Homeless Shelters

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Massachusetts Resources for People without Homes

Statewide listings of homeless services including shelter, case management, health care, food, job training, substance abuse services, and transportation. The agencies listed on the site are not necessarily transgender friendly or have had transgender training, but the site does give a list of resources across the state. I would suggest calling programs and asking about their policies on serving transgender people before accessing or referring someone to them.
(Link Checked 8/12)

Department of Transitional Assistance

Department of Transitional Assistance Website
The mission of the Department of Transitional Assistance is to assist low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, increase their incomes, and improve their quality of life.
Central Office
600 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: 617-348-8500 (Link Checked 8/12)

Emergency Shelter

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers the emergency assistance program through the Division of Housing Stabilization (DHS). If you are worried about losing your current home, DHS has a number of resources that can help you.
Phone: 617-573-1370 or toll free at 877-418-3308.

Food Assistance

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Phone: 1-866-950-FOOD (3663)
(Link Checked 8/12)

MA Housing and Shelter Alliance Young Adult Resource Guide

MHSA (MA Housing and Shelter Alliance) has released its new Young Adult Resource Guide, with user-friendly features: clickable web links and bookmarks on the side that enable the user to flip to each section. To access an electronic copy of the Guide, please click on [1]

Shelters: Boston/Cambridge

Boston City Ordinance: There is a city ordinance in Boston which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression, this has been in place since 2002 and this is what prompted the city of Boston to create guidelines and policies for the city shelters to include transgender women in women's units. The most recent updates to the guidelines are attached and myself with the Boston Public Health Commission have been providing trainings and technical assistance to the Boston City Shelters.

Boston Public Health Commissions' statement about serving transgender people in homeless shelters in the city of Boston
(Link Checked 7.11)

(Link Checked 8/12)

Bridge Over Troubled Waters Residential Services:
Bridge was one of nine agencies selected in the United States to operate the first federally-funded Transitional Living Program (TLP) for homeless youth. Seven years later, the Bridge Single Parent Home (SPH) was created to address the need for a separate, child-centered transitional residence for homeless young mothers and their children. Bridge’s SPH is the only open-intake voluntary transitional living program in MA for pregnant and parenting homeless young women ages 18-21. LGBT welcoming http://www.bridgeotw.org/ (Link Checked 8/12)

Basic Center:
The Basic Center program serves homeless, throwaway and at risk youth between the ages of 14-17. The Center can house youth for 72 hours prior to parent or guardian consent. If consent is given the individual can be housed for up to 21 days. Additionally the runaway counselor works with the individual and family to accommodate reunification if that is a viable option. The runaway counselor also does preventative counseling to families and individuals who are struggling. The runaway counselor also does outreach to schools, churches, community groups etc. LGBT welcoming http://www.bridgeotw.org/
(Link Checked 8/12)

Shelter Program:
The Bridge Shelter program serves young adults between the ages of 18-24. The shelter has 14 beds and serves males and females. There are 6 emergency beds which are reserved for the most vulnerable clients. There are 8 contract beds which are maintained by the client demonstrating active participation in the program and complying with their action plan and program rules. Unless it is an after hours emergency clients sign up for the shelter through the Bridge intake process, which a walk in process Monday though Friday between 9am and 3pm. LGBT welcoming http://www.bridgeotw.org/
(Link Checked 8/12)

Pine Street Inn

444 Harrison Avenue, Boston
Update 1/11/2012: Pine Street Inn has had training on transgender communities and we have heard they are taking transgender guests and honoring their gender identity in placement'
(Link Checked 8/12)

Rosie's Place

Rosie's Place, a sanctuary for poor and homeless women, serves Transgender women (MTF). Rosie's Place serves all who self-identify as women. All guests are welcome to take advantage of the services Rosie's Place offers. These include advocacy, emergency shelter, meals, food pantry, ESL and GED classes, emergency clothing, laundry room, lockers, phones, computer, credit counselor, career counselor, Shelter Legal Services, showers, mental health services, educational services and a wellness center.
(Link Checked 8/12)

Rosie's Place staff members receive training from Transcend on Transgender issues and will work with Transgender women (MTF) with no post SRS surgery requirement.

