What is the difference between shelter, transitional, and permanent housing?

Shelter is meant to be an emergency short-term housing solution. Transitional housing refers to a supportive – yet temporary – type of accommodation that is designed to bridge the gap from homelessness to permanent housing. Permanent housing (whether supportive or not) is long-term housing with no end date.

Who are Heading Home clients?

During fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018) Heading Home directly supported 1,422 people ranging from infants to elderly. Homelessness takes many forms; our housing and case management responds to both families and single individuals in Greater Boston.


  • 35% of our clients self-identify as Hispanic and 65% as non-Hispanic
  • 51% are Black/African American, 47% White, and 2% Asian/Pacific Islander
  • head of household average age for our individual clients is 49
  • head of household average age for our families is 34
  • 91% of our family clients have a female head of household

How many employees does Heading Home have?

We have approximately 180 full- and part-time employees working at Heading Home in various houses and at our administrative offices.

Does Heading Home accept donations of clothing, furniture, and household items?

We are unable to accept used donations including furniture at this time. For any questions related to in-kind support, please e-mail CBavaro@headinghomeinc.org

What is Heading Home's operating budget and how is Heading Home funded?

Heading Home’s annual operating budget is approximately $17 million. We are funded by individuals, foundations, corporations, city, state, and federal governments.

What contributes to homelessness?

Individuals or families with children may be homeless for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is the lack of housing, particularly affordable housing. Conditions in the current housing market are having a substantial negative impact on families living on limited or fixed incomes. Low-income renters are increasingly facing evictions or extreme rent increases. Over the years, gentrification in many urban areas has created a paradigm of rental unit conversions to condominium ownership, forcing many long-time tenants out of their homes.


Various complex conditions and circumstances may also exist that create barriers to permanent housing which might include mental illness, addiction, disability, or a history of violence. When trauma is experienced, the executive functioning needed to plan, problem solve, and prioritize is often interrupted.