common cathedral, City Reach Program, Boston, Mass.

common cathedral is an outdoor worshipping community on Boston Common of housed and unhoused people. common cathedral’s City Reach is a 20-hour immersion program for youth, young adults and students that explores what it’s like to live outdoors or with unstable housing in Boston. Unhoused community members lead the youth and their adult mentors on a tour of “their Boston” followed by theological reflection with common cathedral staff and ministers.

City Reach models traditioned innovation by holding onto the core purpose of teaching about homelessness but innovates by offering leadership positions to the unhoused. City Reach models a kind of “ministry with” rather than “ministry for;” they hold onto the core value of service, but flip who is being served. The model City Reach offers has the potential for scalability for education and immersion into other social challenges.

For more information about the Traditioned Innovation Award, please contact us at

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