Before You Call the Police

When we witness a crisis, it is natural to immediately call 911but as too many videos and stories have proven, police presence can lead to poor treatment, physical assault, and death, especially for BIPOC individuals and those with mental illnesses. As such, calling the police should be an absolute last resort. This non-exhaustive list provides non-police resources in the Somerville area. If you know other resources to recommend, please reach out to us, and we will add them.

If you must call the police, be sure to stay with the person in distress the entire time they are there, get the officer’s license plate and badge numbers, and be prepared to begin filming if you are at all concerned about how the person is being treated.

Remember: Black Lives Matter.

Non-Police Department Resources for Somerville

For Homelessness

Greater Somerville Homeless Coalition:

617-776-6661 (for families); 617-623-2546 (for individuals)

Bridge over Troubled Waters (Youth-Centered):


CASPAR Emergency Services Center & Shelters:


CASPAR First-Step Street Outreach:


The United Way’s First Call for Help (provides information in Spanish/English):

211; 877-211-6277

Youth on Fire (14-24 Years Old):


For Mental Health Emergencies

Psychiatric Emergency Services, Cambridge Health Alliance:


Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST):


National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

877-382-1609, followed by ZIP code

For Drug and Alcohol Usage

CASPAR First-Step Street Outreach:


SAMHSA National Helpline:


Also note that all municipal buildings (City Hall, Department of Public Works, Traffic and Parking, all Parks and Recreation facilities, public libraries, and schools) now carry Narcan (an opioid overdose antidote) in their emergency medical kits. In the event of an opioid overdose, please check the nearest municipal building for emergency assistance. Alternatively, carry Narcan on your own person and learn to administer itit can mean the difference between life and death.

For Sexual Assault and Domestic Abuse Victims

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC):


The Network/La Red (LGBTQIA+-centric):

617-423-7233; 1-800-832-1901

Casa Myrna via SafeLink MA:

1-877-785-2020; 1-877-521-2601

Respond, Inc. (open 9:00 AM-5:00 PM M-F)


Saheli Boston (for South Asian survivors and families):


For LGBTQIA+ Crises

The Network/La Red:

617-423-7233; 1-800-832-1901

The Trevor Project:


Bridge over Troubled Waters (Youth-Centered):