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Find alternatives to calling the Boston Police Department or 911.

Cover photo for alternatives to police Boston, MA, a list of alternatives to calling the police or 911

Typically, people call the police because they are experiencing or perceive an emergency and need immediate assistance. In order to provide the most effective alternatives to calling the police or 911, unless otherwise indicated, the resources included here are limited to those that offer immediate assistance through emergency or crisis services.

Where we know or suspect that a resource may work in cooperation with law enforcement, we acknowledge that in the listing.

These resources are not intended to cover all situations, only to provide the services described. If you are in danger of immediate harm and feel safe doing so, call 911.

Housing

  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters
    • Bridge is Boston’s foremost agency providing life-changing services for homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. Serving youth ages 14-24. Oversees the Boston Safe Place Network.
    • (617) 423-9575 (9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday)
    • Text the word “safe” and your current location (address, city, state) to 4HELP (44357) to connect with a Safe Place counselor (youth under 18, 24/7)
    • https://www.bridgeotw.org/

LGBTQ+

  • The Network/LaRed
    • A survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, SM, polyamorous, and queer communities. The Network/La Red’s 24-hour hotline provides confidential emotional support, information, referrals, safety planning, and crisis intervention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and/or transgender (LGBQ/T) folks, as well as folks in SM/kink and polyamorous communities who are being abused or have been abused by a partner. We also offer information and support to friends, family, or co-workers on the issue of domestic violence in LGBQ/T communities. 
    • (617) 423-7233
    • Toll Free: 1 (800) 832-1901
    • http://tnlr.org/en/

Mental Health

  • Boston Emergency Services Team
    • Provides behavioral health crisis assessment, intervention, and stabilization services, 24 hours per day/7 days per week/365 days per year, through four service components: Mobile Crisis Intervention services for youth, adult mobile services, ESP community-based locations, and community crisis stabilization (CCS) services for ages 18 and over.
    • 1 (800) 981-HELP (4357) (24/7)
    • https://www.bmc.org/emergency-services-program/emergency-services-available
  • Samaritans Statewide Helpline
    • 1 (877) 870-4673

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

  • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
  • Rosie’s Place
    • Rosie’s Place was founded in 1974 as the first women’s shelter in the United States. Provides emergency shelter and other services. Trans inclusive.
    • (617) 318.0296 (Advocates line), answered 7:30 a.m – 7:30 p.m., Mon-Fri.
    • https://www.rosiesplace.org/
  • SafeLink MA
    • 24/7 Statewide Crisis Hotline hosted through Casa Myrna, Boston’s largest provider of shelter and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence, providing safety, resources, advocacy and information since 1977. All resources are free.
    • 1 (877) 785-2020
    • TTY: 1 (877) 521-2601 
    • https://casamyrna.org/
  • The Network/LaRedA survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, SM, polyamorous, and queer communities.
    • The Network/La Red’s 24-hour hotline provides confidential emotional support, information, referrals, safety planning, and crisis intervention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and/or transgender (LGBQ/T) folks, as well as folks in SM/kink and polyamorous communities who are being abused or have been abused by a partner. We also offer information and support to friends, family, or co-workers on the issue of domestic violence in LGBQ/T communities. 

Youth

Please note, people answering these calls may be mandatory reporters, and required to make a report to CPS or law enforcement in certain situations. Learn about local mandatory reporter laws here.

  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters
    • Bridge is Boston’s foremost agency providing life-changing services for homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. Serving youth ages 14-24. Oversees the Boston Safe Place Network.
    • (617) 423-9575 (9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday)
    • Text the word “safe” and your current location (address, city, state) to 4HELP (44357) to connect with a Safe Place counselor (youth under 18, 24/7)
    • https://www.bridgeotw.org/

Elders

  • MA Elder Abuse Hotline
    • 1 (800) 922-2275

Crime

Coming soon.

Substance Abuse


Please consider using these alternatives to calling the Boston Police Department or 911 when faced with a situation that calls for de-escalation and/or intervention. We can abolish the police by not calling the police.

We have tried to indicate where police or law enforcement may work with the alternative resources listed; please let us know if you have any concerns about these resources.

Reimagine public safety. Don’t call the police.

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