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Harvard Square in the Snow

Winter Warming Center

Human Service Programs

The Winter Warming Center is a welcoming and safe drop in center where unsheltered adults can come and spend the night and be safe from the environmental hazards of the street during the winter months. The Warming Center is located in the basement of the Cambridge Senior Center (806 Massachusetts Ave.). Guests use the entrance on Green Street to access the building. 

For the 2021-2022 season, which runs December 1, 2021 through May 1, 2022, the Warming Center will be available from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. seven days a week for adults experiencing homelessness to access a safe space, beverages and a hot meal, bathrooms, and the ability to rest on a yoga mat on the floor.

At all times, the maximum number of individuals allowed in the Warming Center will be 30 people in order to comply with social distancing and public health guidelines. When guests arrive, they will be asked to stay on site, will receive a health screening and safety check, and they will store their personal belongings. Staff and guests are required to wear masks inside the Warming Center.

Our primary concern is to ensure optimal health and safety for all guests, staff, and nearby neighbors. The Winter Warming Center aims to do this on a foundation of respect, dignity, and welcome for all, despite the experiences and challenges that individuals are facing.

Contact

If you have questions about the Warming Center, please contact Bay Cove Human Services:.
Telephone:  857-292-1870.
Email: Theresa Young, tyoung2@baycove.org

Common Questions

Where is the Warming Center located and what are the hours of operation?

The Warming Center is located in the basement of the Cambridge Senior Center (806 Massachusetts Avenue). Access to the Warming Center is on the other side of the building via the Green Street entrance. The Warming Center will be available from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., seven days a week, from December 1 to May 1.

How will guests be supported at the Warming Center?

At all times, the maximum number of individuals allowed in the Warming Center will be 30 people in order to comply with social distancing and public health guidelines.

Guests will have access to a safe space, beverages and a hot meal, bathrooms, and the ability to rest on a yoga mat on the floor. They will also be assisted in connecting to first responders regarding all serious health and safety concerns. Additionally, information regarding other community services will be available, including direct access to the Cambridge Coordinated Access Network (C-CAN) to be assessed for potential housing opportunities.

Is a COVID test required for access?

A COVID test is not required, but guests will receive a health screening when they arrive at the Warming Center. Staff and guests are required to wear masks inside the Warming Center.

Who operates the Warming Center?

Bay Cove Human Services operates the Winter Warming Center, in addition to shelter and outreach services in Cambridge. They also have experience with operating a night center and warming center in Boston.

How do staff work with other community partners?

Bay Cove staff work with multiple City departments, the Cambridge Police Department, first responders, outreach teams, and other homeless service providers to operate the Winter Warming Center. Outreach and police partners support Warming Center operations by helping to identify individuals who are residing outdoors during extreme weather and are interested in getting indoors for the evening.

Why did Cambridge open a Winter Warming Center for persons experiencing homelessness who are currently staying outdoors?

Our community identified the need for additional resources for adult individuals in Cambridge who are not able to stay in conventional shelters due to personal circumstances or mental health conditions. These individuals sleep outdoors by default and are subject to hazardous conditions, especially during the winter months. 

What are the goals of the Warming Center?

The objective is to provide a welcoming, low threshold, indoor overnight service that will provide food, a safe place to rest, and protection from inclement weather. Information regarding community resources and services will also be available.

How will you prevent lingering/other neighborhood impacts outside the Warming Center?

The Warming Center is intended to ensure optimal health and safety for all guests, staff, and nearby neighbors. Guests will be welcomed to the space through an intake process on the interior of the building, thereby limiting time spent outdoors. Staff will monitor guests during outside breaks. The Cambridge Police Department has also committed to assigning an officer to the area during the warming center season.

Page was posted on 1/2/2018 11:57 AM
Page was last modified on 7/28/2022 3:18 PM
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