Mission & Overview
The Gray House is a small neighborhood human service nonprofit located in Springfield, Massachusetts. Our mission is “to help its neighbors facing hardships to meet their immediate and transitional needs by providing food, clothing and educational services in a safe, positive environment in the North End of Springfield.”
We fulfill our mission through our operations of The Market at Gray House, our Adult Education Program, and Kids' Club, as well as through the distribution of winter wear and other necessities. Over 13,000 unique individuals are served by these programs each year.
In addition to our mission, we continue to operate in accordance with the belief of our founding Sisters, that The Gray House be “a place where peace is lived and learned, and hope is shared.” This belief has helped us create a welcoming, encouraging and supportive environment, which assures our neighbors they will be treated with respect and dignity when they come to The Gray House.
Our dedicated Board of Directors oversees the management of The Gray House and more than 100 volunteers help our staff members in delivering services and supporting our community.
In the late 1970s, five Sisters of St. Joseph, Jane Morrissey, Kathleen O'Connor, Cathy Homrok, Joan Roche, and Eileen Witkop moved into the North End of Springfield on Huntington Street, one block North of Sheldon Street. Noticing the poverty and the needs of their immediate neighbors, they dreamed of turning an abandoned, fire-damaged gray house on the next street into a neighborhood center aimed at helping those who were struggling. After much praying and dreaming, in 1982, the five Sisters of St. Joseph, along with one lay person, Julie James, purchased the gray house at 22 Sheldon Street at public auction for $500 and founded The Gray House.
For two years, countless volunteers helped them renovate the 17-room Victorian house. On April 23, 1984, the five Sisters of St. Joseph moved into the second and third floors of the House as work continued on the first floor. In October of that same year, they opened the doors of The Gray House and began providing services to meet the civic, social, and educational needs of their neighbors.
As the need grew outside of the North End community, The Gray House stretched its service boundary and now serves people from all neighborhoods in Springfield as well as surrounding cities and towns.