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The Homeless Services Bureau of the Boston Public Health Commission operates two emergency shelters, Woods-Mullen Shelter and Long Island Shelter.

The following are provided to guests at both shelters:
  • A welcoming setting and a warm bed
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served to guests in our dining room 
  • Personal Care Items: Soap, toothpaste, and shaving cream are given out
  • Emergency Clothing: Clothing is given to those in need
  • Lockers: Lockers for personal belongings or medications can be rented. A small number of medical lockers are available free of charge
  • Medical Health Care: Boston Health Care for the Homeless Clinics are on-site
  • Mental Health Care: Guests who feel they need help or counseling can either “walk-in” or make an appointment with social workers
  • Individual Case Management and Substance Abuse Assessment: Referrals can be made to programs, including job training, education, housing, and substance abuse services
  • Mail Services: Either of the shelters’ addresses can be used for personal mail
  • Housing Placement Assistance: Housing agencies meet with guests on-site

Woods-Mullen Shelter

The Woods-Mullen Shelter aims to offer a welcoming setting to guests.  The shelter serves adults ages 18 years or older 365 days a year.  Woods-Mullen Shelter is an emergency shelter located at 794 Massachusetts Avenue in the South End at the corner of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue. It is open 24 hours a day year-round.  Woods-Mullen Shelter has 190 beds available, 66 for women. Beds are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.  In the Winter months, overflow beds are available for 40 men and 12 women. 

The Richard Weintraub Day Center at Woods-Mullen Shelter

The Richard Weintraub Day Center is located in the lobby of Woods-Mullen Shelter. It opened in 2009 to serve as a day shelter for homeless men and women.  Case management and mental health services are on-site daily (8am to 3pm). In the center, there are six chair-beds for the Housing First Program Initiative, “High-utilizers of Emergency Services” (HUES). These chair-beds are available 24hours a day in a semi-private area. Community organizations also use the center to offer services and outreach to shelter guests. 

For more information, please call (617) 534-7100.

Long Island Shelter

Due to safety concerns related to the Long Island Bridge, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), other city, state and nonprofit service providers have relocated services previously provided on Long Island to other facilities on the mainland. It is expected that these programs will be relocated for an extended period of time; however BPHC and the City of Boston are reviewing options for both short and long-term solutions.

Those looking for shelter for the evening should go to Central Intake at the Woods-Mullen Shelter, located at 794 Massachusetts Avenue, in Boston.

For more information, please call (617) 534-6100.​ 

Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: