Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry
Saturday, May 25, 2013
United Souls began in 1999 as a support group for men involved with the criminal justice system, but has since evolved into a program that provides transitional support services to men of all backgrounds who are struggling with urban life’s more difficult challenges. The weekly United Souls meetings are comprised of a core group of 15-20 men, while many others are loosely connected to the group. This wider network is always growing and is an essential part of United Souls' long-term vision, as it provides not only a support base for the men but also invaluable community contacts that can be enormously helpful in seeking, among other things, housing and employment.
Over the years, United Souls has strengthened the program by establishing strong ties with local service organizations and agencies. The latest United Souls project is an effort to forge connections with local subcontractors and unions to facilitate the job searches of those group members looking for work. These job and career connections are especially important for those men who are transitioning back into society from prison, as finding employment with a criminal record in Massachusetts is a daunting task. The main focus at the moment is establishing employment opportunities with the trade unions and subcontractors involved in Northeastern University’s “Parcel 18” building project located on Columbus Avenue in Roxbury.