Casa Myrna (MA)

Casa Myrna was founded in 1977 by a group of volunteers in Boston’s South End to provide a safe haven for women who were being abused by their husbands and partners.
Link to organization

Primary geographic focus: Massachusetts
Organization type(s): Provider
Tags: Domestic Violence

The agency’s founding coalition was a lively, passionate and diverse group, reflecting the vibrant patchwork of people living in the community. Latina women were a significant presence, one of whom was Myrna Vazquez, a renowned actress in her native Puerto Rico. Her vivacity and unwavering belief in the restorative power of the arts and culture was an ongoing source of inspiration to a community beset by many of the problems plaguing inner cities at that time, from crack cocaine and speculative redevelopment to violence in all its forms. When Myrna died suddenly in 1976, the group decided to name their first shelter – and the organization – in her honor. The first shelter, an eight bedroom brownstone in Boston’s South End, was staffed entirely by volunteers. It has remained in continuous operation since opening and is now Casa Myrna’s emergency shelter program.

Over the years, Casa Myrna added to its shelter capacity by acquiring other buildings in the city’s South End and Dorchester neighborhoods and converting them for use as shelters. Today, the agency is New England’s leading provider of shelter and comprehensive services to victims and survivors of domestic violence.

This page last modified: Tue, August 23, 2016 -- 1:31 pm ET