Emergency Shelter

Emergency Shelter

Stories of Hope

A Veteran Comes Home

Edward’s Story


He is only 27 years old, yet Edward C. has already faced more challenges than many people do in a lifetime. You can see it in his eyes.


But that is not the first thing you notice: at 6-feet-4-inches tall, you are immediately struck by his presence. With his broad shoulders and close-cropped hair, Edward looks every bit the Marine he once was. But the years he spent in the Marine Corps took their toll. A bomb blast in Iraq left him with a traumatic brain injury. Then, he had to contend with several personal tragedies: in a single month, Edward lost three people who were very close to him, including his father.


Overwhelmed, Edward struggled with anxiety and depression. As his symptoms worsened, he turned to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in addition to his brain injury, Edward was unable to maintain stable housing. He then got into trouble with the law and was arrested for disorderly conduct.


“In a funny way, that’s the best thing that could have happened to me,” he reflects. After being placed on probation, Edward then connected with Pine Street, and moved into Pine Street’s

veterans home in Dorchester. Kathy Conley, a longtime employee who directs Pine Street’s veterans programs, remembers Edward as reserved and distant when he first joined the program. “Once he embraced the support that was being offered, he began to soften and interact more with staff and the other veterans, many of whom were facing similar challenges,” she notes.


Along the way, Edward started taking college courses and volunteering at the Franklin Park Zoo. He also rescued Evander, an energetic puppy, training him as a service dog to help with his PTSD. Pine Street staff helped Edward apply for a rental voucher, search for apartments and finally move into a place of his own in September.


Edward reflects that he now has much to be grateful for. In addition to having his own place to live, he is a full-time student at UMass Boston, majoring in biology, and expects to graduate next fall. He also volunteers with Pets for Vets, an organization that trains service animals for veterans.


Most of all, Edward says, he is grateful for the support he found at Pine Street Inn. “What Pine Street does is so important. The services they provide help change people’s lives,” he notes. “If I could personally talk to Pine Street supporters, I would say one thing: ‘Thank you!’”


Second Chances: Roberta’s Story

“There’s always hope for a second chance in life,” Roberta assures her fellow Pine Street job training graduates during her remarks at graduation. “There are people like the staff at Pine Street who really care and want to help you get back on your feet.”
Read More

Theresa's Story

“I love the tenants and neighbors here, Theresa, says with a big smile. “I have friends in the house and up and down the street. We always say ‘hi’ and have good conversations.”
Read More

Dignity Restored

Elroy is a gentle man with a warm smile and a twinkle in his eye. He has learned to appreciate the little things in life — like waking up in the morning in his own bed in his own room — and hearing the birds chirp outside his window.
Read More

A Home & Community For Everyone

At Pine Street, our vision and our goal are to support people in rebuilding their lives. We not only provide the physical structure of a home, but also the support necessary to connect back to a community and a sense of belonging.
Read More

VIDEO: Putting the Pieces Back Together

Watch the stories of a Pine Street tenant and a job trainee as they share their journeys out of homelessness.
Read More

Amanda's Big Dreams

At just 25 years old, Amanda already has lived more life than most people experience in a lifetime.
Read More

Grateful for a New Home

Previously an electrical engineer, Charles' life spiraled downward after he lost his job due to the economic downturn. With the recent opening of the St. Peter's permanent supportive housing location, Charles now has a place to call home again.
Read More

"They Gave Me Encouragement"

For 20 years, Linda spent nights sleeping in cars, on sidewalks or the Boston Common, while struggling with drug addiction and abusive relationships. She often wondered if this was what the rest of her life would be like.
Read More

Putting the Pieces Back Together

Homelessness has hit Maureen and her family hard, with their lives coming apart, piece by piece. But since coming to Pine Street Inn, they are beginning to feel hopeful again.
Read More


Shamus V. grew up working in the restaurant business and then served in the U.S. Army as part of the honor guard at Arlington National Cemetery. After struggling with loss and homelessness, he is now on the path to a new life.
Read More