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 colder weather and properly sheltering those experiencing homelessness. Our partners at the City of Boston are bringing on roughly 200 additional beds for the winter. The beds are being added in sites in Brighton, Mission Hill and downtown. Additionally, the City is working with the state to add additional capacity in locations surrounding and outside of Boston as well.

Earlier this year, Suffolk University repurposed a dormitory to provide beds for more than 200 guests, helping reduce congestion and increase social distancing in Boston shelters. This facility accommodated medically-compromised, frail guests, where social distancing was most critical. In late July, about 180 of these guests were moved to a building at 891 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, as a 'bridge' to housing, to continue to provide social distancing. Staff is working with them to find permanent housing as quickly as possible.

We have:  

  • 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.  

These measures have proven enormously successful. Several rounds of universal testing were conducted with Pine Street's guests . Initially, positive rates were 36%; testing conducted in early August showed zero positive results. As of fall 2020, we are starting to do testing again at our shelters and are finding the numbers are starting to rise, as they are across the city, state and country. We will continue to closely monitor this and to reinforce all of our safety protocols. We are also working the city of Boston to plan for additional isolation and quarantine space.