Shelters for unhoused individuals

Community Day Center


A daytime (only) shelter (except in winter-see below) which serves homeless adults. It provides guests with services and support, including case management to help stabilize and enhance their lives. The Day Center offers computers, fax, telephones, television, snacks, guest speakers, counseling, referrals, and a quiet space for reading, resting, and visiting.

16 Felton St., Waltham, MA 02453  (781) 392-6311
Hours: M-F 12:30 to 4:30 pm

Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless

Statewide Individual Shelter Listing - SHELTER DIRECTORY

Wayside Youth Short Stop

Transitional housing for homeless youth ages 18-24. Offers an array of services to children, young adults, and families including mental health counseling; educational, community, outreach, day, and care services. (Services available organized by region).

Call 508-879-9800


EA Family Shelters

Emergency Assistance (EA) Shelters are funded by the state Dept. of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) and are administered by the state Dept. of Transitional Assistance (DTA).

Who is eligible for State Emergency Shelter?

  • Be a resident of Massachusetts (bring a state ID, lease or utility bill, or a letter from the child’s school or doctor showing an in-state address)
  • Have a child under 21 years old or are pregnant
  • Meet the income limits
  • At least one member is either a US citizen or at least one family member is “PRUCOL” (persons residing under color of law) which includes refugees, asylees, and lawful permanent resident


  • You are homeless through no fault of your own (No-fault fire, flood, natural disaster, condemnation, or foreclosure, no-fault eviction) OR  Child(ren) are exposed to a substantial health and safety risk
  • You have a place, but one that is overcrowded or unsafe. OR
  • You need to leave your current housing due to domestic violence or a severe medical condition;


  •  You have no place to stay with family or friends.

Emergency Assistance applicants must provide all requested verifications within 30 days.

To apply by phone: Call 866-584-0653 and ask to speak to a Homeless Coordinator.
To apply in person:  You can apply at any DTA office, 8 am – 4 pm. Go as early in the morning as possible in order to be seen that day. Online application is not available 

Closest locations:
· 2201 Washington Street, Boston (Roxbury) - Nubian Square
· 80 Everett Ave, Chelsea

Preparing for your trip:


  • Bring all ID documents that you have for all members of your household.
  • Bring any documents related to your current or recent housing situation: any eviction notices or letters from your current or last landlord stating why you needed to leave.
  • To prove overcrowding or severe violations of the State Sanitary Code, bring a report from the health department/ housing inspector if you have it.
  • You must prove that you intend to reside in the state.  Bring a state ID or a utility bill (preferred), or a letter from the child’s school or doctor showing an in-state address.
  • Bring any documents related to domestic violence.
  • Bring all of your belongings with you, since you may be placed right away.
  •  Bring as many members of your household as you can.
  •  Bring food and activities for your children as you may need to stay all day at the office.
  • Go as early in the day as possible in order to have the best chance of being seen.

During the intake interview:

  • You have the right to an interpreter. There is also a Language Line that the worker can call for an interpreter. Basic documents are available in the most common languages.
  • You may be asked if you have family or friends to stay with- If that is not a realistic option for you, then say you have no options.
  • Get the name and phone number of any staff person you talk to and write it down.
  • Ask for documentation of the results of your meeting.  Whatever the outcome, as for a letter that explains what the next steps are.  This will help us follow through with the staff.
  • The worker must take your application the same day and must approve or deny it right away if you have no place to stay, or if your health or safety is at risk.
  • If a worker tries to convince you not to apply, ask to speak with a supervisor or office director, or call WATCH in Waltham (if you are a Waltham resident) at 781-891-6689 x203 or Greater Boston Legal Services, 617-371-1234or 800-323-3205 (toll-free)
  • If you don’t have all the necessary papers, but based on your statements, you seem to qualify, then they must place you in a shelter right away and give you 30 days to get the rest of the papers. They must also help you to get the papers if they can.

State Emergency Shelter Rules for Families with Non-US Citizens

Shelters for Women

Bristol Lodge Women’s Shelter
An overnight women's shelter. Either self-referral or referral by the agency. 3 months on/ 3 months off. The shelter also has counseling, one meal a day, clothing by referral, and storage facilities. If you need a bed, you must complete a pre screening.

To complete pre-screening, call 781-893-0108, Monday through Friday. Phone calls are accepted beginning at 9:00am.

Capacity: 12
Restrictions: Sober women; Open Daily 4:00pm-8:00am
Contact: Annette Poirier, Director

205 Bacon Street
Waltham, MA, 02453
The Bristol lodge is a division of Middlesex Human Service Agency, Inc.


This is a shelter associated with the Project Place which means that guests have access to the resources provided (including job training). Services include skill development, stabilization assistance, career development, and case management. Women attend classes or work in enterprise programs all supported by individually designed wrap around services. The average stay at this shelter is 6 months. Guests refer themselves.

