Guests always say that housing is their number one need, and at St. Francis House we meet that need through our affordable housing.

At St. Francis House, we believe that everyone has the right to decent housing. Secure housing is essential to maintaining good mental health, sobriety, and self-sufficiency. But a lack of safe and affordable residential space in and around Boston makes the housing search incredibly difficult, particularly for those with mental health or substance abuse issues or criminal records. Our innovative strategy enables us to assist all of our homeless guests, regardless of their circumstances, so that they have a stable base from which to rebuild their lives.

Our housing staff work with homeless guests one-on-one, assisting them with filling out applications for city, state, or federal housing. Once guests find housing, we may be able to provide assistance with household essentials – sheets, silverware, pots, and pans, etc. – for guests who find housing but cannot afford the basics.

St. Francis House is also incredibly fortunate to have supportive housing right in our building. The Next Step Housing Program, on floors 7, 8, 9, and 10, provides single-occupancy rooms for 56 single, low-income men and women who have experienced homelessness, unemployment, and substance abuse. In addition, The Union across the street at 48 Boylston has 46 units of affordable housing for both people who have experienced homelessness and those with very modest incomes.

St. Francis House has the ability to satisfy our guests’ number-one need – housing – right inside our building. That enables residents to utilize all of our services, from meals to counseling to art therapy, without leaving 39 Boylston Street.

Next Step Housing is a Housing First community providing low-barrier, permanent supportive housing to individuals who have experienced homelessness. Residents benefit from the assistance of professional case managers who provide individual supports to help residents live successfully in permanent housing long-term.  They partner with residents to support their overall well-being and recovery, connect to community resources, stabilize income sources, and develop the life skills required for community reintegration and independence.


Next Step occupies floors 7, 8, 9, and 10 of St. Francis House, offering 56 furnished single occupancy rooms. Each floor houses both men and women and features a shared kitchen, bathrooms, and dining and community areas. Two of the four floors are handicapped accessible. The program also houses a fitness room, computer room, library, and crafts room for the use of all program residents.  Residents also are welcome to access breakfast and lunch served daily on the first floor of St. Francis House.

Each Next Step resident creates a service plan that meets their unique needs.  They participate in individual case management, floor meetings, and monthly community meetings.. Residents do not have a curfew and are welcome to have guests during the day and in the evening hours.

Residents with an income are required to pay rent, which is calculated on 30-35% of their gross income from all income sources.


Some of the Community Benefits of Next Step Housing include:

  • Shared kitchen, dining and community areas on each floor
  • Fitness room, computer room, library and crafts room
  • Early private access to the St. Francis House dining room
  • Television areas on each floor Central location with convenient access to MBTA Orange, Green, Red and Silver lines
  • Washers and dryers on each floor Handicapped accessible
  • Exclusive weekly residential events Individualized case management support
  • Access to the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless clinic on the 2nd floor (Monday-Friday)
  • Access to private locked storage area
  • Moving On program eligible after 18 months

Next Step Housing Flyer PDF


Next Step accepts applications from individuals who are currently staying in a homeless shelter or on the street.  However, many of our units are dedicated to individuals who are experiencing chronic homelessness (as defined by HUD) and require that the individual is directly referred through the City of Boston’s Coordinated Access System.

How to apply

Maloney Properties accepts and processes all City of Boston direct referrals and individual housing applications for Next Step.  Anyone interested in learning more about how to apply for Next Step Housing is urged to contact St. Francis House at (617) 542-4211 or email us.    Depending on the question or request, individuals will be connected to the Maloney Property Manager or connected directly with program staff.

Across the street from St. Francis House is The Union at 48 Boylston. Formerly the Boston Young Men’s Christian Union, this historic building has been completely redeveloped through a partnership between St. Francis House and the Planning Office for Urban Affairs of the Archdiocese of Boston to provide much needed affordable housing in the community. The completed development includes units to serve people who have experienced homelessness and others with very modest incomes. Twenty-six of the units are reserved for individuals earning less than 30% of the area median income.

Read more about this project here.

Once guests find housing, we hope to provide assistance with household essentials – sheets, silverware, pots, and pans, etc. – for guests who have found housing but are still unable to afford the basics. If your or someone you know is interested in putting together housing baskets to support our guests, please email for more information.