Victory Programs, Inc.

Housing, Health, Recovery, Hope

Jamaica Plain, MA   |


Victory Programs opens doors to recovery, hope and community to individuals and families facing homelessness, addiction, or other chronic illnesses, including HIV/AIDS.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Ms. Sarah Porter

Main address

404 South Huntington Avenue

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 USA

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NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Homeless Services/Centers (P85)

Housing Search Assistance (L30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Victory Programs provides recovery, health, and housing services through thirty-three buildings in Boston, Cambridge, and now Topsfield, fourteen of which we own. Maintaining these units in the manner that those in our care both need and deserve is a great cost to our organization. The annual facilities budget is approximately 1.5 million dollars.

The lack of an endowment serves as a significant impediment to Victory Programs' ability to quickly respond to community and or internal crises (such as the sudden closing of our Joelyn's Family Home in 2014). This combined with surging healthcare costs for employees results in a very narrow profit margin on an annual basis. Fiscal year's 2018 margin for a 13 million dollar budget is approximately half a percent. The annual acquisition of significant unrestricted funding through donations, grants, and special events is vital as a response to this reality.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Boston Living Center

Since 1989, the Boston Living Center (BLC) has fosterered the wellness of all HIV positive people and respond to the changing needs of the HIV/AIDS community. Services include free and nutritious meals, prevention and education programs to promote safe sex and disclosure to loved ones, medication adherence, etc., peer leaders (i.e., highly trained peers) integrated throughout the services and supports, wellness services such as Reiki, acupuncture and massage, and many socialization opportunities, including walking, book clubs, and movie groups. In March of 2012, the BLC became a part of Victory Programs, ensuring their vital services continue to be available for adults with HIV/AIDS. Recently, VPI and BLC leadership made the decision to widen their target populations to other populations in need, including men who have sex with other men and at high risk, releasees from correctional institutions and unhoused individuals with substance use disorders.

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people
People with HIV/AIDS
Substance abusers
Chronically ill people
LGBTQ people

Victory Programs has always had a strong commitment to meeting community members where they are and to the concept of prevention as treatment. In 2015, we decided to elevate our work in this area and launched Victory Prevention, a new Division which includes our Boston Living Center (BLC) and our new Mobile Prevention Team. The BLC will continue to provide the community and health services its members expect. Additionally, with more people with HIV/AIDS living longer lives, the Center will continue adding services to support members with educational opportunities, workforce skill development and more. The Mobile Prevention Team includes three new projects: Positive Prevention, which focuses on education and services for members of the HIV/AIDS community; Primary Prevention, which focuses on education and sexual health services for community members about HIV, STIs, Hepatitis C and other sexual health risks; and Drug User Health, which focuses on overdose education, harm reduction and naloxone distribution. Victory Prevention provides programs internally and externally through psychoeducational groups and peer navigation.

Population(s) Served
Substance abusers
LGBTQ people

Where we work


Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education - Accreditation


Best Practices in the Field of Substance Use Disorder 2008

Association for Behavioral Healthcare

MHSA Cornerstone Award, 2010

Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA)

Out of the Blue Award 2010

The Boston Foundation

Excellence in Finance and Administration Award, VP and COO Jim Pettinelli 2012

Association for Behavioral Healthcare

Nonprofit of the Year 2013

Greater Boston Business Council

Affiliations & memberships

United Way Member Agency 1988

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Member 2005

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Victory Programs strives to meet the needs of disadvantaged homeless families and individuals in underserved communities throughout Boston. The majority of our programs are located in or serve urban Boston communities of Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain. We have permanent supported housing programs for men, women, and/or families with HIV/AIDS or other disabilities in Mattapan, Boston's Fenway area, the South End, and Topsfield.

(1) Victory Programs successfully renewed contracts of our residential recovery programs, which included for our newest recovery home, New Victories for Women, which serves 14 women at a time in Dorchester, and our "to be launched" New Joelyn's Recovery Program in Roxbury, which will serve 24 women at a time. Another notable achievement was the expansion of our Shepherd House Recovery Home by 22% (7 beds), and obtaining approval and funding for accepting up to six women with infants into the program for the first time ever, removing a major impediment for mothers seeking recovery services.

2) One of Victory Programs signature programs, Joelyn's Family Home, was closed suddenly and permanently in late 2014 due to the bridge to Boston Harbor's Long Island being deemed unsafe by the City of Boston. Victory Programs' leadership and staff responded to this tragedy by (1) Raising more than 2 million dollars from private sources; (2) Successfully identifying and securing a new facility in Roxbury. This element included advocating with many different parties of the need to gain financial support for its purchase, which led to a grant from an anonymous donor for the entire purchase price.

The New Joelyn's Residential Recovery program was officially opened in May of 2017. This opening, combined with the previous New Victories for Women opening and 2016 and expansion of our Shepherd House program recaptures 46% of the beds lost when our Joelyn's Family Home closed in late 2014.

