Boston’s new home for people who lived at Mass & Cass

Two weeks after moving out of a tent on the street, a woman uses a small cottage to serve as a temporary shelter, full of her makeup, clothes and all sorts of personal belongings. She is one of 10 people who have already moved out of the area known as Mass and Cass and into the cabins that have been set up in the parking lot at Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain. There are several cabins that can accommodate two people who are still under construction and which will open soon. It is the first of its kind in Massachusetts to be created by the state, the city and the Commonwealth Care Alliance, a company that has contracted to help design and operate the shelter system. The cottages are low-threshold homes where residents are allowed to live even if they have relapses, and part of an expanding network of such shelters. There have been low-threshold homes or shelters in the city of Boston until now. And a majority of 145 people living in Mass. and Cass, who was questioned by the city, said they would prefer to live in low-threshold housing as the first place to walk away from the street. Residents who use drugs can only do so at their own cottages. A care team performs regular checks to ensure everyone is safe. The idea is to “meet people where they are,” according to Lauren Easton, vice president of the Commonwealth Care Alliance, which helps oversee the Shattuck cabin project. “We base this on a harm reduction approach. If people need us we want them. to use safely and ensure that society is safe, “she said. Commonwealth Care CEO Chris Palmieri said this housing is “step one” in people’s path to recovery. Residents are expected to live here for 6o to 90 days, with the goal of being ready to move into permanent housing. “Housing is a basic human basic need. In order not to have housing, you can not think about the other challenges that take place in your life, “said Palmieri. “Here’s an opportunity for individuals not to worry about whether they should have a warm place to sleep, to call their own.” There is a larger shelter that serves as a common room and a place where residents can meet privately with clinicians, including recovery coaches, nurses and a psychiatrist. They also have access to primary care physicians and residential navigators. Residents are working to make their own rules for their communities, but there are two rules they can not change: the 24-hour security that is in place and no visitors allowed. The Commonwealth Care Alliance sees cottage housing as a model for potential to copy elsewhere on the east coast.

Two weeks after moving out of a tent on the street, a woman uses a small cottage to serve as a temporary shelter, full of her makeup, clothes and all sorts of personal belongings.

She is one of 10 people who have already moved away from the area known as Mass and Cass and into the cabins that are set up in the parking lot at Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain. There are several cabins with room for two people, which are still under construction and will soon open.

It is the first of its kind in Massachusetts, created by the state, the city and the Commonwealth Care Alliance, a company that has contracted to help design and operate the shelter system.

The cottages are low-threshold homes where residents are allowed to live even if they fall back, and part of an expanding network of such shelters. There have been low-threshold homes or shelters in the city of Boston until now. And a majority of 145 people living in Mass. and Cass, who was surveyed by the city, said they would prefer to live in low-threshold housing as the first place to walk away from the street.

Residents who use drugs anyway can only do so in their own cottages. A care team performs regular checks to ensure everyone is safe.

The idea is to “meet people where they are,” according to Lauren Easton, vice president of the Commonwealth Care Alliance, which helps oversee the Shattuck cabin project.

“We base this on a harm reduction approach. If people need to, we want them to use safely and ensure society is safe,” she said.

a nurse checks a resident who lives in a cottage on the grounds x20; of shattuck hospital.

WCVB

Lauren Easton of the Commonwealth Care Alliance said the idea is to “meet people where they are.”

Commonwealth Care CEO Chris Palmieri said this housing is “step one” in people’s path to recovery.

Here, the residents are expected to live for 6o to 90 days with the goal of being ready to move into permanent housing.

“Housing is a very basic human need. In order not to have housing, you can not think about the other challenges that are going on in your life,” Palmieri said. “Here’s an opportunity for individuals not to worry about whether they should have a warm place to sleep, to call their own.”

a nurse checks a resident who lives in a cottage on the grounds x20; of shattuck hospital.

WCVB

Commonwealth Care CEO Chris Palmieri said the cabins are “step one” in people’s path to recovery.

There is a larger shelter that serves as a common room and a place where residents can meet privately with clinicians, including recovery coaches, nurses and a psychiatrist. They also have access to primary care physicians and residential navigators.

Residents are working to make their own rules for their communities, but there are two rules they cannot change: the 24-hour security that is in place and no visitors allowed.

The Commonwealth Care Alliance views cottage housing as a model for potentially copying elsewhere on the East Coast.

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