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39 Years and Moving Forward!

May 15, 2013

We celebrated Moving Forward at our 39th Anniversary Reception & Annual Meeting on May 2nd! The event was held in our special Big White Tent at Urban Edge in Jackson Square, Roxbury.

The Big White Tent flaps billowed in the wind and we got a bit chilly at the beginning of our annual celebration. However, it soon warmed up thanks to the delicious food, interesting conversations, inspiring remarks from the stage, plus the joy we all felt celebrating the successes of the past year, while presenting Susanne Cameron and Citi with the Urban Edge Community Partnership Award, and Jacqui Furtado with the new Urban Edge Peter Lee Community Building Award.
250 of our supporters joined us to celebrate the moment.  Byron Barnett of WHDH Ch7, our emcee once again, got the evening started and called for a moment of silence to honor those injured or killed in the Marathon bombings. Board Chairman Tom Davis did the honors of holding the annual Board election, after which Chrystal Kornegay, President and CEO, shared three stories of local individuals reflecting the positive impact Urban Edge has in so many different ways. Our guest speaker was Beverly Scott, Ph.D., MBTA General Manager and MassDOT Rail & Transit Administrator, who graciously shared her inspiring thoughts on building community.

See more photos here.

We look forward to renovating and building, educating and encouraging, assisting and succeeding throughout the community in the year ahead. With your continued help, wonderful things will continue taking place in the neighborhoods we serve. 


September 5, 2012

THANK YOU for participating in our first Back-To-School Event on August 30th! On Thursday, August 30th Urban Edge distributed over 375 backpacks filled with school supplies for young people in grades K-12.  Spiral notebooks, folders, pens, pencils, dictionaries, crayons, glue sticks, and pencil holders were among the supplies which filled the wide variety of backpacks handed out by our dedicated volunteers.  This event relied solely on donations from local businesses, organizations, and individuals, and we extend our sincere thanks to each and every one for your donations and assistance in making this event such a success!

 Thank you very much!

38th Annual Celebration on May 3, 2012

June 1, 2012

Our 38th Annual Celebration on May 3rd brought together hundreds of Urban Edge supporters to celebrate the Endurance and Evolution of Urban Edge.  Our keynote speaker was Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein, and Byron Barnett of 7NEWS was our emcee.  We gathered under a big tent right here at 1542 Columbus Avenue, Roxbury, enjoying delicious hors d'hoeuvres and wonderful music. 

Our sincere appreciation goes out to all the supporters and participants of the evening.  Your support helps hundreds of families receive vitally needed services from Urban Edge, as we develop and sustain stable, healthy and diverse communities through affordable housing, economic resiliency services, and connecting neighborhood youth with employment opportunities. To see photos from the event, click here.

Citi Community Development awards $20,000 grant to support Urban Edge’s Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Program
February 10, 2012

The program helps hundreds of homeowners from Boston and the region avoid foreclosure, through in-person counseling and intervention by Urban Edge’s counseling staff working at the agency’s headquarters in Roxbury.

read more here

Jamaica Plain / Roxbury rehab construction begins
January 19, 2012

Urban Edge has begun work to rehabilitate 82 units of occupied, multi-family, affordable rental housing in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. Construction started in January 2012 on the historic preservation and green renovation of the 82 of its “Limited Partnership Apartments” within 10 buildings at seven different sites across the two neighborhoods.  “This project keeps our promise that all the housing developed and owned by Urban Edge will remain a growing asset to its residents, their neighborhoods and the City of Boston,” Noah Maslan, Urban Edge’s real estate director said in a statement.

Less than six months ago Urban Edge completed the green rehabilitation of 103 other rental apartments in Jamaica Plain and Dorchester. The 82 units being renovated are the latest in Urban Edge’s current development pipeline of eight renovation projects planned over the next two to three years. Urban Edge believes these projects will boost the local economy, improve housing quality and extend affordability to 515 families, while also improving the environment through reduced energy and water use.

Wardman Emergency Fire Relief Fund update

January 15, 2012

On the morning of October 17, 2011, residents at Wardman Apartments faced a devastating fire raging out of control. Thirteen people were injured and more than 75 residents--including school-aged children and grandmothers—lost their homes in this catastrophic six-alarm fire. Firefighters rescued terrified people trapped by the flames from windows and, in one harrowing scene, a young child was dropped from the third floor into the arms of a waiting rescuer. Firefighters commented that there were more rescues accomplished than in any fire in recent memory. Two of the buildings are a total loss.

Read more here

For the families who have now lost everything, a disaster of this magnitude requires an extraordinary community response.  We have set up the Wardman Emergency Fire Relief Fund to help address residents’ basic needs like clothing, food, household goods – even school supplies for the children. Thank you to those who have generous donated; if you have not yet done so, please consider a gift to the Wardman Relief Fund today. 

