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Vision125 Resources

Four story brick building with adjacent courtyard


Request for Proposals

NKF Capital Markets has been exclusively retained by United South End Settlements to sell 566 Columbus Avenue in order to fund the renovation and expansion of their Rutland Street campus, expand services to children and their families, and secure their financial future.”

566 Columbus Avenue consists of an existing 20,500 square foot office/community building situated on 23,593 square foot (0.54 acre) site. The site boasts a highly visible corner location at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue, two major South End/Back Bay thoroughfares. By virtue of this proximity to the Back Bay, one of Boston’s most prestigious “live-work-play” neighborhoods, 566 Columbus Avenue is directly surrounded by a wealth of perpetual demand drivers. The area features a densely populated collage of first-class office buildings, classic brownstone residences, prestigious colleges and universities, vibrant student housing complexes, multi-ethnic restaurants, shops, entertainment destinations, cultural attractions, including longstanding, Wally’s Cafe Jazz Club, and an active nightlife scene. Therefore, 566 Columbus Avenue is well primed for mixed-use repositioning or redevelopment.

Furthermore, 566 Columbus Avenue benefits from an attractive transit-oriented destination – the property is only steps from subway stations along the MBTA Orange and Green Lines, offering direct connections throughout the Back Bay and neighboring Downtown Boston. Additionally, 566 Columbus Avenue is easily accessible to Interstates 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) and 93, the area’s major east-west and north-south highways, facilitating seamless access throughout the region. Complementing this exceptional accessibility, 566 Columbus Avenue is surrounded by an active development market featuring a dynamic mix of residential, hotel, student housing, office and retail uses. In addition to enhancing the vibrant mixeduse environment surrounding the subject property, these new developments serve as a clear testament to the desirability of its location. Boston’s South End is a diverse, vibrant community with a rich cultural history. For generations, the neighborhood has been home to families of all backgrounds, a hub for the city’s artists, and at the forefront of welcoming residents and guests regardless of their background, identity, or experiences. Approximately 95,500 people live within just one mile of the property. Of additional note, approximately two-thirds of this local resident base (aged 25+ years) holds a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Given the asset’s superior location and the durable attractiveness of its South End neighborhood, 566 Columbus Avenue clearly represents an exceptional opportunity to acquire a highly desirable property.

566 Columbus Avenue is being marketed for sale on an unpriced basis. We will conduct property and market tours over the next several weeks with a request for proposals to follow. Additionally, upon the request of the United South End Settlements, all responding parties should incorporate within their response to this RFP, the inclusion of, a mix of uses that offer significant public or community benefit. The pursuit of such public or community benefits is incorporated within the Seller’s organizational mission and will be evaluated accordingly.

Vision125 Community Update Flyer

An update for our community on USES’s Strategic Planning Process

We’re mobilizing to:

  • preserve USES’s mission for future generations,
  • serve more children and families in our diverse community,
  • honor our 126 years of service and Harriet Tubman’s legacy, and
  • ensure USES’s financial sustainability for many years to come.

How are we accomplishing this?

  • We’re imagining a new Harriet Tubman House at our existing Rutland Street location as a comprehensive campus for delivering education and enrichment opportunities for children and their families.
  • At the same time, we’re listing 566 Columbus Avenue for sale to fund the revitalization of the Rutland Street campus and new Harriet Tubman House, and to ensure a sustainable future.
  • We’re seeking proposals that show zoning compliance and community/public benefit.
  • We encourage you to share this information with your network.

Be on the lookout for quarterly community meetings to hear the latest news regarding our renewed vision! For more information, visit

If you have questions specifically about our strategic plan or real estate, please reach out to or call (617) 830-5261.

At USES, our mission is to harness the power of our diverse community to disrupt the cycle of poverty for children and their families.

