State-Funded Resources for Families: Emergency Assistance Shelter and the HomeBASE Short-Term Housing Assistance Program
Shelters for Families with Children
If you are experiencing homelessness and have a child under the age of 21 or you are pregnant, you and your family may be eligible for placement in a family shelter. The vast majority of family shelter spaces are administered by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), through their Emergency Assistance (EA) program.
To learn more about how to access EA shelter, click here to access the 2013 Emergency Assistance Advocacy Guide from Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.
To see the current income eligibility guidelines, please click here.
Please note that you must apply for EA shelter through DHCD, and cannot directly access an EA shelter placement by contacting the shelters linked below. For a list of local offices across the state where you can apply, please click here (towards bottom of page).
*Please also note that these lists may not be comprehensive. If you are a shelter provider and would like to add or update your listing, please email
Family Shelters in Greater Boston
Family Shelters in Metro West
Family Shelters in Southeastern Massachusetts
Family Shelters in Central Massachusetts
Family Shelters in Western Massachusetts
Statewide Family Shelter Community Rooms
*Community room shelter spaces are for families who do not qualify for Emergency Assistance shelter through the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
Emergency Assistance Data from DHCD (April - May 2012 data; updated 8-9-12)
HomeBASE Diversion and Rehousing Assistance for Families with Children
If you are experiencing homelessness and have a child under the age of 21 or you are pregnant, your family may be eligible for assistance through the Department of Housing and Community Development’s HomeBASE program.
** If your family has been receiving HomeBASE Rental Assistance, and you are reaching your two-year time limit, click here to learn more about potential options for additional assistance for your family, in English and in Spanish (en español). (Updated 8-16-13 and 8-30-13.)
HomeBASE Household Assistance Flyer from DHCD, for families in Emergency Assistance shelter (Updated 11-9-12)
HomeBASE Income Eligibility Information from DHCD (Updated 8-24-12)
December 2011 HomeBASE Recommendations from the Legislature and Administration
HomeBASE Data from DHCD (Updated 3-22-12)
* To better understand the intersections of the Emergency Assistance, HomeBASE, and RAFT programs, please click here.
Education of Children Experiencing Homelessness
To learn more about the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness under the federal McKinney-Vento Act, please click here to see a helpful summary from our colleagues at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. These rights include rights related to enrollment and transportation. To learn more about our budget campaign related to education transportation for these students, see our FY'15 budget fact sheet.