Emergency shelters offer short-term stays, usually 1-14 nights. This is the easiest form of housing to secure.

Salvation Army
402 Mass. Ave
617 547-3400
Sober men only
Call at 7am

240 Albany St.
617 661-0600
Sobriety not required
Simply show up to claim a bed

St. Patrick’s Shelter
Union Square, Somerville
617 628-3015
Sober women only
4pm pickup at Multiservice Center (19 Brookline St)
Lottery held if necessary

Boston Night Center
31 Bowker St
617 248-1998
Chairs only (no beds)


Transitional shelters offer longer stays (2-12 months) to those who meet certain criteria, which are usually related to work status. Stay length and criteria vary by program. These shelters offer case management and support while residents work toward housing.

Carey Program at the YMCA
316 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115
Men only, working 6 months before applying, 6+ months sobriety
617 349-6349

Women’s Transitional Program at the YWCA
40 Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02116
617 491-6050 x225

Salvation Army Umoja Men’s Transitional Program
402 Mass Ave
Boston, MA
617 547-3400

Cambridge Cares at the YMCA/YWCA
YMCA: 820 Massachusetts Ave
YWCA: 7 Temple Street
Transitional housing for those with HIV/AIDS
617 599-0221

North Charles’ Bridge Program at the YMCA
820 Massachusetts Ave
Men in substance abuse recovery with at least 6 months sobriety
617 864-0941 x29

CASPAR Grow House
6 Camelia Ave, Cambridge
Women in substance abuse recovery with at least 6 months sobriety
617 628-8188

Shelter Inc Transitional Programs
109 School Street Cambridge
Women only
617 499-4052
617 349-6350

St James Summer Shelter
1991 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
617 495-5526

Transition House’s Transitional Living Program
649 Massachusetts Ave #6
Women who have experienced domestic violence
617 868-1655

* Thanks to Fred Berman


Vouchers-Section 8, MRVP, AHVP: Income-based vouchers granted through local housing authorities, regional agencies, and the federal government. Households with vouchers generally pay a rent of around 30% of their monthly income. Waiting lists for Section 8 vouchers are very long, and it can take years to receive a voucher but it is important to get on the list. Make sure to notify the housing authority when there is any change of address or situation. Apply for Emergency Status if applicable to help speed up the process. Applications can be found at the housing authorities. For general information, call 1-800-224-5124, or go to http://www.massresources.org/pages.cfm?contentID=3&pageID=2&Subpages=yes.

Section 8: a federal government housing assistance program for low-income families and individuals; in the form of rent vouchers given to tenants to help pay their rent; homeownership assistance to help in paying a mortgage loan; or project-based subsidies used to control rent in specific private housing developments.

MRVP: a state-funded rental assistance program for low-income families and individuals, offering tenant-based vouchers that can be used for any approved apartment, and project-based vouchers that are restricted to certain rental units or developments.

AHVP: a state-funded rental assistance program for low-income disabled people under the age of 60.

Local Housing Authorities: find a complete list at http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/states/ma.cfm.

Boston Housing Authority
Phone: (617) 988-4000
Fax: (617) 988-4027
52 Chauncy Street
Boston, MA 02111

Apply for Boston Housing Authority Housing: http://www.bostonhousing.org/detpages/hservices368.html

Cambridge Housing Authority
Phone: (617) 864-3020
Fax: (617) 547-9821
675 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Apply for Cambridge Housing Authority Housing: http://www.cambridge-housing.org/chaweb.nsf

Regional agencies: find a complete list at http://www.masshousinginfo.org/agencies/.

Boston area:
Metropolitan Boston
Housing Partnership, Inc.
125 Lincoln Street
Boston, MA 02111-2503
(617) 425-6700
(800) 272-0990
Fax: (617) 437-9311
Email: [email protected]

Privately Owned Subsidized Housing-Private Single Room Occupancies (SROs): Because these are privately owned, they vary across the board but they generally provide low-priced housing for low- to middle-income renters, often at 30% of the household income. Some must be applied to at the house management office and others at the local or regional housing authority. For a subsidized housing search, click here: http://www.hud.gov/apps/section8/step2.cfm?state=MA%2CMassachusetts.

Public Housing: Government funded low-rent housing, in Massachusetts run by the local housing authority. Includes Single Room Occupancies (SROs). Housing goes to low and moderate-income families, people with disabilities, and the elderly. Rent is income-based and will be about 30% of the household income. The waiting list can be up to two years long.

Homeownership Programs: offer support for low- to middle-income families to buy and repair single or multi-family homes.

Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA)

Habitat for Humanity International

Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (MDHCD)

See www.MassResources.org for more detailed options.

* Thanks to The Department of Cambridge Community Development and MassResources.org for this information.


Cambridge Multi-Service Center
362 Green Street
Cambridge MA 02139
(617) 349-6340

Walk-in Hours Thursdays 3-6pm at
678 Mass Av. Suite 502
Central Square Cambridge, MA
(617) 234-5340

City of Cambridge Community Development Department:
Housing Division
344 Broadway
(617) 349-4622
maintains a database of residents interested in finding affordable housing and sends out updated information on rental and homeownership units. Also posts a list of privately owned rental housing set aside for low to moderate income households. www.cambridgema.gov/~CDD/hsg/hsg_mailist.html.