News

Berkshire and York Streets Fire

On Saturday, December 3, 2016, a 10-alarm fire raged through the Berkshire and York Streets neighborhood in East Cambridge. Among the buildings that sustained significant damage was St. Patrick’s Place at 50 and 40 York Street, owned by Just-A-Start (JAS), home to over 50 individuals and Saint_Patricks_Apts_SiteSizefamilies living in the affordable apartments in the former church and surrounding buildings.

All the residents of St. Patrick’s are in temporary living arrangements and we are collaborating with the City of Cambridge to provide resources for clothing, food, transportation, and other immediate needs. JAS is working with its partners to find more permanent housing as quickly as possible.

St. Patrick’s was closed by the Archdiocese in 1991 and JAS purchased the buildings – the church at 50 York Street and 3 other buildings at 26, 30, and 40 York Street – in 1992. The renovation project was undertaken in 1992-1993, and St. Patrick’s Place became home to 32 lower-income families.

Mayor E. Denise Simmons has established a Mayor’s Fire Relief Fund to assist the families and individuals directly impacted by this devastating fire. A gofundme page has been set up (by Michele Kincaid, City of Cambridge Acting Treasurer), and we encourage anyone who wishes to donate to go to the link below.

https://www.gofundme.com/cambridge-mayors-fire-relief-fund

Donations can also be made in person or by mail with a check made out to:

Mayor’s Fire Relief Fund
Cambridge City Hall
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

People who have clothing or other items they want to donate to help the fire victims should contact the Salvation Army in Cambridge, MA. Their phone number is: (617) 547-3400. You may also want to contact The Red Cross in Boston at (617) 274-5200. They will tell you what is needed and where to drop them off.