First Church Shelter

Since 1987, First Church Shelter has provides a basic act of mercy to the poor and homeless of Cambridge and surrounding communities. Each evening 14 men are provided with a safe, comfortable place to stay. Our guests have access to two meals, showers and personal storage facilities for their belongings.

First Church Shelter also offers guests assistance with identifying and securing resources they need to move out of homelessness. A significant portion of that assistantance comes from a partnership between the Shelter and Homestart.

Shelter staff are available to help guests negotiate the frequently difficult and intimidating process of applying for public benefits or subsidized housing.

The Shelter is accessed on a referral only basis and is not able to accept walk-ins. Primary funding for the Shelter comes from a contract between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and First Church Cambridge. The work of the Shelter would not be possible without additional assistance from other sources including the membership of First Church. Donations to support the Shelter are tax deductible.

On February 10, 2002, First Church celebrated the successful completion of a half-million dollar capital campaign and renovation of the Shelter through a rededication ceremony that took place within both the church sanctuary and the Shelter.

The First Church Shelter and First Church community recognize the critical role played in the opening of the shelter by the late Doris Beauvais through an annual lecture. The lecture helps promote the idea of dedicated, loving service embodied by the life and witness of Doris.

Both the Shelter and the larger church community have consistently engaged in public action to help address those factors that help precipitate and perpetuate homelessness and persistent poverty. The Shelter sponsors an annual lecture and award in honor of the late Mitch Snyder. Snyder's singular commitment to the poor and homeless, while originating in Washington, D.C., helped spur nationwide action around the scandal of homelessness and poverty in the world's richest, most powerful nation. The Mitch Snyder Lectures help focus the attention of people within and outside First Church community, on critical issues related to addressing homelessness and poverty.

Want to get involved?

Do you have time to prepare a meal at the Shelter? Would you like to help collect personal hygiene items for use by shelter guests? Have you some other interest or gift to offer in support of the work being done at First Church Shelter? If so, feel free to contact Jim Stewart.

Click here to see the First Church Shelter photo gallery.

Additional resources for homeless people can be found here.

R&B artist Nancia interviews Jim Stewart, First Church Shelter Program Director.

Contact: 
Jim Stewart, Shelter Director
617-661-1873

Join the First Church Cambridge Team of Walkers at the Mother's Day Walk for Peace, Sunday May 10 at 8:00 AM,
Town Field Park, Fields Corner, 1520 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester (Fields Corner Station on the Red Line.)
Contact Jean...

Share sandwiches and fruit drinks with persons experiencing homelessness on the first Saturday of each month. Gather at First Church at 4 PM and join a group heading out to Harvard and Central Squares. To join, please contact David Kidder at...

Bring food donations on the First Sunday of each month to share with a Cambridge food pantry. Canned and packaged goods only. Thanks for helping alleviate hunger.