FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN

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

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 2019 Emergency Assistance Advocacy Guide from Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI).

To see if your family meets the income eligibility guidelines for EA and HomeBASE, please see the 2020 income guidelines (PDF) and the image below. The EA and HomeBASE income eligibility standards for applicants are based on 115% of the federal poverty guidelines. For families already in EA, DHCD determines eligibility for ongoing benefits using the standard of 200% FPL.

Applications:

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.

*Applications during the COVID-19 state of emergency: During the COVID-19 pandemic, families only can apply for shelter resources by phone, as local offices anticipate being closed to the public for the remainder of 2020. To apply by phone, call DHCD’s toll-free number: 1-866-584-0653.*

Applications during non-pandemic times: For a list of local offices across the state where you can apply, please click here and select the city/town you consider your home community or where you are staying. DHCD is promoting the use of a telephonic application process as the number of in-person application sites has been reduced. To apply by phone, call DHCD’s toll-free number: 1-866-584-0653. If you are unable to get to a DHCD office in person and have problems applying by phone, you can call DHCD’s Central Office at 617-573-1106 to ask for assistance.

*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 kelly@mahomeless.org.

Bridge House
24 Baker Street
Lynn, MA 01902
781-593-3898

Total Capacity: 11 families.
Services: Advocacy; counseling by referral; medical care; day programs; transportation, Spanish, and English
Restrictions: Participation in chores is required.  Curfew: Weekdays: 10pm; Weekend: 12 am.
Admissions Process: Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development and be eligible for an Emergency Assistance bed.

 

Renae’s Place for Homeless Families
7 Temple
Cambridge, MA 02139
617- 491-6050

Total Capacity: 10 families
Services: Advocacy; referral; some clothing; counseling.
Languages: Spanish; Haitian; Bengali.
Restrictions: Please call
Admissions Process: Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

 

Children’s Services of Roxbury
504 Dudley St
Roxbury, MA 02119
617-989-1093

Total Capacity: 166 families
Services: Advocacy; case management; housing search; education programs.
Languages:  Spanish; Haitian Creole.
Restrictions: No history of violent behavior
Admissions process:  Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development and be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

Casa Nueva Vida
53 Glen Road
Western Massachusetts, MA 02130
617-524-6332

Total Capacity: 16 families.
Services: Advocacy; counseling; some clothing; education & English classes.
Language: Spanish
Restrictions: Curfew: Sun- Thurs. 9pm and Fri-Sat 10pm.
Referral: Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development and be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

 

EMPath
10 Perthshire Road
Brighton, MA 02135
617-782-7600

Total Capacity: 58 families in congregate shelter; 8 families in Mattapan location; 17 units of co-shelter;
Services: Advocacy; counseling; 3meals/day; clothing if available; handicap accessibility; van transportation (to jobs).
Languages: Spanish; Haitian Creole.
Restrictions: Curfews vary depending on location.
Admissions Process:  Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development or the Department of Transitional Assistance and be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

Crossroads Family Shelter
56 Havre Street
East Boston, MA 02128
617-567-5926

Total Capacity: 27 families  
Services: case management, housing search, meals, clothing, weekly visiting nurse, play space, workshops.
Languages: Spanish
Restrictions: No drug or alcoholic use. Curfew:  9:00 pm curfew Sunday-Thursday; 11:30 pm on Friday & Saturday.
Admissions Process: Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

 

Cross Street Family Shelter
59 Cross Street
Box 440436
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 551-1700

Total Capacity: 5 families.
Services: Advocacy; 3 communal meals (families cook their own meals); clothing if available; access to medical care at a nearby clinic.
Languages:  Spanish and Creole
Restrictions: Curfew: Sun- Thurs. 9pm and Fri-Sat 10pm.
Admissions Process: Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development and be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

 

Families in Transition
316 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
617-927-8290

Total Capacity: 22 beds among families.   
Services: Advocacy; handicap accessibility; medical care through Health Care for the Homeless; public transportation.
Restrictions: Curfew: Sun-Thurs 9pm and Fri-Sat 11pm.
Admissions Process: Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development and be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

 

Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center, Inc.
614 Massachusetts Avenue, 3rd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-491-5752

Total capacity: 126 families in Congregate and Scattered Sites shelter units in Boston and Cambridge
Services: Information and Referral, Case Management, Housing Search and Stabilization.  Life Skills workshops and Children’s Programs depending on availability of resources.
Restrictions: Families with children only
Languages: Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole
Admission:  Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance and must be referred by the Department of Housing and Community Development.

