United South End Settlements Names Jerrell Cox as Exec. Dir.
April 15, 2022 — United South End Settlements a nonprofit community advocacy and services organization that serves Boston’s South End and Lower Roxbury neighborhoods, yesterday announced it named Jerrell Cox as executive director.
Since last May, Cox has been serving as co-executive director of United South End Settlements (USES) with José F. Massó, who yesterday was named Boston’s chief of human services.
“We here at USES are extremely fortunate to have a leader with Jerrell’s experience, deep compassion, and capabilities to lead our organization into the future,” said USES Board Chair Julia Johannsen. “As we move back to the single executive director model, Jerrell’s longtime engagement at USES brings an unparalleled perspective that continually uplifts our program participants, families, and neighbors.”
Cox joined USES in 1994 as a camper at Camp Hale, the overnight camp owned and operated by the organization in Sandwich, N.H. He subsequently served as director of Camp Hale for more than 10 years from 2009-2020, then as vice president of external relations before being named co-executive director.
During his tenure with USES, Cox led a capital campaign that raised $5.6 million for improvements at Camp Hale. He recently was featured in The Boston Globe alongside Massó and USES Chief of Staff Melody Valdes for the organization’s guaranteed income program, which provides 16 families with $800 per month in unrestricted money to help fight poverty.
“USES has been my professional home for more than a decade, but it’s been a huge part of my life for nearly 30 years,” said Cox. “It’s a great honor to serve in this role, and I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to lead an amazing group of dedicated professionals committed to building on USES’s 130-year history of serving our community through early childhood education, youth development, and economic mobility.”
Cox earned a Associate of Arts degree in liberal arts and sciences/liberal studies from Bunker Hill Community College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Massachusetts-Boston.
Originally founded as the Andover House in 1892, USES was the first settlement house in Boston and the fourth in the United States. The founding principle of these organizations was to provide college-aged, upper-class men and women with opportunities to live in impoverished neighborhoods and partner with residents in order to lift their neighbors out of poverty by strengthening families and building community. In 1959, five settlement houses were consolidated into one, leading to the organization's current name.
Historically one of the poorest neighborhoods in Boston, the South End deteriorated rapidly after World War II due to redlining and urban renewal. According to USES, the South End neighborhood has the greatest wealth disparity in the city of Boston, with 36% of children living below the poverty line today.
For the year ending June 30, 2020, USES reported $5.1 million in revenue, of which $4.4 million came from contributions and grants, and $4.5 million in expenses, according to its most recently available federal financial information filing.
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