Ending Homelessness, One Person at a Time

Because the root causes of homelessness may vary widely from person to person, only through an individualized and comprehensive approach to programs and services can broken lives be mended and transformed. At the Boston Rescue Mission, our programs offer clients a wide range of resources to guide a person from a place of need to a place of self-sufficiency. These resources include:

"Wet" Emergency Overnight Shelter Beds
Our year-round Emergency Shelter program hosts people who don't have a place to sleep. Participants who arrive in the evening may or may not be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, but always are screened for the safety of themselves and others. Participants receive a nightly meal, bathroom and shower facilities, and breakfast before departing in the morning to address their specific recovery issues. Members also may speak with a case manager who may suggest further recovery programs, depending on the individual's needs. Nurses and a doctor are available onsite thanks to a partnership with Boston Health Care for the Homeless.

"Dry" Sober Beds and Supporting Services

Substance dependence is a common contributing cause to homelessness. Our "dry" sober beds provide hundreds of newly sober people with a sober environment in which they can address their substance use and dependence issues. Applicants may seek entrance to the program after 30 days of sobriety and a successful initial screening with a Mission case manager to determine a good fit with the program. A major goal of the program is to build program members’ self-esteem and equip them with the tools and skills they need to achieve permanent self-sufficiency.

All residential sober shelter services are free for program members. This provides them with an opportunity to save money, and pay off outstanding debt. All program members are expected to participate in community service projects that contribute to the health and well-being of their treatment environment. This provides a structured environment for each of our program members, which is an essential ingredient to the success of any recovery program.

Rapid Rehousing & Stabilization Program

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2018 report on homelessness showed Massachusetts with a 14% increase, the highest in the country. We experienced this increased need at the Mission, especially among women. For many of our guests, the disease of substance use disorder goes hand-in-hand with homelessness. Staff understand that after months or years experiencing homelessness, unemployment, isolation and estrangement from family and friends, the appropriate next step is transitional housing and treatment.

Working one on one in a confidential and trauma informed manner, the client prioritizes their goals with a case manager and steps to achieve them. This may involve reunification with family, inpatient treatment, private/public housing, transitional housing, sober living programs, vocational training and employment. For some individuals, moving to a sober house or long-term recovery program is optimal. Individuals identified as “chronically” homeless and on the City of Boston’s Chronic Housing List are eligible for private housing vouchers, subsidized or public housing. Staff may facilitate an immediate referral to partner agencies to expedite the process. The Mission will continue to provide financial support to clients for travel expenses, security deposits first month’s rent, and assistance with furniture and movers. Staying true to our mission of transforming lives, clients are offered a range of services and care that are most effective and successful in fostering meaningful, sustainable life changes.


Safe Haven Veterans Program

The Safe Haven veterans program is a 10-room short-term transitional housing program for veterans with current substance abuse and mental health issues located in Dorchester, MA. The Safe Haven program targets chronically homeless veterans who have had difficulty with traditional housing programs.