Articles from the Boston Compass, This Month in Counter-Cultural History

THIS MONTH IN BOSTON COUNTER CULTURAL HISTORY: Haley of Holies

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Written by Neil Horsky, this column was originally published in the November 2016 issue of the Boston Compass

Art by Ellie Steever, “High Pie”

The Haley House was founded in 1966 in Boston’s South End as a soup kitchen with free lodging for the local homeless community. Over the decades their non-profit work has expanded to include affordable housing, organic farming, a food pantry, cooking classes and job training, and the Haley House Bakery & Café at 12 Dade Street in Roxbury’s Dudley Square.

At the Café Bostonians enjoy delicious fresh food with ingredients from nearby farms. Meals are prepared by chefs from the Transitional Employment Program (TEP) to support those formerly incarcerated with their societal reintegration. The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting, with special pay-as-you-will meals, rotating exhibitions by local visual artists, lectures organized in partnership with Discover Roxbury on local history and culture, and Nina LaNegra’s jubilant and engaging Thursday night “Art is Life Itself!” music, poetry, open mic and discussion series.

Every November since 1996, to finance their grassroots efforts addressing our society’s most pressing problems, the Haley House holds an Annual Thanksgiving Pie Drive. TEP trainees bake the pies from scratch in the Café kitchen. This year seven varieties are available including two gluten-free options, with proceeds benefiting TEP. Some patrons buy one or two for their Thanksgiving table while others purchase dozens and donate them to the food pantry. Still others volunteer to be Pie Captains, spearheading company-wide bulk pie purchases at their places of work. This year’s Pie Drive goal is 1,500 pies. Do your family, community and tummy a favor by driving some pie home, would you?

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