 

Mary’s House / Bristol Lodge Family Shelter
62 Church Street
Waltham, MA 02154
781-647-9957

Total Capacity: 8 families.
Services: Advocacy; referral; food; clothing; handicap accessibility; medical care by referral; day program; open 24 hours; transportation access; cook own meals.
Languages: French
Restrictions: Sobriety. Curfew: Sun-Thurs. 9pm. Fri-Sat 11pm.
Admissions Process: Must have a referral from the Department of Transitional Assistance and be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

 

Nazareth House
91 Regent Street
Roxbury, MA 02119
617-541-0100

Community Rooms: 3.
Total Capacity: 7 DTA families (10 total including community rooms).
Services: Advocacy; counseling; transportation.
Restrictions: At least one family member must be HIV positive; 2 yr limit.
Admissions Process: There is a waiting list specific to the community room. Must have a referral from the Department of Transitional Assistance and be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

 

Project Hope
550 Dudley Street
Roxbury, MA 02119
617-442-1880

Total Capacity: 11 families.
Services:  Counseling; cook own meals; referrals; clothing if available; Spanish; handicap accessible; visiting nurse; day program, job training, social supports, and workshops.
Restrictions:  Sobriety; no history of drug addiction or domestic violence
Admissions Process:  Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development for Emergency Assistance beds.

 

Re-Vision House
38 Fabyan Street
Dorcester, MA 02124
617-825-8642

Total Capacity: 22 beds among women and children.
Services: Advocacy; counseling; community kitchen & pantry; medical care through Health Care for Homeless; transportation; storage facilities, stabilization services, day care.
Languages:  French Creole
Restrictions: Sobriety (random drug testing); women & children only.
Admissions Process:  Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development or DTA and be eligible for Emergency Assistance.  Client-based referral for those are between the ages of 18-21. Pregnant women above this age are also eligible.

 

St. Ambrose Family Inn
25 Leonard Street
Dorchester, MA 02122
617-288-7675

Total Capacity: 19 families.
Services: Advocacy; counseling by referral; food provided; clothing if available; access to medical care; after school program for children; transportation for housing only.
Language: Spanish; Haitian/Creole
Admissions Process: Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development and be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

 

Margaret’s House
90 Cushing Ave.
Dorchester, MA 02125
617-436-3944 (hotline)
617-436-8600 (Intake center)

Total Capacity: 32 beds among women and children.
Services: Advocacy; counseling; referral; clothing; prenatal care; onsite nurse.
Restrictions: Women & children only; must be pregnant or parenting; boys up to the age of 12.
Admissions Process: Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

 

Sojourner House
85 Rockland Street
Roxbury, MA 02119
617-442-0590

Total Capacity: 9 families.
Services: Advocacy; counseling; food pantry; clothing; handicap accessibility; medical care through Health Care for the Homeless; day program; transportation for housing appointments only.
Languages:  Spanish; Haitian Creole.
Restrictions: Sobriety.
Referral: Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development and be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

 

Centerboard
16 City Hall Square
Lynn, MA 01905
781-598-9417

Total Capacity: 272 units for families among the scattered services.
Services: Advocacy; counseling by referral; food by referral; clothing if available; Spanish; not handicapped accessible but will be soon; transportation for housing appointments and emergencies only.
Restrictions: Sobriety; financial stability.
Admissions Process: Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

 

Temporary Home for Women and Children
41 New Chardon Street
Boston, MA 02114
617-720-3611

Total Capacity: 15 families.
Services: Advocacy, counseling; 3 meals/day; limited Spanish; handicap accessible; medical care day program; transportation; clothing if available.
Restrictions: Non-EA eligible; women & children only; no drugs or alcohol; income restriction.
Admissions Process:  Referral needed from Department of Children & Family.

 

Housing Families
254 Broadway
Malden, MA 02148
781-324-1303 (site)

350 Cross St.
Malden, MA 02148
781 322-9119 (main)

Total Capacity: 100 scattered sites
Services: Advocacy; referral for counseling; cook own food; clothing; access to medical care; workshops & support groups; transportation to housing appointments only.
Languages: Spanish; Creole; Portuguese.
Restrictions: Sobriety; no active substance abuse.
Admissions Process: Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development and be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

Friendly House
87 Elm Street
Worcester 01609
508-792-1799

Community Rooms: 3
Total Capacity: 13 beds for men and women.
Services: Advocacy; referrals; handicap access.
Admissions Process: Individuals can self-refer for community rooms; otherwise, referrals through the Department of Housing and Community Development are needed. People must call back to check for availability.

 

Youville House
133 Granite Street
Worcester, MA 01604
508-753-3084

Total Capacity: 12 families
Services: Advocacy; counseling; 3 meals; housing search.
Restrictions: Requires sobriety on premises.
Admissions Process: Must have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development and be eligible for Emergency Assistance

Medway Family Shelter
17 Holliston St.
Medway, MA 02053
508-533-1487

Total Capacity: 12 beds among families.
Services: Counseling; 3 meals; some clothing; handicap accessible, referrals.
Languages: Spanish
Restrictions: Requires sobriety.
Admissions Process:  Requires a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

 

Pathways Family Shelter (SMOC)
248 Edgell Road
Framingham, MA 01701
508-879-5047

Total Capacity: 13 beds among teen families.
Services:  Advocacy; counseling; community kitchen; 3 meals/day; clothing by referral; limited transportation; storage facilities.
Restrictions:  Only accepting children, teen couples; sobriety is required on the premises; a 12am curfew is in effect on weekends.
Admissions Process:  Requires a referral from the Department of Transitional Assistance to get an Emergency Assistance bed.

