March 2021
A Message from the Executive Director
A year ago, as the pandemic closed in on us, we at Just-A-Start packed up what we needed for what we thought was a 4 to 6 week “shelter in place” period.

However, the pandemic’s real impact quickly became clear. It also became clear that Just-A-Start had the responsibility, wherewithal, and privilege to be part of the solution. As daunted as we were by what lay ahead, we knew we had to meet the growing and urgent needs in our community. Furthermore, we knew we had the expertise, resources, partnerships, and track record to do so.

As our Board chair, Peter Munkenbeck, shared in an email to staff at that time:  

I am reminded of how central the role of a community development corporation is in building and keeping together the parts of the community most quickly and adversely impacted by disaster… I hope you can feel the surge of satisfaction that comes with undeniable peak usefulness to members of our society that are strengthened by your efforts.

From grocery and mask deliveries to emergency financial assistance, over the past year we’ve discovered new ways to live out our “peak usefulness” – as well as continuing to run all of our programs with your support. One year in, the numbers below tell an important part of that story.
YouthBuild students begin their careers in retail
9 YouthBuild students recently earned their Retail Industry Fundamental (RIF) credentials! After several months of studying retail fundamentals, customer service and sales, and business operations, students passed three exams to achieve this milestone.

Our YouthBuild program partners with Old Navy, Breaktime, and Daily Table to offer hands-on learning and employment in the retail industry. Students work for 180 hours over four months as part of their paid practicum, strengthening their professional skills, and continue attending YouthBuild’s academic classes.

Know an employer that might be interested in learning more about YouthBuild’s retail track? Let us know!
Share your input about family housing at New Street
The community process continues for 52 New Street, where we’re proposing to transform the lot into modern and environmentally-friendly family housing. Will you join us for our third virtual meeting about the project? We're sharing new building designs based on feedback from prior meetings. The next step after this meeting will be to submit the project's formal application, so please join us if you have feedback to share!
Our mission is to promote equity by creating access to stable housing and building pathways to economic opportunity. 
1035 Cambridge Street #12 | Cambridge, MA 02141 | 617-494-0444