The City of Boston lists housing lotteries on their Metrolist website, you can also sign up for email updates. The Baystate Banner , the affordable housing online website, and Metro Housing Boston also list affordable rentals. You can also apply for housing online: Massachusett's Public Housing application.
No referral needed
Before you go into the shelter here are some helpful tips.
Most shelters have limited storage options. With membership, some fitness centers will allow you to rent lockers. Storage units outside of Boston are less expensive. Consider the hours of operation, and those on public transportation routes.
Carrying your social security card, or other sensitive documents on your person is not recommended. Consider opening a safety deposit box with your local bank. If you value it, secure it.
Using small locks to secure the zippers on your backpack or suitcase may aid in protecting your items while sleeping.