Rosie's Place is located at 889 Harrison Avenue in Roxbury and is located 1.5 blocks from Boston Medical Center.

Father Bill's (Quincy)

The emergency shelter is located at 38 Broad Street. Beds are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Guests must line up outside the shelter each afternoon; intake begins each day at 4:30 pm and ends at 5:00 pm. Guests will not be allowed to check in after 5:30.

Father Bill's runs several other programs, like Shelter Plus Care, and Housing for Victims of Domestic Violence. One of the first shelters to receive training on transgender issues. (Link Checked 8/12)

NE Shelter for Homeless Veterans

Friendliness varies; check with MTPC for current status of service. (Link Checked 8/12)

Shelters run by the City of Boston

The following shelters are run by the city of Boston and are required to follow the "Boston Public Health Commission Protocol for Serving Transgender Guests and Health Services Guidelines for Serving Transgender Guests" Updated Protocols 2006 Updated Protocols for Serving Transgender Guests These shelters receive training on transgender issues approx. every year to year and half. (Link Checked 8/12)

Edit on Long Island Shelter: 'Long Island' is a terrible place to be as a homeless person. It is filthy, the place smells like urine. The staff are not respectful. There are many residents living there that are fresh out of prison (rape, drugs, theft, perhaps even murder). The place is isolated and is only accessible by coach, which I hear is going to be taken away soon, causing 'guests' to have to arrive and leave by cab. Pine Street Inn guests that don't win the 'lottery' (name drawn out of a jar for a bed at PSI) are told to either sleep on a mat with the rest of the drunks, or to board a coach that will take them to Long Island.

Long Island Shelter
Boston Harbor
617-534-7101 Intake
617-534-2526 Shelter Administration
((Link Checked 8/12)

Woods Mullen Shelter
784 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
(Link Checked 8/12)

Day Programs: Boston/Cambridge

On The Rise

Cambridge, MA- Day program only, accepts transgender women (MTF) with no post SRS surgery requirement.

On The Rise focuses on women who cannot get their needs met elsewhere. Most of the women who use On The Rise are homeless, but a woman who is in crisis and at risk of homelessness can use us, too. We do not have geographic restrictions, and we do not have a formal intake of any kind. You decide how much you want to tell us about you.

On The Rise's Safe Haven is a safe space where outreach workers are available to give you one-on-one support, help you connect with other resources, and provide a sounding board when that's what you need. If what you need is just a place to catch your breath, you can do that, too. If you're using our Safe Haven, we also have snacks, a shower, a nap room, and clothing available.

On The Rise is not a drop-in program. Please call (617) 497-7968 and ask to speak to an outreach worker who will assist you.
(Link Checked 8/12)

The Women's Lunch Place

67 Newbury St, Boston MA 02116, 617-267-1722

Women’s Lunch Place is a daytime shelter where homeless and poor women and their children find support, friendship, a nutritious home-cooked meal and a safe haven from the streets. There are some computers available and small library.

Boston- Drop in day program only, accepts transgender women (MTF) with no post SRS surgery requirement and will also work with *transgender men (FTM)(*reminder that it is women focused).
(Link Checked 8/12)

Cambridge Women's Center

46 Pleasant Street Cambridge, MA 02139 tel. 617.354.6394 helpline. 617.354.8807 info@cambridgewomenscenter.org
(Link Checked 8/12)
The Women's Center is an anti-racist community center for women - fighting for women's rights and against all forms of oppression.

The center offers support and safe space to women in crisis and provide a small kitchen facility containing donated food products, so that women may prepare a light meal or snack for themselves, while at the Center. There are also multiple meeting rooms with couches and chairs for women to relax, nap and rest in as needed.

Crisis intervention and peer support counseling for women are provided though our Helpline and in person at the Center.

