West End House is a vital community anchor dedicated to inspiring and empowering young people to realize their full potential.

Our Values

Youth First

Young people are at the center of every action and decision we make, as we amplify their voices and celebrate their unique strengths


We provide programs and opportunities that advance equitable outcomes and respect the needs, experiences and values of our full community


We foster curiosity, and encourage youth to explore, learn, try new things, fail forward, and pursue their dreams and goals


We are a community dedicated to building authentic, meaningful, and lifelong relationships that foster trust, safety, belonging, and fun


We infuse fun into each day, creating vibrant and inviting spaces where all individuals can flourish and thrive

Committed to Trauma Informed Practices

Our strengths-based service delivery approach is grounded in an understanding of the impact of trauma; emphasizes physical, mental, and emotional safety for youth, families, and staff; and creates pathways to healing. This approach is guided by the following 7 essential elements.



Physical and emotional safety is important for all people and is even more important for those who have experienced trauma, which is why our policies practices and programming prioritize the physical and emotional safety for our youth, families, and staff



Trust and transparency are crucial to building relationships with our youth, their families, and our staff. Through transparent communication and clear expectations, we work to create relationships rooted in trust.



A trauma informed club works to answer deeper questions around the root causes of behavior and its underlying circumstances. Awareness is crucial to this process, and we strive to incorporate it into every aspect of our work.



Historical, systematic, and pervasive racism, sexism, poverty, and disenfranchisement are cross-generational traumas that live in our communities to this day. West End House actively confronts bias, dismantles hate, and employs responsive, culturally relevant programming and services for our youth, families, staff, and communities. 


Voice, choice, and empowerment

We understand that concerning or challenging behavior can stem from traumatic experience that make people feel a loss of power or control in their lives. Consequently, we aim to empower youth, families, and staff by encouraging them to use their voices, make choices, and have ownership over their lives and future.


Connection and growth

The resilience needed to navigate challenging experiences and heal after trauma is built through healthy and respectful relationships. We recognize that all youth have a need for safe, stable, and supportive relationships.


Mutual Collaboration

Collaboration builds the trust, safety, and sense of empowerment needed to foster a true partnership. This is especially important for those who have experienced trauma. We collaborate with our youth, families, communities, and staff by working to level power differences and encouraging all people to work together.

Equity Requires Action

At the West End House, equity is not only a value, it is an ongoing commitment that requires transparency, accountability, education, and responsiveness. Our day-to-day work with young people is rooted in equity. We provide access and opportunities to young people designed to contribute to equitable outcomes. Our youth leadership programs encourage young people to not simply accept the status quo, but to work for transformative and sustainable change, and our postsecondary initiatives lead to economic mobility and generational wealth building for our alumni.


Since 2018, we have partnered with the Organizational Equity Practice of Trinity Boston Connects to formalize our commitment to equity. This ongoing partnership has involved organizational assessments, workshops for our Boards, and staff participation in their Racial Equity Leaders Learning Circle and Emerging Leaders Circle.

This early work focused on our team building transparent communication and decision-making practices. This has allowed the organization to acknowledge power dynamics and mitigate harm, ultimately establishing a shared vocabulary and trust around race equity work and the creation of safe spaces for difficult conversations. Most importantly, it prepared us to the best of our ability to be a responsive organization to the communities we serve when the two pandemics emerged in early 2020.


Concrete steps we have taken to date as an organization include:


WEH Equity & Social Justice Team

Formation of the WEH Equity & Social Justice Team, comprising 6-8 employees from various areas of our organization, dedicated to leading sustainable change.



Establishment of a $125,000 Racial Equity Fund to support professional development opportunities and advance racial equity priorities in our youth and family programs.


equitable hiring practices

Commitment to equitable hiring practices and board recruitment, including demographic audits to ensure alignment with membership demographics.



Development of an Anti-racism plan that is actively part of our organization’s strategic plan with measurable goals and outcomes.

Our staff and leaders understand the importance of actively combating systemic racism and white supremacy. We are committed to being actively anti-racist and working towards equity within our community and beyond.