Latest Updates on the Safety Net Family Shelter in East Cambridge

DECEMBER 26, 2023

Dear Cambridge and Somerville Constituents —

Thank you to everyone who responded to my previous email message on Sunday afternoon regarding the establishment of a Safety Net Family Shelter within the Registry of Deeds Building in East Cambridge.

I am proud to say Cambridge residents are meeting the moment and living up to our shared values as a welcoming city, as I received over 50 replies from constituents expressing support for the shelter effort, and only 2 or 3 replies expressing a mixed reaction or a negative reaction.

As promised, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Cambridge will be hosting a virtual public meeting this Thursday, at 6 pm, to provide information on the shelter effort and to address questions and concerns. I will be participating in this meeting. You may register for the meeting via

I am very pleased to report that shelter operations were smooth over the holiday weekend. The state's service provider, AMI, has helped about 25 families settle into the space so far. A Christmas tree was set up, children received gifts over the holiday, and a Haitian pastor was able to hold a service for many of the families. Showers have been set up at MIT and transportation was smooth on Sunday and again this morning. Families spent the daytime hours today at the state's Welcome Centers in Allston and Quincy, where they were connected with additional resources and opportunities.

For my part, I have returned to the site several times since Friday. One issue that has come up for abutters is the need to ensure trash is collected from the site on time, without allowing the dumpster in the back lot to overflow. I've been in touch with our state and city partners to ensure this is handled smoothly going forward. 

The City has also set up a dedicated email address and phone number to help coordinate responses to questions from abutters, local residents, and the broader community. Any resident, business, or non-profit organization in the city can email [email protected] or call (617) 349-7222 with any question or concerns.

Thank you, as always, for being an engaged and informed constituent of the 26th Middlesex District, and thanks especially to everyone who has reached out to express support for this emergency effort. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly with any questions or concerns.

Yours in service,

Rep. Mike Connolly