COVID-19 Updates


Pine Street Inn greatly appreciates the interest and support of our community. The health and safety of our guests, tenants, volunteers and staff is of utmost importance to us. 

“Pine Street Inn, together with our partners, is taking every precaution to protect our guests and employees," said Pine Street President and Executive Director Lyndia Downie. "We continue to work closely with public health partners as we take action to keep our staff, guests and tenants safe.”

Help Pine Street Inn respond to Covid-19

We are tremendously grateful for the outpouring of concern from our community. These emergency measures will have a significant impact on our operations. To help us manage this unprecedented situation, we have established several ways you can help us continue to provide for those who turn to us.  

If you wish to support these efforts, please know you are helping Pine Street do everything possible to keep our guests and tenants safe.

  1. Make a gift to Pine Street's COVID-19 Emergency Services Fund to help us continue to provide for those who turn to us in our shelters, on the streets, and in housing
  2. Make and mail in cloth face masks for our staff and guests. For details, please email No walk-ins, please, to ensure social distancing.
  3. Purchase items directly from the Pine Street Inn Tenant Wish List on Amazon and help ensure our vulnerable neighbors have access to necessities during this difficult time
  4. Make a gift to Pine Street's Tenant Support Fund and help ensure our vulnerable neighbors have access to necessities during this difficult time

COVID-19 Information

We are concerned about properly sheltering those experiencing homelessness. In addition to existing shelter beds at Pine Street and other providers, our partners at the City of Boston have brought on about 200 additional beds for the winter, at several locations around Boston. Additionally, the City is working with the state to add additional capacity in locations outside of Boston as well.

In January 2021, Pine Street Inn, in partnership with Boston Health Care for the Homeless, started providing the COVID-19 vaccine for shelter guests and frontline staff, as deemed eligible by Governor Baker.

Following protocols to provide distancing, in July 2020, Pine Street Inn leased a building at 891 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, to accommodate 180 medically-compromised guests where social distancing was most critical. Staff members are working with them to find permanent housing as quickly as possible.

We have implemented the following in our shelters:  

  • Assigned guests the same bed each night. 
  • Served meals in shifts to provide distance, and cleaning in between groups.  
  • Installed plastic curtains as barriers between each bed in our dorm areas. 
  • Stored a 30-day supply of food and cleaning items. 
  • Contracted with an outside cleaning service to add another layer of daily deep cleaning in our buildings, with special focus on high-touch areas, in addition to cleaning throughout the day. 
  • Continued to advise everyone about frequent and correct handwashing, as well as covering coughs and sneezes with elbows. We have installed additional handwashing stations in all our locations with soap, water and hand sanitizer, and have installed hand sanitizer stations throughout our buildings. 
  • Prioritized essential staff onsite at this time, with other staff working remotely.  

Initially, in spring 2020, the COVID-positive rate in our shelters was 36%. With above protocols in place during the summer, the positive rate was zero. We are doing universal testing in our shelters and as of early 2021, the rate is around 2%, well below the general public. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and to reinforce our safety protocols, as we continue to roll out access to vaccines.