 

South Middlesex Opportunity Council 
7 Bishop St.
Framingham, MA 01702
508-620-2623

Total Capacity: 30 beds among families in scattered sites.
Services: Spanish; advocacy; counseling; referrals.
Waiting list: Yes.
Admissions Process: Must have a referral from the Department of Transitional Assistance and be eligible for Emergency Assistance.

 

MetroWest Interfaith Hospitality Network
13 Common Street
P.O. Box 847
Natick, MA  01760
508-318-4820

Community Rooms: Rotates among 19 congregations   
Total Capacity:  4 families.
Services: Meals; referrals; case management; transportation.
Admissions Process:  There is a wait list.  People can self-refer, or obtain a referral from a social service agency.

Carolina Hill Shelter
728 Main Street
Marshfield, MA 02050
781-837-1377

Total Capacity: 16 families.
Services: Advocacy; counseling by referral; 3 meals a day; handicapped accessible.
Restrictions: Must meet Emergency Assistance guidelines.
Admissions Process: Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance and have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

 

Carriage House
294 Old Main Road
Falmouth, MA 02556
508-564-6485

Total Capacity: 8 families of women and children (approximately 14 people maximum).
Services: Advocacy; counseling; 3 meals a day; handicap accessibility; storage facilities.
Restrictions: No males over 12; shelter is only for young women and first time mothers.
Admissions Process: Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance and have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

 

Conway House
(Brockton Coalition for the Homeless)
14 E. Grove Street
Middleboro, MA 02346
508-946-8505
(offices at Main Spring house- 508-587-5441)

Total Capacity: 12 families.
Services: Advocacy; counseling by referral; emergency food; community kitchen; clothing if necessary; handicap accessibility; medical care nearby; day program.
Admissions Process: Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance and have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

 

David Jon Louison Child Center—Old Colony YMCA
137 Newbury Street
Brockton, MA 02301
508-584-4315

Total Capacity: 23 families.
Services: Advocacy; counseling; food pantry when necessary; clothing if necessary; handicapped accessible; access to medical care; day programs; transportation for housing appointments only.
Languages: Spanish; Portuguese; Haitian Creole.
Restrictions: Must be sober while on premises.
Admissions Process: Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance and have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

 

Faith Home Share – Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore
48 Sea Street
Weymouth, MA 02191
781-340-1604

Total Capacity: 26 families
Services: Advocacy; referral resources.
Admissions Process: Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance and have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development. Those interested in community rooms will be referred to two local churches.

 

Family Resource Center
11 Peck Street
Attleboro, MA 02703
508-226-5722

Total Capacity: 7 families.
Services: Advocacy; counseling; budgeting; 3 meals + snacks; clothing; transportation.
Restrictions: Parents must be 18 year or older; no independent males older than 17 allowed.
Admissions Process: Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance and have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development

 

Housing Assistance Corporation Cape Cod
460 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
508-771-5400

Total Capacity: 35+ families, some in scattered sites
Services: Advocacy; counseling; cooking facilities; clothing; handicapped accessible.
Languages: Spanish; Portuguese; American Sign Language.
Restrictions: Sobriety.
Admissions Process: Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance and have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development

 

Pilgrim’s Hope
149 Bishop’s Highway
Kingston, MA 02364
781-582-2010

Total Capacity: 10 families.
Services: Food pantry and Fair Programs.
Restrictions: Must be over the age of 18 when not in a family.
Admissions Process: Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance and have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development

 

Missionaries of Charity
556 County Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
508-997-7347

Total Capacity: 10 families of women and children.
Services: Food & clothing.
Restrictions:
Admissions Process:
Must be eligible for Emergency Assistance and have a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development

A Family’s Place
177 Sargeant Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
413-536-2787

Total Capacity: 64 families.
Services: Advocacy; referrals for clothing; medical care; counseling.
Languages: Spanish
Restrictions: Requires sobriety on premises.
Admissions Process:  Requires a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

 

Jessie’s House
143 West Street
Northampton, MA 01060
413-586-8212

Community Rooms: 2.
Total Capacity: 8 Families.
Admissions process: Requires a referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development or a social services agency.

Information on the 2012 (FY’13) Emergency Assistance regulation changes (still in effect as of September 2020)

EA data from DHCD: Historical caseload data, FY’11 to the present and sample monthly report 

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. HomeBASE funding can be used to help you pay for first month’s rent, last month’s rent, a security deposit, an ongoing shallow rent subsidy, etc. 

HomeBASE information from the Department of Housing and Community Development

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 download the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education poster pictured below, and 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’19 budget fact sheet. Updated guidance from the U.S. Department of Education can be found here (added July 2016).