Local Spotlight: Kathe McKenna and Haley House

Kathe McKenna, image courtesy of Gloria Feinstein

Kathe McKenna, image courtesy of Gloria Feinstein

On Tuesdays, the South End Historical Society features people from Legendary Locals of Boston’s South End in its South End Trivia social media posts. Today’s South End Trivia post read:

“Name the woman who established a soup kitchen on Dartmouth St. & helped found Rosie’s Place.”

Did you know the answer? Kathe McKenna!

Here is a selection from Kathe McKenna’s profile in the book: “Kathe McKenna arrived in Boston in the mid-1960s to work with College Young Christian Students, a liberal Catholic student group. McKenna wanted to open a Catholic Worker House of Hospitality to help homeless men, and mutual friends introduced her to the like-minded John McKenna. The two visited realtor Betty Gibson, who helped them find a basement apartment on Upton Street. John and Kathe married and began working toward their common mission by allowing homeless men to sleep in their living room and offering them a meal. Their experiment grew, and the following year, a gift from a friend helped them purchase a row house at 23 Dartmouth Street.” This project turned into Haley House.

To learn more about Kathe McKenna and Haley House, check out Kathe’s profile on page 12 of the book. Order your copy here.

To receive the South End Trivia posts, follow our friends at the South End Historical Society on Twitter and Facebook.

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