Greater Boston Interfaith Organization


GBIO UPDATE — On Thursday, April 11, over 200 people gathered for GBIO’s Housing Justice Rally on the State House steps, where they had kicked off the Housing Justice Campaign thirteen months earlier.  After a rousing rally, those 200+ GBIO volunteers headed into the State House to meet with their respective representatives and senators.  The Housing Justice Campaign has had five major actions this year: the beginning and ending rallies (March 2023, April 2024), a huge housing event at Temple Israel in Boston (June 2023) attended by 1400 people, another enormous housing event at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (March 2024) attended by 1500 people, and a series of smaller in-district gatherings with legislators in churches and halls throughout the Boston area (the largest of these in-district meetings was a full-sanctuary right here at UCW on January 29, 2024). 

UCW was well represented at all of these Housing Justice events.  Thank you, UCW housing justice warriors!  As GBIO’s year-long Housing Justice Campaign comes to a close and our legislators vote on the housing budget, let’s consider and pray on these words from GBIO’s Housing Justice Open Letter, signed by 155 Boston area clergy and presented to our MA legislators in March:  

Our sacred texts repeatedly call for us to secure housing for all members of our communities, including the most vulnerable residents. The prophet Isaiah hears the Holy voice: “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes in undisturbed places of rest!” (Isaiah 32:18-20). And the prophet Micah envisions the wellness and joy that can be ours when all members of society can “rest safely under our own vine and fig tree where none can make us afraid” (Micah 4:4). 

And yet, too many of our people live in neglected public housing that endangers their health due to pests, mold, and asbestos. Too many are unhoused, despite hundreds of unrepaired, vacant public housing units in the Commonwealth. Too many return from prison without housing or even identification. Too many, especially young people, renters, and families of color, are locked out of the opportunity to buy a home. Too many of us are unable to afford housing where we grew up. In a time and place of so much abundance, we are falling short of the sacred and achievable vision of our faiths.
When some among us suffer, our leadership, our faith, our integrity, our very lives are judged by whether we do what is within our power to make things better. We have a tremendous opportunity before us now to love our neighbors and to love ourselves by making it possible for more people to secure affordable, safe, quality housing in Massachusetts. We implore you to remember this and act accordingly.

The Union Church in Waban is an active member of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), a broad-based, non-partisan, interfaith, multiracial power organization rooted in Greater Boston’s neighborhoods and congregations. Made up of 60 dues-paying member institutions representing more than 107,000 people, GBIO is dedicated to making our city a better place for all of us to live and thrive. For more than 20 years, GBIO has worked to improve housing and healthcare, reform our criminal justice system, address racial disparities in our city, and rebuild schools and neighborhoods, among other issues.

By engaging thousands of people in identifying important problems and using proven organizing methods to engage and develop leaders, GBIO has built and demonstrated collective strength to achieve a wide variety of goals. As times change, so, too, do the issues GBIO selects.

Every GBIO campaign begins with listening. We share stories about the issues that affect our lives, our families, our communities, then choose issues we all can support. Together, we act strategically, holding government and corporate power players accountable for the common good. 

Current areas of focus are:

  • Affordable Housing (home ownership and rental)
  • Reentry Services for Formerly Incarcerated People
  • Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Service Access (including in Education)

For more information on GBIO, please visit: or reach out to our liaison: Julie Heffernan.