The Welcome Project builds the collective power of Somerville immigrants to participate in and shape community decisions. We do this through programs that strengthen the capacity of immigrant youth, adults and families to advocate for themselves and influence schools, government, and other institutions.

We are based at the Mystic Public Housing Development, and we work with immigrants throughout the city. Our efforts combine services, leadership development and opportunities for civic engagement -- from our interpreter training program for bilingual youth (Liaison Interpreter Program of Somerville or LIPS) to English Classes that help adult learners to navigate a new culture and community  to our Summer Youth "Culture Camp." Explore these pages to learn more.


Latest Updates

  • Oct 11, 2014

    Seven years ago, as a sophmore at Somerville High School, Kathleen Portillo joined LIPS -- the Liaison Interprters Program of Somerville. Fall 2008 was the beginnning of the first full year of the interpreter training and leadership program at The Welcome Project. Since then, LIPS has engaged more than 75 bilingual high school students in learning interpretation skill sand practicing them in the community.

    Fast forward to today. As the 2014-15 LIPS students prepare to start the program, Kathleen is beginning a masters program at Columbia University, after graduating from Union College with a bachelors degree in sociology in May. Recently, she chatted with The Welcome Project and discussed the impact of LIPS and The Welcome Project on her development.


  • Oct 10, 2014

    For many immigrants who believe the city has become more welcoming in recent years, the impending arrival of the Green Line in Union Square and throughout Somerville is a mixed blessing -- improving transportation access, yes, but also threatening to pull the welcome mat right out from under their place in the community as rapidly rising housing costs force displacement.  

    It's not just a concern for immigrants -- rising private rental and ownership costs brought about largely by a public investment in infrastructure -- are putting at risk  many residents and small business owners who fear they may never benefit from the highly anticipated improvements. 

  • Oct 10, 2014
    This fall, more than 150 adult English Language Learners enrolled in 11 different English classes (four levels of English) taught by 15 volunteer teachers and staff. The volunteer teachers will receive 40 hours of teacher training throughout the year, in addition to feedback from observations by Lindsay Wilbur, The Welcome Project’s ESOL coordinator.

    In addition to the regular language classes, there are two special classes: English for Parents, and English for Job Readiness.  The latter is in collaboration with the Somerville Community Corporation (SCC).  The job readiness class  helps smooth the process of finding a job by teaching the language used in e-mails, job applications, and more. Students can also enroll in an optional computer class, that is held each Friday morning.