Please Donate Now



Urban Edge’s Foreclosure Prevention program now has the capacity to serve 30% more at-risk Boston-area homeowners thanks to funding from Citi. Urban Edge is one of 25 organizations nationwide receiving $50,000 each in funding from the Citi Office of Homeownership Preservation to support innovative foreclosure prevention programs. The funding will cover the cost of two Suffolk University law student interns to work at Urban Edge as foreclosure prevention counselors through 2009. The program’s legal internship model was developed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Public and Community Affairs Division and Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH), a community development corporation (CDC) serving Boston’s East Boston neighborhood.

Patrick Burke is a graduate of Lafayette College who was a paralegal at Pfizer and interned at the King’s County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York. Kira Gagarin earned her BA at Brandeis, clerked at two local law firms and was an intern at the Irish Immigration Center. They bring additional language fluency to Urban Edge, where counseling is available in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole and Russian as well as in English. Both interns attended training at the Federal Reserve and are now seeing clients and working 15 hours per week at Urban Edge’s Jackson Square, Roxbury office.

Susanne Cameron, Massachusetts State Director of Citi Community Relations, was pleased with Urban Edge’s selection to represent Boston in this national initiative and commented that “Urban Edge is the ideal choice for this initiative given its successful track record in a variety of homebuyer programs and its effectiveness in foreclosure prevention efforts in Boston.”

Urban Edge CEO Chrystal Kornegay described the work of the Urban Edge staff as very demanding with homeowners coming in seven days a week, often late into the evening. “While we can’t help everyone who comes to us,” Kornegay said, “this award will allow us to help many more people facing the loss of the biggest asset in their life.”

Bob Credle, Urban Edge’s Director of Community Programs who oversees the foreclosure prevention program, welcomed the award and the additional counseling capacity. “During 2008, Urban Edge assisted 78 households to avoid foreclosure and keep their homes,” according to Credle. “With the additional capacity made possible with the Citi grant Urban Edge will be able to help more than 100 households keep their homes in 2009,” he said.

Grant to Fund Innovative Solar/Thermal Hot Water System for Affordable Housing Development

Urban Edge, a Roxbury-based community development corporation, today announced that it has received a $50,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation to help support the “green” renovation of Jamaica Plain Apartments, a 103-unit affordable multi-family housing development in Jamaica Plain and Dorchester.

The money received will be used to purchase and install a state-of the-art solar-thermal hot water system at 78-84 Stoughton/96 Sumner Street in the Uphams Corner section of Dorchester. The new system will supply up to 80% of the residents’ hot water needs, will reduce dependence on fossil fuels and the property’s operating expenses, and will lessen the impact of the building on the environment. Urban Edge will be able to test the feasibility of installing solar/thermal systems on the rest of its 1100-unit affordable housing portfolio, and others in the affordable housing community will benefit from its experience.

“We’re so happy to have the Home Depot Foundation support our Green Affordable Housing Renovation agenda through this generous grant, and we know the residents are, too” said Zoe Weinrobe, Urban Edge’s Project Manager for the Jamaica Plain Apartments renovation.

“The Home Depot Foundation is proud to be a funding partner of Urban Edge,” said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation. “Our Foundation supports organizations that build affordable, healthy homes for working families. By forming a partnership with Urban Edge, we are furthering our shared mission of improving the health of local communities.

Academy Homes I Sends Big Contingent to Inauguration 

January 28, 2009 — One early indication that the crowd in Washington would be huge for the inauguration of President Barack Obama was the number who signed up for the bus trip organized by the Tenants’ Council of Academy Homes I in Roxbury: 168 people boarded three motor coaches near midnight on January 19 for the overnight journey to be witness to history in the nation’s capital. Thanks to help with publicity from Charles Clemons of Touch 106.1 FM, residents of other Boston neighborhoods and other towns heard about the trip and were welcomed by the Academy I leaders. The affordable $25 cost was made possible with funding support from the Tenants’ Council treasury.

Bus captains Arnitha McGee, Mary Brown and Dorothy Haskins provisioned the buses with food and water, movies, games and gifts to make the 29-hour round trip comfortable for riders aged 4 to 80. Several families had three or four generations represented--one family alone sent 20 members--to make sure that seniors who know the past shared the experience with children who will see the future.

When the buses arrived near the Capitol building on Tuesday morning, small groups formed to make their ways to the locations of their choice. Ms. Haskins and Ms. McGee had arranged for Silver tickets for standing room on the Mall and for invitations to a reception hosted by the offices of Senators Kennedy and Kerry. The group that chose to stay warm and attend the reception saw the Inaugural events on TVs. All were sad to hear about Senator Kennedy’s seizure at the Inaugural lunch and missed his presence.

Whether indoors or out, on the Mall with the millions or gathered around a television, the Academy I travelers were up close to history with people around the world. On 12th Street as the noon hour approached, Dorothy Haskins’ group met an English couple with two children. Unable to get onto the Mall, everyone huddled around the English couple’s tiny radio to listen to the Inaugural program and to cry and cheer together.

“The love that the people had still brings tears to my eyes”, Ms. Haskins declared a week after the event. “I’ve never seen it before.”

Back at the Roxbury development at 4:30 AM on January 21st, the travelers embraced and carried home the history they had seen and made together.