Vision125 Strategic Plan Booklet

Dear USES Community,

United South End Settlements (USES), founded in 1892, has served the rich, diverse, and ever-evolving South End community for over 125 years. Today, the South End is considered vibrant and welcoming by many. However, micro-segregation has created barriers that continue to mask the struggles of many of our neighbors.

The South End has the greatest wealth disparity in the City of Boston, with 41% of residents living in subsidized housing and 36% of children living below the poverty line.

In our continued effort to deliver on the vision of our settlement house roots — an inclusive and welcoming community where neighbors come together and lift each other up — we began a rigorous strategic planning process in August of 2016 to align our limited resources with programs that provide the greatest impact and outcomes for children and families living in poverty.

The Vision125 strategic planning process, led by a team of Wellspring consultants, engaged over 100 stakeholders in exploration of the following questions:

  • Who is our target population?
  • What is our intended impact? How do we achieve this impact?
  • How do we align our real estate to achieve our impact?
  • What is our business model to achieve impact?
  • What are our strategic priorities?

Over the past 125 years, USES has learned to reinvent and revitalize our organization to continually meet the needs of the community through eras of change. We believe that as families stabilize and take advantage of opportunities for advancement, their children are better able to develop the skills needed for educational and workplace success in the 21st century, which will ultimately allow them to break the cycle of poverty.

In May of 2017, the board voted on USES’s renewed mission — to harness the power of our diverse community to disrupt the cycle of poverty for children and their families. With this cornerstone, we are focusing on four priorities that are outlined in this document: evolving our program model, demonstrating our impact, creating state-of-the-art facilities, and building a sustainable future.

Together, we have the capacity to set children up for a bright future. As we move forward in uniting community to strengthen families, our friends and supporters will be vital to our success. We invite you to join our movement.

In community.

Maicharia Z. Weir Lytle
President & CEO
Serving since
February, 2015

Julia Johannsen
Board Chair
Serving since
February, 2016

Strategic Planning Committee

Julie Burkley, Vice President of Programs
Chris Cato, Board of Directors
Mitsy Chanel-Blot, Chief of Staff
Clara Garcia, Director of Senior Services
Chrissy Holt, Vice President of Operations
Bandita Joarder, Board of Directors
Julia Johannsen, Chair, Board of Directors
José Massó, Senior Director of Youth & Family Engagement
Leah Samura, Technology Education Coordinator
Maicharia Weir Lytle, President & CEO

Our Model

USES’s mission is to harness the power of our diverse community to disrupt the cycle of poverty for children and their families.

We believe that as families stabilize through access to increased resources ,become more resilient, and build a diverse network of relationships, they and their children are more likely to develop the skills they need to succeed and will break the cycle of poverty


  • Early Childhood Program
  • Club48 After School and Summer Progrma
  • Camp Hale Leadership Developmental Program
  • STEAM Curriculum
  • Job Training & Placement


  • Participant-driven goal setting
  • Planning
  • Overcoming barriers
  • Providing support & accountability

Social Capital

Formed through diverse enrollment, volunteering, mentoring, & leadership opportunities.

Our Core Values

We believe in engaging the entire community as a catalyst in our model of service that helps children and their families build strong, trusting, and mutually beneficial relationships.

We believe that we achieve the greatest positive impact on children and their families when we include people from various backgrounds, skill sets, and perspectives in disrupting the cycle of poverty.

We believe that all people have potential and deserve access to top quality educational and economic opportunities

Our Four Priorities

1) Evolve our Program Model

Poverty at its core, is a multigenerational issue. Any parent will tell you that raising a child is not easy, even for a college-educated, two parent households of native English speakers. But for families without such advantages, who are struggling to make ends meet, the challenges are far greater. Furthermore, recent brain science research shows that the effects of childhood poverty and toxic stress hinder brain development during the most critical period of brain growth. To meet this complex problem with a holistic solution, USES is transforming its programming into a two generation model that strategically serves children and parents to achieve whole family impact.

