Statement on proposed Homeless Services Center location

July 10, 2018

We’re very pleased the city is making progress in relocating the Oxford Street Shelter. Like the Preble Street Resource Center, the city shelter was designed over 25 years ago to serve far fewer people, at a time when there was a more robust mental health and substance use disorder system of care.

Current best practices demand shelters be open 24 hours and have comprehensive onsite services. The City Manager clearly gets this, and we appreciate his leadership in moving this challenging process forward.

We still need to learn more specifics about the property in question—the Barron Center on outer Brighton Avenue—and hear what clients think of the location. While a new site is certainly of critical importance, so too is the service delivery model, its accessibility, the safety of those accessing services, and the available resources.

This undertaking is incredibly important—a once-in-25-years opportunity—so it needs to be done right. Preble Street looks forward to working closely with the City Manager, the City Council, and the broader community to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors are welcomed, safe, and offered every opportunity to improve their lives.