MissionSAFE uses a Relational/Developmental/Trauma-Informed model that intentionally works to create conditions for resilience and positive transformation in youth. An essential component of this model is the belief that healthy, growth-fostering relationships with caring adults are at the center of positive change. Our programs aim to provide a feeling of emotional and physical safety that allows youth the freedom to explore, make mistakes, develop self-knowledge and begin to grow. We bolster that with opportunities to master skills and broaden their horizons.
We meet youth "where they are" and model and help them see that they can move forward in their lives. We provide the environment and access to the tools to begin that journey.
One youth in the program, capturing a part of what MissionSAFE attempts to create, once said, "MissionSAFE's motto should be, 'Creating family everyday.'"
For more information about our model, check out this 2-part interview of Executive Director Nikki Flionis on "Common Ground" hosted by Sheriff Steve Tompkins:
In 1994, Sister Anne Carrabino, S.S.S. and Nikki Flionis met in a Master's program project Harvard Kennedy School. Carrabino and Flionis realized they were both interested in positive community and youth development. In 1998, they were awarded a contract by United States Office of Housing and Urban Development to work with families residing in the Boston Housing Authority's Mission Main Housing Development in Boston, MA. The development had a reputation for gang violence and drug trade, and families feared retribution for organizing or seeking out positive activities.
After conducting outreach to the community, Carrabino and Flionis founded MissionSAFE for teens living in the development who had “stalled” in life because of the trauma associated with the chronic stress of living in poverty and violence. The program focused on educational assistance and violence prevention strategies. In 2005, MissionSAFE expanded to two sites: adding a Charlestown program while maintaining its Roxbury program in Mission Hill, and adding job readiness, personal growth and addressing the impact of trauma to program offerings.
Our Board of Directors
Ronald Koning Jr.
State Electric Corporation
Koplow Charitable Trust
Sister Anne Carrabino
Dimock Community Health Center
John Moriarty and Associates
Stories of Hope: Christian
At age 16, Christian discovered that MissionSAFE provided the best of both worlds. He wanted to become more independent by earning his own money (MissionSAFE offers a stipend for our young people) while developing skills to succeed in school and life. Since coming to MissionSAFE, Christian has honed his social skills by being exposed to different types of environments and interacting with a variety of stakeholders. He thanks MissionSAFE for teaching him how to stay professional in a workplace and make smarter, more conscientious decisions with money.
Now 19, Christian has come a long way because of targeted character development programming. He has become a leader at MissionSAFE, working his way up to becoming a Youth Worker and providing support for the full time staff members. Christian recently started Year Up, an intensive year long program that provides urban youth with job skills training and internships.
Christian’s favorite thing about MissionSAFE is the welcoming staff and diverse youth. He says that MissionSAFE is a great place to start bettering oneself, as MissionSAFE is “inviting and supportive”. His advice is “you get what you put into it, so it’s important to put in the effort in order to make one’s time here a fun and educational experience”. We are so proud of Christian and are excited to see what he does with his future! Want to see more stories like Christian’s?