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Emergency Shelter

Our shelters operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and provide guests with a bed, linens, showers, and three meals a day. Shelters give out beds daily, on a first-come, first-served basis. Our shelters are low-threshold, and guests are not required to enter or leave at certain times.

We provide limited housing assistance to priority populations in Boston through our shelter-based Housing Navigation Team. Our Front Door Triage, Behavioral Health, and Harm Reduction staff are also located within our shelters, meaning they can efficiently provide services and assistance to shelter guests. The shelters furthermore provide employment opportunities to our guests in our workforce development program.

Emergency Shelter Locations


Woods Mullen Shelter

The Woods Mullen Shelter is located at 794 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston’s South End. It serves women ages 18 years and older. Woods Mullen Shelter opened in 1990 and was converted to a women’s only shelter in 2015 following the opening of the Southampton Street Shelter. The Woods Mullen Shelter is a five-story structure, with an expansion scheduled to open in 2023. Woods Mullen has a capacity of 147 beds, which were recently converted from bunk beds to single beds. The shelter is next door to the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) and the Boston Medical Center, providing easy access to health care.

Southampton Street Shelter

The Southampton Street Shelter is located at 112 Southampton Street in Boston’s Newmarket District. It serves men ages 18 and older. The shelter opened in 2015 following the closure of the Long Island Bridge, which provided transportation to the former Long Island Shelter. The Southampton Street shelter is a two-story structure with a capacity of 320 beds. The second floor, also known as the Friends Floor, is a low threshold site, which provides more intensive services for guests with active substance use. The shelter provides guests access to a large outdoor courtyard, which underwent extensive renovations and improvements in 2022 and 2023. The shelter also contains a clinic with nurses from the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, and is next door to the Engagement Center, which is run by Recovery Services.

New guests

Before sending guests to the shelters, reference providers must call 617-534-4440. Providers looking to refer a client to the shelter should first exhaust all more appropriate placement options.

Providers should be ready to discuss referral aspects, including:

  • Prior living situations
  • Medical or behavioral health needs
  • Familial and/or societal connections
  • Upcoming appointments and other service needs

Homeless Resources

For a complete list of overnight shelters and day programs for the homeless please view this list.

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