The recent Boston Globe series entitled 68 Blocks gave readers an opportunity to see into the window of the Bowdoin-Geneva and to feel the pain, suffering, hope, and joy that is felt in the neighborhood each day. To those of us who work there, the series was a painful re-living of each event that occurred, each issue that was raised, and each tragedy that scarred not only the friends and families of victims but also those of the perpetrators. But amid all the complexity of poverty, violence, gangs, and loss there are service organizations deeply committed to making a difference, one step at a time.
For most of the 32 years I have worked as executive director of the Bowdoin Street Health Center, the neighborhood wasn’t called anything. It was just a community between Fields Corner and Uphams Corner, occasionally referred to as St. Peter’s Parish, but otherwise unnamed and forgotten. Then, people starting getting shot.