The Women's Center also provides assistance to women in finding the programs and resources that they need locally. They offer extensive information, resources, and referral system, as well as one on one assistance. Free internet, computer access and training are available whenever the center is open, and volunteers are trained to help with job searches, finding transitional housing, etc.

The center is a women-only space, however, they are very receptive to self-identified women in all stages of transition. For details see their community guidelines. Also, they gladly offer referrals to all individuals.
(Link Checked 8/12)
Summer Hours (July through August):
Mon-Thurs 10am-8pm
Friday 10am-6pm
Saturday 10am-3pm

Over Troubled Waters


Street Outreach Outreach Workers intervene in the lives of runaways, homeless youth, and other high-risk youth,
offering alternatives to street life and substance abuse dependency.

The program is essential to bringing new clients into the agency, as well as reaching out to youth who may leave Bridge services before they have attained their goals. LGBT welcoming youth ages 14 – 24 http://www.bridgeotw.org/
(Link Checked 8/12)

Bridge Over Troubled Waters Mobile Medical Van & Healthcare Services The Medical Van provides free medical services, referrals, health education, and advice to youth on the streets of Boston and Cambridge each weeknight. At Bridge’s main facility, youth are provided free medical, oral health care and HIV testing and counseling. Bridge has a state of the art dental facility that is staffed by volunteer dental professionals and Harvard and Tufts Dental Schools. LGBT Welcoming youth ages 14 – 24 http://www.bridgeotw.org/
(Link Checked 8/12)

Bridge Over Troubled Waters Transitional Day Program The Transitional Day Program is designed to bring chronically homeless youth, who may not yet commit to Bridge’s in-depth programs, off the streets and into the agency. Survival services encourage youth to visit the program for meals, showers and laundry facilities, daily lockers, groups, workshops and case management. LGBT welcoming youth ages 14 – 24 http://www.bridgeotw.org/
(Link Checked 8/12)

Counseling and Substance Abuse Services Bridge’s licensed counselors provide long and short-term substance abuse counseling, personal/emotional counseling, trauma informed treatment, family counseling, crisis counseling, and referrals. LGBT welcoming youth ages 14 – 24http://www.bridgeotw.org/
(Link Checked 8/12)

Education and Career Development – Bridge’s GED Program provides self-paced study, tutoring, and individual and group instruction to youth at every grade level to support their goal of earning their GED. The Workforce Development Program provides a wide range of job-training competencies, including a Professionalism and Computer Training course. Through the GED to College Pathways program, students are taught skills they need to successfully navigate college life and are introduced to the post-secondary academic environment. LGBT Welcoming youth ages 14 – 24 http://www.bridgeotw.org/ (Link Checked 8/12)

Warming Centers

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Located at 47 West Street, Boston, MA opened it’s “warming center” this past week (1/9/2012). The center is available for clients 18 – 24 years of age. Clients entering should have a valid I.D. with them to be allowed admittance.

Clients will be accepted from 10:00PM - 1:00 AM each night. After 1AM a guest may be accepted if accompanied by a police officer or a call is made from an outreach worker or another program asking for assistance.

Evening staff may be reached at: 617-423-9575 ext. 234 or 233 Guests may remain in the space till approx. 8AM to rest quietly on couch or chairs; there will be no TV, computers, etc. available for use overnight. There is capacity for about 12 guests. The center will be open until further notice.

Unsafe Shelters

None Reported at this time

Helpful publications

" Invisible Men: FTMs and Homelessness in Toronto"
The FTM Safer Shelter Project Research Team June 2008 (Link Checked 8/12)

"Transitioning our shelters: a guide to making homeless shelters safe for transgender people" by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (Link Checked 8/12)

"Basic Tips for Health Care and Social Service Providers for Working With Transgendered People" Gender Education & Advocacy, Inc. (2001). (Link Checked 8/12)

"Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Youth: An Epidemic of Homelessness" by Nicholas Ray, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute and National Coalition for the Homeless, 2006 (Link Checked 8/12)

"Central Arizona's Transgender Policy" Uploaded to Central Arizona Gender Alliance (14 December 2008) (Link Checked 8/12)