Pine Street Inn, now marking its 50th anniversary, announced at its anniversary event in the South End on Sept. 26 a $50 million campaign to build, maintain, support and sustain its housing for the long-term future.
Ahead of the anniversary celebration, Pine Street Inn raised $36 million prior to the event, with an additional $1.4 million raised from the event, bringing the total raised to date to $37.4 million toward the campaign. This is the organization’s largest fundraising initiative to date.
“We have come a long way, but we need to stay the course if we are to put homelessness behind us in Boston’” said Lyndia Downie, President and Executive Director. “When we started 50 years ago in an old building on Pine Street in Chinatown, we provided ‘a hot and a cot’ – a meal and a bed for the night for 200 homeless men. Today, we support close to 2,000 men and women each day with a goal to move them off the street, out of shelter and into the stability of a home. With a 96-percent retention rate in our housing, we know that housing with support services works.”
Pine Street is increasingly focused on creating and maintaining housing for the most vulnerable men and women in Boston. Funds raised through the Key Moments Campaign will help create 200 new units of housing, bringing the total owned or operated by Pine Street to 1,000 units; make necessary repairs and improvements to existing housing; and establish a source of permanent funding for supportive services.
Earlier this year, Pine Street, together with The Community Builders and RODE Architects, unveiled a plan for a major new housing development in Jamaica Plain. The 225-unit building would provide housing for 140 men and women moving out of homelessness, as well as 85 families whose units would be income-restricted and managed by The Community Builders.
“The scale of this project is the largest to date in Boston,” said Downie. “These units will be focused on those who are grappling not just with homelessness, but who are also growing older and may have a variety of medical issues.”
This project is made possible in part by support for Boston’s Way Home Fund, which is part of Pine Street’s $50 million effort. Mayor Martin J. Walsh launched the Boston’s Way Home Fund, committing to raising $10 million toward Pine Street Inn’s overall goal. To date, the fund has raised $7.8 million from a variety of donors, including lead gifts from Bank of America, Liberty Mutual Insurance, MassMutual, MGH/Brigham Health/Partners HealthCare and Suffolk Cares.
Pine Street has recently opened a newly built, 52-unit residence on Hamilton Street in Dorchester. In addition to “micro” units for tenants, each with a bathroom and kitchenette, the building also features community space. Staffed with case managers, tenants are connected with community services, including medical and mental health care, job training and volunteer opportunities, ensuring they remained housed. .
In addition to emergency shelter, street outreach and permanent housing, Pine Street also provides job training in housekeeping and food services. iCater, a social enterprise, offers training opportunities for individuals transitioning back into the workforce and generates revenue preparing and delivering meals for nonprofits, schools and other institutions.
Pine Street has also instituted new “prevention” initiatives that help people identify alternatives to entering shelter, so they do not spend even a single night in a shelter bed. Other programs help people move out of shelter quickly by assisting them with first and last month’s rent and security deposit.
Boston’s rate of street homelessness is under 2 percent, due in large part to the combined efforts of Pine Street Inn, the City of Boston and other providers. That compares with a street homelessness rate of over 50 percent in a number of cities across the country.