Capacity: 10 women
Restrictions: Sober, curfew

40 Berkley St.
Boston, MA, 02116

Pine Street Inn provides a safe place to sleep as well as access to recovery programs and healthcare. Staff works with guests to create pathways to permanent supportive housing, and provide connections to critical services that help reduce lengths of homelessness. Guests should refer themselves. The Inn also offers a Pregnant Women's program that helps women prepare to care for an infant.

Open: 24/7 365 days

Capacity: 81 people per night
Restrictions: Women only, curfew

363 Albany Street
Boston, MA, 02118

Safe haven for LGBTQ+ women. Guests can stay for up to 21 days at a time. The shelter is open year-round and offers three meals a day as well as access to day programs, showers, laundry, counseling, advocacy, medical care, and other resources. Rosie’s Place advocates can assist in finding housing, employment, transportation, emergency funds and more. Guests should refer themselves.

Capacity: 20 women. Obtaining a bed based on a lottery system done most mornings. However, if a bed is unavailable, staff will help find a bed at another shelter. 

Restrictions: Sober women, 18+ years old

889 Harrison Ave.
Boston, MA, 02118

This is a shelter run by Catholic Charities Boston. Guests have access to advocacy, counseling, medical referrals, educational services, and meals. Guests refer themselves.
Restrictions: Sober women
270 Washington St.
Somerville, MA, 02143

This shelter program is run by SMOC. It provides assistance to women leaving the correctional system. The program lasts 6 months and consists of transitional housing, substance abuse treatment if necessary, vocational training, other education services. Eligibility requirements: Women who have substance abuse problems, women who have been incarcerated or had prior incarceration. Participants must be referred through the correctional facility. Referrals must include their Psych-Social, latest TB tests, and other medical sheets


Capacity: 8 women
7 Bishop St, Framingham MA 01702

This is a program run by SMOC. Referrals go through the Common Ground Resource Center.  It provides temporary housing for the participants and is designed to help women with vocational training, housing advocacy, and mental health services.

Restrictions: Sober

For more information or to obtain a referral packet, call: 508-620-2690

Shelters for Men

Bristol Lodge Men’s Shelter
An overnight shelter for men. Either self referral or referral by agency. 3 months on/ 3 months off. The shelter also has resources like counseling, clothing by referral, one meal a day, and storage facilities.

Capacity: 45
Restrictions: 18+, Sober men, out of shelter 7:45am-6pm; 7pm curfew
Contact: Annette Poirier, Program director

27 Lexington Street
Waltham, MA, 02451

The Bristol lodge is a division of Middlesex Human Service Agency, Inc.

The First Church in Cambridge offers shelter nightly for men. Also available are meals, some storage facilities and clothing, referrals for counseling and medical care. Duration of stay is negotiated between guests and staff. Guests are welcome to stay as long as they are actively working with shelter staff and other providers. The average stay is about 7 months. The church works with Homestart and doesn't take walk-in guests. Referrals should come from credible sources in the greater Boston area-hospitals, other shelters, social service agencies.

Capacity: 14
Restrictions: Sober, free of acute psychiatric emergency 

Hours: 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

11 Garden St.
Cambridge, MA, 02138


Contact: Jim Stewart

This is a night shelter for single men. Guests should refer themselves and are expected to leave during the day.

Capacity: 100 +

540 Columbia Rd.
Dorchester, MA, 02125


This is Pine Street Inn's shelter only for men. The guests have access to the resources that are offered by Pine Street Inn: counseling, meals, clothing, medical care, day programs, some transportation, and some storage. Specialists can provide connections to critical services that reduce the length of homelessness and help create a pathway to permanent housing. Guests should refer themselves.

Capacity: 206

444 Harrison Ave.
Boston, MA, 02118


Salvation Army Cambridge Shelter
This shelter allows men to stay up to 4 nights at a time with a wait of another 4 days before the next stay. Guests have access to counseling, meals, clothing, medical care, and day programs. Guests should refer themselves.
Open: Monday-Friday: 9:00am-3:00pm

Capacity: 40 men
Restrictions: Sober

402 Mass. Ave.
Cambridge, MA, 02139


Officers: Majors Douglas: 

Judy Hart: 

This is a shelter run by SMOC. Guests call in to put their name on a wait list. Guests also have access to meals and medical care by referral.

Capacity: 18 sober, 10 not-sober
Restrictions: Sobriety; 10pm curfew

3 Merchant Rd
Framingham, MA, 01702

Community Shelter Project
Capacity: 18 men
Average length of stay: 60 days
No waiting list. Work toward finding permanent housing, job resources.
Restrictions: men only. No 2nd or 3rd level sex offenders, no serious criminal record.
Referral: SMOC in Framingham 508-872-4853
57 Mechanic St.
Marlboro, MA 01752