The local community action agency, Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD for short) is focused on ensuring people become self-sufficient over the long term. However, they clearly recognize that sometimes people need help today to make it thru short term problems. Therefore ABCD offers a number of assistance programs and services that help families through these difficult times, including fuel and heating assistance in winter, rent help, food pantries, foreclosure counseling, utility bill help, and more. They have multiple offices around the county and in Cambridge, but are headquartered at 178 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111. Or call them at 617-348-6000.
Housing Assistance Programs: One resource offered is ABCD Housing Services. They have full time staff that are experts in all aspects of housing counseling and assistance programs. They diligently work to assist both low and moderate-income families, whether they are at risk of losing their home or if they are currently homeless. The primary goal is to prevent people from being evicted or losing their home. They can provide mortgage counseling, direct people to grant programs, and help people find other ways to get housing assistance. Find additional rent assistance programs.
Career Development: The organization realizes that job skills, including education and skill development tied to labor market needs are key elements in fighting poverty. People need jobs in order to become self sufficient. So ABCD works closely with Boston academic institutions and businesses to develop collaborative programs that help people find jobs and also educate workers who are consistently applauded for their commitment and ability to get the job done.
Energy and Heating Bill Assistance: More than 15,000 families are assisted every year. ABCD Fuel Assistance serves people throughout Middlesex County, including in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Newton. Grants are provided to help people pay fuel bills during the heating season. Assistance is provided from November to March of each year.
Heating and Cooling System Repairs and Replacements Program: Low income homeowners can get free repairs, or even replacement of heating systems if they are facing an emergency. If your system is no longer functioning, a replacement of the heating systems will be considered.
Weatherization: This program will help Middlesex, Cambridge and Boston families lower their energy bills by up to 35%. People who apply and are accepted can receive free cash grants of up to $6,000 that are used to improve their home, with the goal of reducing their energy bills.
Free Health Care: They run several modern, cutting-edge, community-based health clinics that provide public health disease prevention and health promotion programs. The goal is to help those who are under insured or who lack health insurance. Numerous other programs exist that provide health care assistance, and click here to find additional ways to get medical bill help.
Federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) - This is a federal government funded program. It will provide cash grants and other assistance for low and moderate income families. For those who do qualify for LIHEAP assistance, they received last year on average $1,000 in benefits. however, note that the maximum allowable benefit was $1,495.
Food Pantries: Multiple food distribution or located around Boston and Middlesex County. They will distribute food to struggling families who are facing an emergency.
All of the services listed above are offered by Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) (phone 617-348-6000), while the items below are offered by other local Middlesex charities and non-profits. Click more ABCD resources.
If you need assistance with paying your heating bill, contact Community Teamwork Inc., which is a private nonprofit social service agency that serves people in the Greater Lowell Massachusetts area. Families can apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The fuel assistance program provided by CTI provides help and grants for heating costs when the household income falls below poverty guidelines. The program operates annually from Nov. 1 through April 30, and will accept applications during that time.
The funding is limited, and after the fuel assistance program ends in April, CTI has other programs that can help residents with weatherization and funding repairs on their homes. They can help people with replacing windows, tuning up their furnaces, or putting on a new roof.
Community Health Connections, Inc. (phone (978) 665 - 5901) is a clinic that offers services on a sliding fee scale, and it provides family medicine offering continuity of care to infants, children and adults of all ages in the Middlesex area.
The Great Brook Valley Health Center is another local health car clinic that offers comprehensive primary health care services for children and adults in the area. Dial (508) 270 - 5700.
Patients in the northern part of the county can turn to The Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. This facility provides primary health care, prescriptions and community medicine for Greater Lawrence Massachusetts residents regardless of their current health insurance coverage or ability to pay current programs or for their medical or hospital bills. Dial (978) 685 - 1770.
The low income, people with no or limited health insurance, and others in the community have their choice of other clinics and assistance programs as well. Read more Middlesex community clinics.
This organization provides shelter, counseling, housing, rent help, and food services to thousands of people each year. They can be reached at 617-623-6111. Their programs include:
If you live in Ashland Massachusetts, a local nonprofit may be able to provide you help with your property taxes, water bills, rent, utility bills, and even mortgage payments. They offer a wide variety of resources and programs for residents, and the Ashland TAB has also selected the Ashland Emergency Fund for a charity campaign called Gifts of Hope.
Last year the organization’s helped almost 50 local families and individuals pay their rent, pay utility bills, manage medical bills and they have also even provided emergency mortgage assistance to help them prevent a foreclosure. Find other ways to stop a foreclosure, or for more information or to apply to the Ashland Emergency Fund, visit www.ashlandemergencyfund.org.
Cambridge and Lowell Catholic Charities has several locations around the county. The assistance programs they oversee range from rental assistance, foreclosure prevention, and cash grants for energy and heating bills. Call the agency at (617) 482-5440 to learn more or to apply for help. Also, click here for information on Massachusetts energy assistance programs.
Holiday assistance, meals, coats for kids, free food and gifts are also offered by Catholic Charities. Many of the items distributed are donated by businesses and members of the community, so resources are limited. This agency is a great place to call for financial assistance for paying bills and other expenses, as well as material assistance. Click here for more information.
