, and purchasing my car.” Rubiera lives with her family and daughter in their beautiful, three-bedroom home, located on a property that was a formerly blighted lot. Rubiera purchased the home through the DSNI’s Community Land Trust, which took ownership of vacant land to achieve the neighborhood’s vision of development without displacement. “I was able to buy a brand new home that was affordable and great,” said Rubiera. “That’s why I became a part of DSNI to help others in my same situation.”
Foundation Beyond Belief is continuing its generous support for DSNI’s general operations in 2016. This support is helping Dudley families obtain the resources and support to sustain themselves on a path to greater economic prosperity. “We thank Foundation Beyond Belief for supporting our efforts to put families in the driver's seat on their path to success,” said DSNI Executive Director Juan Leyton. “Our mission is to provide a space for families to work together to meet their goals, whether they be financial, educational, professional, personal, and to share what works with each other.”
“I got to know my neighbors much better through these programs,” said Rubiera. “We hold BBQs and send email chains to discuss our progress and keep each other on track.” DSNI families gain the self-confidence and sense of empowerment they need to pursue long-term goals such as owning a home or starting a business.
Fair Chance is just one of DSNI’s important programs improving the quality of life for residents. Over the past several months, DSNI held its 2nd Annual Promise Fest to increase access to college, connections and careers; and celebrated community control of the land by unveiling a beautiful public art installation in the heart of Dudley.
We thank Foundation Beyond Belief for continuing to partner with our organization on these efforts now and into the future.
DSNI received a $9700 unrestricted grant in 2016.