A subsidiary of St. Mary’s Center located in East Boston, Crossroads Family Center, provides family shelter, case management, housing search, stabilization services and a food pantry to more than 70 families each year. Crossroads was established in 1985 in response to the well-documented housing crisis which led low-income families into homelessness. For many families their personal, social and economic factors prevent them from moving from poverty to self-reliance. Crossroads’ housing advocates prepare each family’s move from shelter to permanent housing and support more than 50 formerly homeless families during a 12-month stabilization period.

Main Office: 617.567.5926 ext.10
Donations: 617.567.5926 ext.12

Fax: 617.567.1001


Crossroads was established in 1985, by the Most Holy Redeemer parish and father Bernard Mclaughlin. The doors first opened for a family displaced by a devastating fire and quickly expanded capacity and services in response to the growing phenomenon of family homelessness in East Boston.

Mission, Services, and Outcomes

Crossroads’ mission is to “support families as they transition from homelessness to independent living and self-sufficiency”. Today Crossroads provides shelter, case management, housing search, stabilization services, and food pantry assistance to homeless, formerly-homeless and low-income families.

There is a well-documented affordable housing crisis (not only locally, but nationally) causing very low-income families to experience homelessness; at the same time, personal, social, and economic factors serve as obstacles for families in their struggle to move out of poverty. Crossroads is directed toward three objectives: personal goal attainment; socioeconomic mobility; and rapid re-housing for families served. Socioeconomic mobility is characterized by increased income, improved educational and occupational status, and increased social networks.

Crossroads is located at 56 Havre Street East Boston, MA 02128.


Shelter – Crossroads Family Center’s shelter program is home to 27 families (men, women & children) referred to us by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. Our main building, located at 56 Havre Street, houses our congregate shelter, as well as staff offices and the “Our Daily Bread” food pantry. Crossroads also oversees and provides services for 12 families housed in scattered sites throughout East Boston. All families engage in weekly, intensive Case Management & Re-Housing services as well as financial, parenting and other self-sufficiency related workshops which are held on site. 

Stabilization – After families move out of shelter, our Case Managers continue to provide tenancy support and referral services for one year to ensure that families remain stably housed and on the path towards self-sufficiency and economic mobility.

Supportive Services – In the spring of 2015, Crossroads entered a contract to provide Supportive Case Management Services to 7 formerly homeless families living in new apartments constructed and managed by the East Boston Community Development Corporation.

Emergency Food Assistance – Crossroads runs a food pantry which provides 120 bags of food a week to 400 East Boston individuals and families a year.

Crossroads Family Center is privileged to receive the support of our dedicated elected officials as well as generous local corporations, foundations, individuals, and other community partners who make vital contributions to our work. We are forever grateful.

  • All Saints Parish, Brookline
  • Bradley Elementary School, East Boston
  • City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development
  • City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George
  • Dancing Deer Baking Company
  • East Boston High School
  • East Boston Community Development Corporation
  • Harbor City Preschool, East Boston
  • Harvard Alumni Association, Cambridge
  • Holy Family Parish, Concord
  • E.S. Enterprises
  • Mayor Marty Walsh
  • Most Holy Redeemer Parish, East Boston
  • The Paulist Center, Boston
  • Pine Hill School, Sherborn
  • Senator Joseph Boncore
  • Mary of the Assumption Parish, Brookline

Crossroads is happy to accept donations of some gently used items, including:

  • kitchenware (pots, pans, etc.)
  • office supplies
  • arts & crafts supplies
  • DVDs or VHS tapes
  • computers & computer accessories
  • small televisions
  • household appliances (fans, vacuum cleaners, etc.)
  • kitchen appliances (coffee makers, blenders, etc.)
  • baby gear (strollers, baby carriers, etc.)

We value your donation and want to ensure that everything we receive is put to good use. Because of this, we ask that you please contact us prior to making a donation. There may be times when we are unable to receive certain items due to our limited storage capacity. All families who move from our shelter into their own apartments are offered a referral to the furniture bank at Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless in Lynn. Please contact them directly to make a donation inquiry at 781-595-7570 x13.

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • We are looking for 1 or 2 individuals to volunteer on Wednesdays from 12:00-3:00 pm to help unload and stock food.
  • We are looking for a Spanish interpreter for meetings and workshops on weekday evenings.


  • Run an event and ask your guests to bring an item to donate. See our Wish List for ideas.
  • Organize a fundraiser on our behalf.
  • Throw a party for our families.
  • Help clean and organize our residential program.
  • Have your own idea or a unique skill that you would like to share? We’d love to hear about it!


  • Organize a drive for high needs items. See our Wish List for ideas.
  • Volunteer in our play space by joining Horizons for Homeless Children’s Play Pals program.
  • Help throw a birthday party for children in our residential program by joining Birthday Wishes.
  • Have your own idea or a unique skills that you would like to share? We’d love to hear about it!

Volunteer Guidelines

  • Due to the nature of our program, all volunteers must be 18 years or older or with an adult guardian/chaperone.
  • All recurring volunteers must undergo an extensive screening process including a criminal background check.

Crossroads Family Center provides emergency shelter and supportive services to 27 families at a time; around 60 families pass through our shelter program each year. Currently, all of our rooms are dedicated to families referred to us by the state’s Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD).

Find information on the state’s family shelter system at Mass Legal Help: Basic Shelter Rights (Emergency Assistance).

Families seeking shelter are encouraged to contact the following resources:

  • DHCD (617)-573-1370: Families seeking shelter are encouraged to contact DHCD to see if they are eligible for Emergency Assistance and placement in a family shelter such as Crossroads. 
  • Families who have been denied entry to the state’s family shelter system (Emergency Assistance/EA) can find an updated list of “Non-EA” shelters here in English and Spanish: Mass Legal Services Non-EA Shelter Lists.

Individuals seeking shelter are encouraged to contact the following resources:

Both Families & Individuals in crisis can access the following state and city resources:

  • Mayor’s Hotline/Dial 311: 24-Hour Hotline for assistance in the Boston area
  • Dial 211: Statewide health and human service hotline, a quick and simple way to being to explore your housing options
  • Boston’s Housing Crisis Hotline: 617-635-4200, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m

Food pantry page

Food Pantry

“Our Daily Bread” Food Pantry at Crossroads Family Center is open to all East Boston residents who are urgently in need of food.  The Food Pantry is located at 56 Havre Street in East Boston. Food is distributed through the white door on the side of the building.

The Pantry is open every Sunday and Wednesday from 3:00 to 4:00 PM.

Crossroads is working closely with The Greater Boston Food Bank, Project Bread and The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center to ensure that the bags we distribute are stuffed with fresh, nutritious food.

Please click here for complete guidelines for participation.

If you know someone who may be in need of food, we encourage you to share this information with them.

“Our Daily Bread” Food Pantry Flyer English/Spanish

If  you have any questions related to the pantry or are interested in making a donation of non-perishable food items, contact us at

Please contact if you have questions or would like to begin the volunteer screening process.

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