(3) Victory Programs hired a key person of our Executive Team in May of 2017, adding Cheri Epps as the Senior Director of Programs. In her role she is responsible for the overall agency program operations and clinical treatment. She works with a team of dedicated professions to advance Standards of Care and Excellence throughout the agency. She serves as the agency designated HIPPA and Compliance Officer and is supervised by and reports to the Vice/President/Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Victory Programs, she was a Division Director at the Boston Public Health Commission. In the Homeless Service Bureau. She worked for BPHC for over 22 years provided services and supports to the homeless, managing Transitional Housing Programs, Permanent Housing, and Community Housing programs. At BPHC she specialized in human rights as a certified MCAD investigator and Official Grievance Officer, HIV services, and substance abuse services. In addition, her role was to advance organizational change as a leader of the BPHC Racial Justice Health Equity strategic initiative. She also served on the Accreditation and Quality Improvement team to advance an organization-wide culture of quality improvement, performance management. Cheri's work's focus is on the health and well-being for vulnerable populations. She received her Masters in Social Work degree from Simmons College.

We earned our reputation as trailblazers in the 1970's: as the first to accept individuals diagnosed with both mental illness and addiction; the first to open our doors to Vietnam veterans combating the ravages of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; the first to offer services to LGBTQ individuals long before concerns about LGBTQ equal rights hit the national stage.

We earned our reputation of serving the hardest to place individuals and families in the 1980's: as the first Massachusetts agency to open a women's section 35 residential home as an alternative to incarceration; the first agency to actively open all our services individuals with HIV and symptomatic AIDS; the first to offer permanent housing for those in addiction recovery also living with HIV and we launched the first statewide mobile AIDS resource team .

We earned our reputation as leaders in the 1990's: as the first to open all our residential programs to those on medication assisted treatment, thus ensuring medically managed methadone maintenance was no longer a barrier to accessing residential services.

In the new century, the 2000's, we earned our reputation for expanding to meet emerging community needs when we opened our low threshold housing first site in Roxbury; when we built Revision Urban Farm to bring healthy nutritious food to our community and then again when we rewrote our philosophy of care to promote evidence-based, substance use treatment services centered on a harm reduction model.

We earned our reputations as an agency willing to fight for vital resources again in the 2010's when we merged with the Boston Living Center to help them keep the doors open and when we overcame the catastrophic loss of our major women's treatment program on Boston Harbor's Long Island when the bridge that served as the only access point was closed. We rose to the challenge, forging ahead until we acquired two alternative sites in Dorchester and Roxbury to rebuild with new state-of-the-art women's treatment programs.

Today, we still push new boundaries and we still earn our reputation. Last year we established our new Mobile Prevention Team which works in the community to address sexual health risk factors, living with HIV, drug user health education and advocacy around access to treatment for Hepatitis C.

Throughout our history we have successfully faced down adversity, unpredictable losses, capricious political environments and fluctuating economic uncertainties to rise above challenges. Many have remarked:

“If anyone can make it, Victory Programs can."

We earn our reputation one day at a time because we are always working to keep our original promise. We say Victory is on the move because, no matter what the emerging issue is, all people deserve treatment and care.

Since Victory Programs opened its doors in 1975, we have served more than 33,000 people. We have grown from one program in a single facility serving 20 men into a multi-service agency with 19 health, housing, and prevention programs in 35 facilities, providing residential services from acute treatment to permanent housing in Boston, Cambridge and Topsfield, serving nearly 3,200 individuals and families each year. Our Boston Living Center programming provides nutritional, wellness, education and prevention services to nearly 1,000 people living with HIV/AIDS every year.

Victory Programs' experience and accomplishments are widely recognized in the service provider community. Just a few of these include: The 2008 Excellence in Best Practices Award from the Association for Behavioral Health in the field of substance use disorder, which recognized our creative and influential care plans based on evidence-based practices: The Cornerstone Award in 2010 from the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA), in recognition of our role in creating housing opportunities for people in need; A $100,000 “Out of the Blue" grant from The Boston Foundation in 2010 (these awards, given to only a few organizations every year, are in recognition of “exemplary organizations that have an impressive history of achievement and demonstrate effective and collaborative community leadership, and the Nonprofit of the Year award in 2013 from the Greater Boston Business Council for our work with LGBT populations.


Victory Programs, Inc.

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Victory Programs, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 06/13/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Craig Robbins


Term: 2022 - 2026

Jonathan Scott

Victory Programs

Brian Link

State Street Bank and Trust Company

David Whitman

Coldwell Banker

Andie Finard

Community Volunteer

Alan Gentle

Roxbury Resource Center

Andrea Laing

Division of Capital Management

Sara Andrews

Partners Healthcare

Sharon Lowe

Photos by Sharon

Noel Richardson


Erika Birke


Elizabeth Dugan

Boston Medical Center

Dennis Balog


Tony Bertoldi

City Real Estate Advisors

Grace Harrell

Massachusetts General Hospital

Druscilla Pratt-Otto

Yozell Associates

Craig Robbins


Rhonda Waters

The Mutare Group

Liz Beckhardt


Kyle Lawless

Ernst and Young, LLP

Sandy Sheble-Hall

Boston Healthcare for the Homeless

Steven Lipiner

State Street Global Advisors

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/13/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data