Family Shelter Program Closes after 35 Years

December 3, 2021

Friends of SHC,

With a mission of “finding everyone a home” we are truly saddened by the abrupt closure on November 30, 2021 of our Family Shelter Program located in East Somerville.

The Family Shelter Program had been in operation for 35 years and was the second shelter location to open in the City of Somerville behind the opening of our Individual Shelter in 1985.

In recent negotiations of the lease renewal, our leadership and legal counsel were unable to reach favorable terms with the landlord that would provide our families with a continuous, sustainable, safe and supportive place to live. As a result, we were forced to implement plans to wind down the program.  

We remain committed, as always, to providing safe, comfortable, and supportive environments for all of our clients.  And, we will continue to do so within our other programming through the provision of individual emergency shelter, homeless prevention work, housing focused case management, street outreach, rental assistance and permanent supportive housing for homeless families and individuals with disabilities.  This is in addition to our great work at our food pantry, Project SOUP.  Last year, SHC’s services benefited over 7,000 people.

Our commitment to all clients remains unwavering.  This is a deeply emotional time for all involved.  However, we are fortunate to be able to report that the final three families we served at our shelter all successfully transitioned to places they now call home.   

As we make this transition, we are reminded of the hundreds of families we stood by for 35 years and are comforted by the words of one of our valued staff members: “Things don’t happen to us.  They happen for us.”  

We will continue to be progressive in the fight against homlessness and hunger as we advance our mission.  We are grateful as ever to our staff, supporters and volunteers who make our work a positive experience for so many that come to us in their time of need.  Thank you.

Michael Libby

Executive Director