Help Families in Crisis

Find ways to support families seeking safety and shelter in Massachusetts.

As record numbers of Massachusetts families and new arrivals to the state seek safety, shelter, and a better future for their children, the state’s emergency shelter system is struggling to keep up with demand. On August 8, 2023, Governor Healey declared a state of emergency and called on the federal government to streamline and expedite work authorization, increase funding to states and address outdated and punitive immigration laws.

How you can help

Accepted donations to the Family Welcome Centers in Allston and Quincy include wipes, strollers, new car seats, pack-n-plays, diapers (all sizes), formula, milk (powdered), toothbrushes, toothpaste, body wash, unscented Dove bar soap, men’s & women’s deodorant, CeraVe baby lotion, Vaseline, individual packets of Pedialyte, and gift cards to Target and Walmart.

For more information about these resources or ways to support families in crisis, contact shelterhelp@mass.gov or call Mass 2-1-1

Accepted donations for families being sheltered at the Melnea A. Cass Recreation Complex in Roxbury are diapers and wipes (sizes 2-5 and pull-ups), menstrual pads, toothpaste & brushes, bath soap, shampoo & conditioner, body lotion, Vaseline or Aquaphor gel, and underwear & socks for men, women, and children. These items can be dropped off at the Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 155 Humboldt Ave, Dorchester. Mon-Fri, 2-5pm, and Sat. 12-4pm. Clothing donations (new or gently used & laundered) can be dropped off at the Twelfth Baptist Church, 160 Warren Street, Roxbury. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.

The Massachusetts Migrant Families Relief Fund is a partnership between United Way of Massachusetts Bay and the Boston Foundation to address the acute humanitarian crisis faced by new arrivals seeking asylum in Massachusetts, while also supporting the local, trusted community-based organizations directly serving new arrivals in our region. 

How your organization can help

Throughout this crisis, social service providers, businesses, and other organizations have partnered with the administration to support families in need of shelter. If your organization is interested in becoming an Emergency Assistance provider, please see the resources below.  

About the State of Emergency

In addition to adding 2000+ units in our state shelter system over the last year, the state has undertaken major efforts to further expand services provided to those seeking shelter: launching a cross-agency Incident Command Structure, opening temporary emergency shelters at Joint Base Cape Cod and Eastern Nazarene College, and expanding services for families through Family Welcome Centers. Despite these efforts, demand for shelter continues to skyrocket, and without extraordinary measures, we fear being unable to safely add capacity fast enough to place all eligible families into shelter.

Additional Resources

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