“I was sleeping in a car before I came to the shelter. Without my Case Manager I wouldn’t be here, at home. I love it here.” -Wayne, housed in December, 2016

What to Expect

Thank you for visiting Lowell Transitional Living Center’s (LTLC) welcome page.

The Lowell Transitional Living Center is the largest homeless shelter and support organization north of Boston with 90 beds and 70 emergency beds. You should expect to loose an amount of privacy due to the number of people, and it won’t be easy to overcome your personal obstacles, but you can also expect an environment of caring, sensitive staff who will go out of their way to help you adjust. Stress is common, but there is always someone to talk to. All you need to do is ask.

How do I get a bed?

To stay in one of our shelter beds you can visit the front desk between 10am and 4pm for an intake. Your intake will include a drug test and breathalyzer. You will fill out paperwork with basic information about your health and history. Then you will receive the rule book and a bed assignment.

What do I need to bring?

You must bring a valid Massachusetts ID, social security card, or birth certificate. You should also be prepared to answer questions about you previous place of residence before you became homeless and be able to provide proof that you are from the Merrimack Valley:

Amesbury Andover Billerica Boxford Chelmsford Dracut Dunstable Georgetown
Groveland Haverhill Lawrence Lowell Merrimac Methuen Newbury Newburyport
North Andover Rowley Salisbury Tewksbury Tyngsborough West Newbury Westford Wilmington

What if I don’t have an ID?

You can stay for the night but you will need to talk to a case manager in the morning about a plan for obtaining identification. LTLC can provide assistance if you need guidance and can also pay any fees required.

What if I’m not from one of the cities in the Merrimack Valley list?

You can stay for the night if you are having an emergency but you must move on to another shelter the next day. LTLC only serves Merrimack Valley residents (you must live in the area for at least one year). There are many shelters in Greater Boston that can accept people regardless of their previous residence (for example if you are from another state). Please call in advance to ask about policies. You can use the phone at the front desk in the morning to call other shelters.

Shelter List for Greater Lowell and Boston

What if I just need a place for the night? / What if I can’t pass the drug test?

The emergency beds operate November thru April, 8pm-8am, and there is no requirement to pass a drug test or breathalyzer. Emergency beds are cots with blankets, sheets, and pillows.

You can take a shower, make an appointment with a case manager if you’d like help finding housing or getting into a detox program, and eat breakfast with us in the morning.

You must check in for a cot between 8pm and 10pm. You are welcome to come a little early and help set up the cots and bedding.

What if I’ve never been in a shelter before?

At LTLC we are committed to helping our guests make the transition to stable, permanent housing. We aim to rehouse people as soon as possible, and we provide support services that encourage housing stability. The decision to enter into a shelter is a brave step. This is not the end of the road, it is a new beginning. We hope you’ll visit us at 193 Middlesex Street and partner with us in your journey from homelessness to housing.

Here is what you can expect as an LTLC Guest:

Welcome: When you enter LTLC for the first time you’ll be greeted by staff at the Front Desk who can start the intake process and assign a bed for you, give you any information you need, and help you feel more comfortable.

Meals: The LTLC Community Meals program serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Breakfast and dinner are open to the whole community. Breakfast starts at 6:45 a.m., lunch starts at 11:30 a.m., and dinner starts at 5:30 p.m.

Meeting with a Case Manager: If you’d like to meet with a Case Manager you can sign up at the front desk. Case Managers are referral specialists and can connect you to the services you need to get back on your feet.

Shelter: Shelter residents receive access to beds, meals, Case Managers, showers, laundry, healthcare, and mental wellness workshops.

Health Care: Every Monday night guests can receive free health care at LTLC including general check ups and help with injuries, cuts, frostbite, and other hazards from living on the streets.

Housing: Case Managers are on a mission to get you into housing as fast as possible. There will be many challenges ahead but with your Individual Service Plan and the guidance of your new advocate you will find that roads open up and hopes start to become realties.