What’s New?
Before Vision125 -> Vision125

8 entry pointsCentral outreach and intake
Occasional overlap between programsStrategic outreach to enroll whole

families, intentional “2 Gen” offerings

Disconnected ECE and after school programsSTEAM Curriculum across both programs makes USES youth programs unique
Camp Hale summer sessionsYear-round leadership program
Focus on adult educationFocus on job training
Informal mentoringRobust coaching program to help participants define and achieve goals
Each program targeting separate and unrelated outcomesAgency driving toward collective impact
Diverse program enrollment in youth programsBuild social capital at the community-wide level

2) Demonstrate Our Impact

USES is committed to becoming a data-driven organization that monitors our performance to adjust, evolve, and achieve our stated impact. Cyclical issues like generational poverty are not easily solved, and a robust performance management system will provide us with the tools necessary to measure whole-family impact and fine-tune our programs and strategies for maximum impact. We believe that as families stabilize through access to increased resources, become more resilient, and build a diverse network of relationships, they and their children are more likely to develop the skills they need to succeed and will break the cycle of poverty.

Outcomes: Resources, Resilience, and Relationships

Resources: Increase Income and Assets

Parents/Caregivers will have an education or career pathway that supports their capacity to have successful employment with growth potential.
• Families will have a stronger financial base as indicated by their increased income and financial assets by having emergency savings.

Resilience: Gain Critical Skills for Success

• Participants will increase their social-emotional learning, including growth mindset, emotional intelligence, communication and interpersonal skills, and problem-solving skills.
• Family members will have the strength and capacity to pursue a plan, advocate for themselves, find the resources needed, and get to a solution.
• Family members will gain the skills to recognize barriers and manage conflict, leading to increased confidence.

Relationships: Sustain Strong, Supportive, & Healthy Relationships
• Families will have an expanded network of people to turn to for support, which will occur through the breaking down of barriers and the building of community between people of different identities, experiences, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

3) Create State-of-the-Art Facilities

We know that in order to best serve children and families, United South End Settlements must have state-of-the-art facilities. Our spaces must be efficient and sustainable in order to align with our renewed mission and approach. All of our students, whether 3 months old or parents and caregivers, deserve the highest-quality programming space that is warm, welcoming, and fosters meaningful relationships.

In order to maintain high-quality facilities, we are committed to leveraging our existing real estate to ensure financial sustainability and streamline operational costs and determining sources of funding for our Boston properties.Whether it is working toward moving our Boston-based operations under

one roof or improving facilities at Camp Hale to meet the needs of our expanding programming, our facilities must be a reflection of our vision. USES spaces must work for us, not against us — and we are devoted to meeting the needs of our participants and community.

4) Build a Sustainable Future

Ultimately, our goal is to be an organization that is set up to thrive. If we want to best serve our community with high-quality programming for multiple generations, we need the resources to help us sustain this model.

To build a financially-sustainable United South End Settlements, we have determined that we must launch a growth capital campaign to support program quality, overall growth, and capital improvements. Additionally, we aim to grow our depleted endowment and invest in our real estate to support operations and programming, capital improvement, and our renewed focus on demonstrating our impact.

As we redefine our program model and approach, we also aim to increase our fundraising through our Annual Fund and expand program enrollment. By FY22, we strive to increase our Early Childhood Education participants by 37%, club48 by 35%, and serve over 100 more campers and youth leaders (CITs and LITs) at Camp Hale.

We believe that if we want to achieve the greatest possible impact for our participants, then we must build a sustainable financial future so that we can continue to shape our more than 125-year-old legacy.

Our Approach

USES supports the whole family with a Two Generation Approach by offering programs for children, youth, and parents/caregivers.

We engage youth in high quality programs.
Early Childhood Education: high quality education and care for 64 children ages 3 months to 5 years old.
club48: an out-of-school-time program for 60 children 5-12 years.
Camp Hale: a sleepaway summer camp on Squam Lake in New Hampshire for 225+ youth ages 6 to 17 years old.

