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Welcoming our New Neighbors

Faith communities across the Commonwealth are stepping forward to respond to the many families and individuals arriving in Massachusetts. This joint effort is co-sponsored by:

Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston/Ten Point

Boston Faith & Justice Network

Jewish Community Relations Council

Massachusetts Council of Churches

To learn more about the “village effort” to help migrant families, read this recent story from ‘GBH news here.


This page will offer updates and resources for local congregations* seeking to welcome thy neighbor.


* at this point we have two drop off locations in Boston. We are looking for suburban congregations to serve as drop off points for winter clothing and personal care products from now until March 31, 2024, and then bring those items into 12th Baptist Church and Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Boston.

If your congregation is interested in fulfilling this mission, please contact Amanda Grant Rose at amanda (at) winterwalk (dot) org 

updated 2/14/24:

What is needed?

1. Prayerful Language and Open Hearts:

The people who are arriving here in Massachusetts are seeking everything that those of us living here also desire- dignity, shelter, safety, meaningful work and support for our families. We invite you to use language that uplifts and does not demean. Speak using “people first” language of those  “people seeking shelter” or “people seeking asylum,” or “new neighbors.” So much of the language that has been used is deeply dehumanizing, and we seek to treat all people with dignity as beloved children of God.

2. Financial Resources: 

There is an opportunity for everyone to give to support these new neighbors, and we invite those from economic means to give out of their abundance. We don’t want to continually be asking the communities that are always tapped to be giving and giving again. As this Boston Globe article shows “Wealthier Mass. Communities avoid brunt of expanding shelter crisis”, many majority white and wealthy communities are not sharing equally in the responsibility to care for these new neighbors, and so we offer this opportunity to step forward.

Cash donations are the most flexible right now, and allow our Haitian American and other colleagues to put those financial resources where they are most needed. While the State Legislature has appropriated some funds for overnight shelters, there are vast unmet needs that a network of Haitian-led nonprofits are filling. We suggest suggest local congregations make financial contributions to Immigrant Family Services Institute. Direct link to donation here.


3. Physical Space:

There is an opportunity for congregations in Greater Boston or anywhere proximate to an Emergency Shelter. We need space. There are two types of emergency shelters: 24 hour sites and overnight shelters. The overnight shelters require people, often families to leave at 7am and return at 6pm. Therefore, we need congregations or any other space to be available during the day.

Read this story from the Boston Globe on 2/15/24 about why daytime space is so needed:

We have created a one page FAQ sheet. We are asking the state agencies and others if there is funding available to offset cleaning and heating costs.

View the One Page Request for Physical Space Here:


4. Winter Clothing: Drop off to Twelfth Baptist Church

New and gently used, recently laundered, especially winter clothes can be dropped off to Twelfth Baptist Church at 160 Warren St, Roxbury, MA 02119.

  • Drop off times: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm

The following items are needed: 

Jeans,(children and adults all sizes)

T-shirts,(children and adults all sizes)

Sweatshirts (children and adults all sizes)

Underwear (New, all sizes also for children and adults)

Warm Socks (New, all sizes also for children and adults)

Women’s Bras (New, all sizes)

Shoes (Boots especially, all sizes also for children and adults)





5. Personal Care Products: Drop off to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church

Personal Care items can be dropped off to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church at 155 Humboldt Ave, Boston, MA 02121.

  • Drop off times: Monday-Friday 2pm-5pm and Saturday 12-4pm

The following NEW items are needed:

Hygiene Products, such as:



Bath Soaps,

Shampoo and Conditioner,

Body Lotion,

Vaseline/Aquaphor Gel,

Face and hair care products, especially those for Black hair

Menstruation Pads

Diapers of all sizes

Baby Wipes

Bath towels & wash cloths (must be new)

6. Volunteers: 

Friends, we invite you to a ministry of accompaniment in volunteering. There are staff in place from the state to assist with filling out forms and accessing services, but what many of our new neighbors need and desire is connection. Come read a book, play a game, just connect. We invite you to consider if you have some time available to volunteer. PLease fill out this form if you are interested:

At this point we are simply collecting information while we wait on the state officials to clarify when volunteers can enter the Cass Center and other emergency centers.

Many of our new neighbors deeply desire to learn English. No experience is necessary, just an open heart and a willingness to try. 

Given there is currently no access to Wi-Fi, activities may include: bringing knitting or crocheting supplies, playing a soccer game, reading to children, etc. We need folks to play card games, dominoes, read, look at magazines, pray, or sit and listen. 

For those interested in serving on site at Melnea Cass, or other volunteer opportunities, scan the QR code and provide your contact information. As we learn more about what is needed we will reach out to you.

This is the form to fill out if you are interested in volunteering: