Since 1984, St. Francis House has offered basic care and services that make the difference between hope and despair, and often between life and death.
From providing food and daytime shelter to showers, access to medical care, clean, seasonally appropriate clothing, and mail and ID services, St. Francis House is unique in our ability to meet all of our guests’ needs under one roof.
Many guests come to St. Francis House initially because they need a hot, nourishing meal. We serve breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily, and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 365 days a year.
Our menus feature lean protein, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables, to give our guests the fuel they need and to assist them in developing healthy eating habits.
Meals are free, no questions asked. We also provide emergency sandwiches after 2:00 p.m.
We rely on our dedicated corps of volunteers to help us serve more than 220,000 meals a year. We are so grateful for their help.
Click for our weekly breakfast and lunch menus.
Guests who stay in a nighttime shelter must leave every morning so the facility can clean and prepare for the next night. Our Atrium, on the first floor, and the Day Center, one flight up, provide a safe, comfortable alternative to spending the day on the street. Here, guests can escape the elements, enjoy the company of friends, and watch the local news or a movie chosen by one of our discussion groups.
The Day Center also features a library, telephones, and computers with Internet access, vital tools for keeping in touch with loved ones and job-hunting. The Day Center offers a variety of support groups, meetings, activities and classes: click for full list.
For guests who are new to St. Francis House, the Hospitality Desk in the Day Center should be their first stop. There, guests get a St. Francis House ID, which will help them access many of our services, including case management or mental health counseling.
St. Francis House is the largest distributor of clothing to the poor and homeless in Boston. Every month, we distribute more than 750 changes of clothing through our Fresh Threads program.
Fresh Threads provides guests with everyday attire, brand-new undergarments, shoes and other essentials, including winter gear that can make a life-or-death difference to those who have to spend the night outside.
People experiencing homelessness lack many of the basics that others take for granted, such as a daily shower. We provide nearly 10,000 showers a year to our guests, along with toiletries, including shaving cream, razors, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Receiving mail or conducting business transactions is nearly impossible without a permanent address or valid form of identification. But the St. Francis House mailroom, convenient and easily accessible, is a secure place for family, potential employers, and others to direct letters to guests who use 39 Boylston Street as their home address. We also provide St. Francis House ID cards, which can help guests acquire a driver’s license or open a bank account.