We work with parents and caregivers.
Training for Office Jobs: a program designed to improve computer and workplace skills, enabling transition from low-skill, low-wage jobs into professional administrative jobs.
One-on-one coaching: for parents and caregivers to help identify strengths, define goals, and make a plan to achieve them.

Economic Security

Coaching Model
We have enrolled 54 people into coaching, of which 48% are involved in other USES programs.

Workforce Readiness

Youth Programs
In FY18, we served 372 children in our youth programs.


We are securing our future by increasing annual fundraising, launching a capital campaign, decreasing our organizational deficit, investing in our workforce by ensuring our staff have living wages and professional development, and building a revenue model that sustains our future.

Operating/Unrestricted Net Surpluss/(Loss)

Financial Growth FY17 to FY23

$3.591M ->$6.222M


$1M -> $12.7M

Before Vision125 -> Vision125

7 -> 28

18 -> 36

39 -> 40

52 -> 60

Training for Office Jobs
18 -> 26

50 -> 80

Across youth programs 70% of families receive subsidies and/or vouchers, whereas 30% of families pay full tuition.

United South End Settlements
(As of October 4, 2018)

Board of Directors

Julia Johannsen, Board Chair

Louis S. Mercedes, Vice Chair

Richard Stern, Treasurer

Azra Kanji, Clerk

Jennifer Kane Coplon

James M. DeMaggio

Jacqueline Fantuzzi

Peter Forkner

Hon. Arthur Gajarsa

Bandita Joarder

Kenneth Kruckemeyer

Joyce Lee

Aaron Miller

Camille Preston

Joan Tiffany

Leadership Staff

Maicharia Z. Weir Lytle, President & CEO

Marcie Bilodeau, Database & Evaluation Manager

Julie Burkley, Vice President of Programs

Jerrell Cox, Director of Camp Hale

Clara Garcia, Director of Operations

Chrissy Holt, Vice President of Operations

Karen Liberatore, Director of Program Administration

Emma MacDonald, Director of Marketing & Communications

Joel Nitzberg, Director of Workforce Readiness

Christina Paul, Director of Talent & Human Resources

Johnson Ramsaur, Executive Manager & Director of Special Projects

Tory Stephens, Director of Individual Giving

Nikki Stewart, Vice President of Development

Melody Valdes, Coaching Manager

Richard Webb, Assistant Director of Camp Hale

Presentation from 3rd Community Meeting

USES Real Estate Challenges and Goals (Slide 18)


  • Cost to operate all properties is close to $700,000 annually
  • Millions of dollars worth of capital improvements needed
  • Buildings are inefficient for programming needs


  • To best serve families, all programs should be under one roof and
  • Have outdoor/green space
  • Have spacious light-filled classrooms
  • Have space for children to run and play
  • To create spaces that are flexible and allow for future growth
  • To secure long-term financial stability
  • To continue and honor USES’s and Harriet Tubman’s Legacy

Our Process (Slide 19)

  • Hired consultants and formed a real estate committee to help USES think through all options
  • Thoroughly research, test and analyze the best options to preserve USES and ensure future
  • Gather feedback from community
  • Communicate with the community about our process, goals and needs of our organization

Since December 2017 (Slide 20)

  • USES had a catastrophic flood that damaged the entire half of 48 Rutland Street on January, 7, 2018 which required a complete rehab
    • Further tested Rutland Street to make sure USES Early Education, after school, job training and coaching programs can grow and fit
    • Fine-tuned financial analysis of options

Damage from Flood, Jan. 7, 2018 (Slide 21)


Tested a Number of Scenarios (Slide 22)

At the December 2017 Community Meeting, USES shared a number of options and only two were financially feasible

