Julie’s was founded in 1974 by two educators, Jean Sullivan, SND and Louise Kearns, SND, who had been working closely with struggling, female-headed families living in crisis at the margins of society. Julie’s began as two independent organizations: Julie’s Children’s House and the Adult Learning Program which merged in 1980. Julie’s Children’s House provided care and educational services to low-income, pre-school age children and their parents who lived in South Boston’s D Street Public Housing Project. The Adult Learning Program provided adult education and support to poor, female head-of-households in the same community.
In 1986, Julie’s Family Learning Program secured space in the South Boston Boys and Girls Clubhouse, where we operated for 18 years. During that time, we enhanced our services to reflect an increased focus on college and job readiness, employer linkages, skills to help mothers transition from public assistance to training and employment, and post-employment support. We extended our children’s program hours, designated a number of childcare spaces for Julie’s working mothers, opened a licensed infant development center, and added summer programming. In 2004, Julie’s moved into our own facility on Dorchester Street in South Boston and became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a Board of Directors. We now house all of our services in a building owned by the George Robert White Fund, a trust managed by the City of Boston.
On May 14, 2015, we honored our Co-Founders’ contributions to the Greater Boston community for over 50 years. Honorary Chair was Mayor Martin Walsh and Event Chairs were Josh Kraft, Ellen Segal and Dana Smith.