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State-Funded Resources for Families: Emergency Assistance Shelter and the HomeBASE Short-Term Housing Assistance Program

Shelters for Families with Children

If you are experiencing homelessness and have a child under the age of 21 or you are pregnant, you and your family may be eligible for placement in a family shelter. The vast majority of family shelter spaces are administered by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), through their Emergency Assistance (EA) program.

To learn more about how to access EA shelter, follow these links to access the June 2014 EA Application Guide for Families from Rosie's Place and Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) and here to access the 2013 Emergency Asssistance Advocacy Guide from MLRI.

To see the current income eligibility guidelines, please click here.

Please note that you must apply for EA shelter through DHCD, and cannot directly access an EA shelter placement by contacting the shelters linked below. For a list of local offices across the state where you can apply, please click here (towards bottom of page).

*Please also note that these lists may not be comprehensive. If you are a shelter provider and would like to add or update your listing, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Family Shelters in Greater Boston 

Family Shelters in Metro West

Family Shelters in Southeastern Massachusetts

Family Shelters in Central Massachusetts

Family Shelters in Western Massachusetts

Statewide Family Shelter Community Rooms
*Community room shelter spaces are for families who do not qualify for Emergency Assistance shelter through the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

Updates on the 2012 (FY'13) Emergency Assistance regulation changes

Emergency Assistance Data from DHCD (April - May 2012 data; updated 8-9-12)

HomeBASE Diversion and Rehousing Assistance for Families with Children 

If you are experiencing homelessness and have a child under the age of 21 or you are pregnant, your family may be eligible for assistance through the Department of Housing and Community Development’s HomeBASE program.

** If your family has been receiving HomeBASE Rental Assistance, and you are reaching your two-year time limit, click here to learn more about potential options for additional assistance for your family, in English and in Spanish (en español).  (Updated 8-16-13 and 8-30-13.)

Current income eligibility limits for families transitioning from HomeBASE Rental Assistance to HomeBASE Household Assistance, by area of the state (Updated 8-20-13)

HomeBASE Household Assistance Flyer from MLRI

HomeBASE Household Assistance Flyer from DHCD, for families in Emergency Assistance shelter (Updated 11-9-12)

HomeBASE Information from the Department of Housing and Community Development

HomeBASE Guidance for Fiscal Year 2013

HomeBASE Income Eligibility Information from DHCD (Updated 8-24-12)

December 2011 HomeBASE Recommendations from the Legislature and Administration

HomeBASE Data from DHCD (Updated 3-22-12)

* To better understand the intersections of the Emergency Assistance, HomeBASE, and RAFT programs, please click here.


Education of Children Experiencing Homelessness

To learn more about the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness under the federal McKinney-Vento Act, please click here to see a helpful summary from our colleagues at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. These rights include rights related to enrollment and transportation. To learn more about our budget campaign related to education transportation for these students, see our FY'15 budget fact sheet.


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