Scenario A: Baseline Scenario: USES-Only Building
Scenario B: 70’ Commercial Building: USES + Add’tl Office (USES as Developer)
Scenario B NonProfit: 70’ Commercial Building: USES + Add’tl Non-Profit Offices (USES as Developer)
Scenario C: 70’ Commercial Building: USES + Add’tl Office (Partner to Develop)
Scenario D: 70’ Mixed-Use Building: USES + Residential (Rental)
Scenario D-2: 70’ Mixed-Use Building: USES + Residential (Rental - 33% Affordable)
Scenario E IDP: 70’ Mixed-Use Building: USES + Residential (IDP Condo)
Scenario E Affordable: 70’ Mixed-Use Building: USES + Residential (more affordable Condo)
Scenario F: All at Rutland
Scenario G: All at Rutland + Columbus 1st Flr

Scenario E: The Columbus Gateway (Slide 23)

This scenario is a joint venture partnership building a mixed use building. USES would have 2.5 floors, housing would be on top.

Future exploration of a Rutland expansion ruled this option out.

Scenario G: The Rutland Campus (Slide 24)

This scenario gives USES the space it not only needs for program growth, but also is the best space to achieve our mission and impact for children and families.

An expansion at Rutland creates a comprehensive and integrated campus of learning for children and families that embodies the diversity of the neighborhood and city.

After we shared these scenarios in December, we further tested the feasibility of a Rutland expansion

Why Rutland & New Harriet Tubman? (Slide 25)

  • Rutland best serves children and families – legacy of serving children at Rutland
    • More outdoor and open space for children
    • Program fit and flow
    • Preserves USES history and ensures our future
    • Financing changed – 566 no longer eligible for NMTC

Rutland Meets Program Growth Goals which Lead to Stability (Slide 26)


Vision for new Harriet Tubman House (Slide 27)

  • Grow youth programming by 44% (114 children to 164 children)
    • Increase space for adult programming including job training, public access computer labs and coaching
    • Consolidate programming and administration under one roof
    • Retain outdoor space for youth programming
    • Financial Security of Endowment

New Harriet Tubman House (Slide 28)


Preserve Children’s Art Centre & Still have Plenty of Green Space (Slide 29)


Creating A Path Forward (Slide 31)

  • Program growth – revitalizing our programs to better serve our community – focusing on providing education and enrichment opportunities for children and their parents; supporting the whole family to break the cycle of poverty
    Better use of our existing spaces – creating the new Harriet Tubman House at Rutland Street; a cohesive, comprehensive campus that would support our new programming model and allow us to serve more children and their families
    Real estate assets – seeking proposals for our property at 566 Columbus Avenue to support an expansion at Rutland Street and ensure USES’s financial sustainability for many years to come

Next Steps: Making it Work (Slide 32)

Respect USES’s history, mission, and the legacy of Harriet Tubman:

  1. Exploring proposals for 566 Columbus
    • Have significant public or community benefit
    • Allow USES to grow its programs and create a sustainable future
  2. Further exploration on Rutland Street for redevelopment of a new Harriet Tubman House for USES

In Summary (Slide 33)

  • No decisions have been made on 566 Columbus
    • USES is exploring options that put it on a path of financial stability
    • We are committed to an open and transparent process
    • Please contact us with questions

Questions (Slide 34)


You may also directly contact:

President & CEO
Maicharia Weir Lytle
(617) 620-4136

Philanthropic Investments
Colleen George
Director of Development

Estimated Timeline

An estimated timeline* for the monetization of 566 Columbus Avenue

November 2018
Offering Memorandum released to public for 566 Columbus Avenue

December 2018 - January 2019
Parties interested in submitting a proposal contact Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, tours provided for 566 Columbus Avenue, instructions and deadline for proposal submission provided to prospects

February 2019
USES hosts community meeting to provide update on strategic plan progress

February 2019 - March 2019
Review written proposals, establish a short list of potential prospect finalists for interviews and continued negotiations

April 2019 - June 2019
Work with potential prospect finalists in a process to refine proposals to a closing

July 2019 & Onward
Successful finalists to ensure their planned use of the property is in compliance with all city requirements

*This timeline is subject to change

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