We used a highly localized, collaborative approach to address substance use and addiction in Boston. We also build key partnerships with City, state, and community partners. Our office is the first municipal recovery office in the United States.
Our ProgramsOur Work
The Engagement Center (EC) is a welcoming drop-in space for individuals receiving services in the New Market Square neighborhood. Opened in August 2017, the EC provides space for participants to:
- connect to the many homeless and recovery support services offered by the City of Boston and partners, and
- to spend time in a low-threshold, recreational atmosphere with wrap-around case management and support.
The EC offers a range of comfort items, such as portable toilets, water, coffee, and light snacks. Amenities include:
- recreational space for socialization
- access to TV, phone chargers, and quiets space for reading, and
- workstations available for email access, applications, and meeting with housing advocates, counselors, or recovery coaches.
Participants can also receive nursing care daily. They can reconnect with their health insurance, make primary care appointments, and receive routine medical care as needed.
This is a six- to 12-month residential substance use treatment program. Entre Familia provides bilingual and bicultural, gender-specific, substance use disorder treatment to pregnant and postpartum women and their children. The program provides substance use disorders (SUDs) recovery services. Support is offered to pregnant and postpartum women who are 18 and older and Massachusetts residents.
- clinical screenings
- referrals to medical and mental health services
- residential care
- comprehensive case management
- childcare services
- family treatment planning, and
- referrals for specialized services to address developmental and behavioral difficulties and early intervention.
Mobile Sharps Team provides proactive sweeps in high volume areas. They respond to 311 calls for improperly discarded syringes in public areas. There are eleven outdoor kiosks for syringe disposal that are located in hard-hit areas.
Training on safe sharps disposal is given to:
- Boston Public Schools
- the Boston Housing Authority
- the Parks Department, and
- other City departments to improve collection and safety on City property.
Currently, the Community Syringe Redemption Program is being piloted in the Newmarket Square neighborhood to stipend peers who collect syringes. The program provides a low-threshold workforce opportunity for vulnerable residents.
Transitions is a 40-bed, evidence-based, short-term treatment program for adults focusing on:
- relapse prevention
- behavior modification
- interpersonal skill development, and
- re-socialization skills.
Facilitated client discussion groups meet daily. The groups explore life issues related to substance use.
Psychoeducational sessions provide clients information about:
- psychological, and
- sociological consequences of substance use.
We offer one-to-one, goal-oriented sessions. These sessions help clients choose a suitable placement for continuing treatment.
What We've Done So Far
First responder initiatives
We co-led the Post-Overdose Response Team (PORT) with the Boston Fire Department to provide:
- overdose prevention and Narcan, and
- access to care to families and individuals following an overdose in a residential setting.
Emergency Medical Services
EMS leads the Community Assistance Team (Squad 80). The team is designed to rapidly respond to individuals on the street.
EMS also recently put in place a program that leaves naloxone behind at the scene of an overdose for bystanders or those that refuse transport.
Boston Police Department
The Boston Police Street Outreach Unit has expanded to create a centralized system for MH/SUD support. The unit is trained in recovery coaching and crisis intervention. Our goal is to enhance community engagement efforts.