The Morton Street Campus proposal – developed by BMC in partnership with a coalition of community-based providers of health, addiction, and supportive housing services – proposes a coordinated mix of clinical programs and supportive housing to meet the needs of individuals facing mental illness, addiction and homelessness. This proposal includes 446 treatment beds (272 clinical beds and 174 emergency shelter and transitional programming beds) and 405 units of supportive housing for individuals and families.
The coordinated clinical and housing model being proposed for Morton Street was developed by the following expert providers:
BMC, the largest essential hospital in New England, is committed to a healthier, more equitable and thriving community. BMC is nationally known for its research and clinical programs in addiction and mental health and has assembled a team of best-in-class service providers and supportive housing developers, owners and operators for the proposed redevelopment of Shattuck Hospital Campus at Morton Street.
We are proposing comprehensive and coordinated clinical services for individuals with mental illness, substance use disorder and related clinical care needs. Our goal is to create a coordinated and connected set of services in one location, to support improved outcomes for patients, helping them stay in recovery. The specific clinical services we are proposing include a mix of services already existing at the Shattuck site, as well as new programs largely geared toward people at later stages of recovery.
This mix of existing and new services includes:
Supportive housing provides residents with case management, job training, life skills, counseling, transportation, and other supports. Residents will be tenants who sign a lease and pay rent. Experience shows that supportive housing is an effective public health strategy, supporting individuals with substance use disorder, mental illness, and related behavioral health needs in successfully achieving their goals for improved health and stability.
Many of the coalition partners have extensive experience in developing and operating supportive housing for individuals with behavioral health and substance use disorder needs; the model is effective and in place in multiple communities throughout Greater Boston. Our model of housing on the site will be affordable and with the goal of building community, and we will work with the City and State and consider community feedback to determine how to prioritize potential residents.
The population we expect to serve will significantly benefit from supportive housing services, including long-term housing with access to a wide array of support services and case management. In addition, we have proposed a highly structured set of short term/emergency housing. The proposal includes:
Our team prioritized a significant expansion of publicly accessible open space, with improved, welcoming routes to the park and new pedestrian, bicycle, and transit connections. By limiting above-ground parking, we can develop additional, accessible green space adjacent to the campus – for a total of more than seven dedicated acres of green, pedestrian and plaza space. We hope to collaborate with the community about different types of public amenities and recreation that could be put in this green space.
The public health use for the site was established by the Commonwealth decades ago. The Coalition – all of whom have experience serving the communities near or surrounding the site – collectively considered the needs of nearby communities, past experiences and successes, and learnings to create a proposal that transforms and improves this site. This includes new clinical buildings designed to meet current clinical care needs, limited above ground parking, and a significant increase in the amount of public open space.
No. Our proposal creates programs that work together to address the root causes of mental illness, substance use disorder and homelessness to prevent another crisis. Every aspect of the proposal – from the mix of uses, the role of supportive housing and the clinical programs – is designed to keep a Mass & Cass level crisis from occurring. The site would prioritize longer-term care for people recovering from opioid use, with those in acute treatment accounting for less than 10% of the population on site.
At the same time, our Coalition realizes that we need to pay significant attention to safety and security on the site, and BMC and the Coalition partners will work with the State, City, and surrounding community to develop a strong public safety program.
While the RFP specified a minimum of 75-100 units of supportive housing, the need for supportive housing far exceeds the minimum in the RFP. Because the need for housing overall is so great, the Coalition considered an appropriate level of proposed supportive housing, including family housing.
BMC and coalition partners will invest in a comprehensive public safety plan and operations on site and will work in collaboration with public safety officials (including BPD and state officials) on issues related to any public spaces adjacent to the site. BMC has a strong public safety team and will consult with outside experts and the community in developing a plan based on the final mix of uses approved for the site.
In addition to a site-wide approach, specific security measures will be put in place that correspond to the needs for each program across the site. For example, the supportive housing units will have separate secured and monitored entrances. BMC will provide signage and wayfinding that allows visitors to navigate to their location on the site safely.
We expect to partner with the community on issues related to safety and community accessibility to the site.
This proposal will require a sizable investment on behalf of the Coalition partners, as well as government partners at the City and State level. We expect to contribute philanthropic dollars/private fundraising as well. The Coalition members recognize that this proposal is one piece of a broader solution to address the challenges of addiction and mental illness, often resulting in homelessness.
We need a range of services across the state to meet the needs of individual patients, create and maintain thriving communities, and to repair the current fragmented system of care. We believe services at Long Island can complement the service mix proposed for the Morton Street Campus.
The Coalition proposal does not include maintaining the temporary cottages currently on the site.