Ethos is a private, nonprofit organization that assists the elderly and disabled to live at home. We serve over 3,000 individuals and families, primarily in the Boston neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury, Hyde Park and Mattapan. Ethos offers a wide range of high-quality, discounted services and support, delivered at home and in the community.
A singular vision
Ethos was founded in 1973 by a grassroots coalition of community activists and social service providers. Their pioneering vision was to create an alternative to prevailing institutional models of care, which they believed robbed the elderly and disabled of their autonomy and disconnected them from social and community life. Ethos has grown considerably since that time and, while much has changed, our commitment to the independence, dignity and wellbeing of elders and the disabled remains as strong as ever.
A spirit of innovation
Ethos has a long track record of breaking new ground. Many of our early pilot programs are now standard offerings across the nation. These include para-transit services, home-delivered meals, home care, case management, crisis intervention, and culturally appropriate services and programs. This spirit of innovation continues to propel Ethos forward.
More recent initiatives include developing services tailored for LGBT elders, promoting healthy aging through evidence-based trainings, organizing age-friendly communities, and facilitating peer-based solutions for aging in place.
A respect for diversity and inclusion
Ethos ensures that its staff and volunteers reflect the diversity of Boston: from native-born and longtime residents to more recent arrivals from the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Russia.
We have a proud track record of developing programs and services that are welcoming, inclusive and culturally appropriate. We were the first in Boston to deliver Meals on Wheels that feature Hispanic, Russian, Kosher and vegetarian menu options. Our Café Sant Grandet was the first effort bringing together Haitian elders, and our Café Emmanuel was the first in New England to welcome LGBT elders. Summer House was the first facility in Boston to offer elders a group home alternative to nursing homes.
A Commitment to Collaboration
Ethos owes much of its success to a robust set of collaborations we have developed over the years with other institutions and organizations. We have built enduring partnerships with government agencies, providers, senior and disability advocates, health care organizations, businesses, philanthropies and donors. Below are just a few examples of these much-valued ties.
Faced with the challenges of an impending “Age Wave,” Ethos is confident that its strong vision and solid track record of innovation and collaboration will keep our organization at the forefront of local efforts to ensure the elderly and disabled are able to remain in their homes for as long as possible.
- The Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs designated Ethos as an Aging Services Access Point.
- The Boston Commission on the Affairs of the Elderly chose Ethos to be a Senior Nutrition Project site and the city’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
- Ethos is a founding member of the Eldercare Alliance, the Massachusetts Home Care
Association, the Boston Aging & Disabilities Resource Consortium and the LGBT Aging Project.
- Two Ethos community initiatives−AgeWell West Roxbury and JP@Home−rely on strong connections to all sectors of their respective neighborhoods.