Salvation Army - Cambridge Corps offers numerous programs to help the working poor, unemployed, and low income individuals. Some of the services they offer include food pantries that distribute groceries and household items. Housing assistance that can e used to pay rent and / or a mortgage. Financial aid for energy bills, including utility, electric, heating, and gas bills. Holiday help, such as meals and gifts. Money may even be made available for needs such as prescription drugs and doctor bills. Dial (617) 547 - 3400.
The Salvation Army also has other local branches and offices around Middlesex County, including in Lowell, Framingham, Waltham, the city of Boston, and Mystic Valley. I suggest calling the main branch at 617-542-5420, as most of the branches offer rent help, utility assistance, food, and other support services. Read more on Salvation Army assistance in Middlesex and Suffolk.
The City of Everett runs several programs for its residents. Call them at (617) 394 - 2260. While with all places and organizations, funding will be limited, they may be able to help people in an emergency. Learn about rent and mortgage payment assistance, gas bill payment assistance, as well as water and electric bill payment assistance.
CAPIC, or the Community Action Programs Inter-City, may have some resources for the Middlesex Massachusetts region. Get information on Fuel Assistance as well as emergency rent help. Other programs may be HomeCorps for foreclosure counseling, Head Start applications, child development, and free tax completion assistance from VITA. While a number of factors are looked at, in some cases any financial aid paid out is in the form of a low interest rate loan. A number of referrals and information on public benefits, such as food stamps, are offered too. Click here.
Community Teamwork provides assistance to dozens of towns and cities in Middlesex County Massachusetts. A focus of this non-profit is on enabling the less fortunate to regain self-sufficiency and get back on the right path to financial stability. Some of the resources available include the following. Click more information.
Newton Massachusetts residents may be able to receive a grant to pay a one time expense. They can apply for the Horace Cousens Industrial Fund. It is a charitable trust which gives financial help and a one time financial aid grant to residents who are faced with a temporary but severe financial problem. The grant can’t be used to pay a recurring bill. Dial (617) 796 - 1324.
Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee, Inc. provides a variety of resources, assistance programs, and services for Cambridge residents who need help. Services include a food pantry, tenant counseling, information on utility and rent assistance programs, budgeting counseling, and more. (617) 868 - 2900
Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund (phone 617-234-5340) may be able to help the needy and low income with paying for initial rental costs, providing funds for rental security deposits and first and last month rent payments.
Care & Share Fund Inc. - Some grant money can help pay for education, clothing, medical bills, holiday meals and gifts, rent, food, and school supplies.
Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs (HDSP) - Runs the homeless prevention and rapid rehousing fund. This can provide emergency rent assistance and money to prevent an eviction. Also learn about the tenant based rental assistance program. Or dial (617) 349-6204
Bedford Town Center – An assistance program known as Bedford Youth and Family Services provides heating fuel bill payment assistance, federal and state of Massachusetts benefits assistance, WIC, family based services, and specialized information and referral to charities and non-profits. 12 Mudge Way, Bedford, Massachusetts, 01730. Phone (781) 275 - 7727
Catholic Charities – Several other locations are around Middlesex County Massachusetts. Call anyone of these for programs that can help with bills, rent, provide food, and assistance with health care.
Hugh Cargill Trust Committee – This is a trust fund that can help the low income and Poor in Concord Massachusetts only. Service and assistance provided includes gas and electric bill payment assistance, mortgage payment assistance, emergency rent help, and prescriptions and medical bill payment assistance. Phone (978) 318 - 3100 Ext: 2030
New England Farm Workers Council, Inc. - The Fuel Assistance Program operates from November 1 to April 30 providing heating fuel bill payment assistance. 473 Main St., Floor 3, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, 01420. Call (978) 342 - 4520
Referral line - This is a service that anyone can dial. There is in effect free information on many programs to help families living in poverty and the unemployed, among others. A few examples of services from the InfoLine in Middlesex County are as follows.
Melrose Emergency Fund is one-time, emergency financial assistance program for families in the Melrose area. It can pay rent, heating fuel assistance, and other utilities. (781) 979 - 4440
Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc. (MOC) is a non-profit that offers short and long term support. This includes education, job training programs, Individual development accounts and more. Or explore low income housing assistance, including emergency rent payments. (978) 343 - 5706
Natick Service Council provides eviction prevention. The goal of these services is to prevent homeless and keep families in their homes by offering limited financial assistance for paying rent, energy bills and housing expenses. They can also work with companies such as NSTAR and help people apply for LIHEAP federal fuel assistance. 2 Webster Street, Natick, Massachusetts, 01760. Phone (508) 655 - 1791.
Rent help - There are several non-profits that can assist as well as government organizations in Middlesex County Massachusetts to contact. The programs range from funds to pay back rent to legal representation and grants for a security or utility deposit. The main goal is to reduce the number of homeless people in the region. Click here.
Middlesex St. Vincent de Paul churches are mostly made up of volunteers. The charity can serve as a resource for the less fortunate, and they operate in the county as well as the cities of Lowell, Haverhill, and Cambridge. Assistance includes free food from a pantry, clothing, and a thrift store. Financial aid, while limited, may be able to help with heating bills or housing expenses. There is also vouchers for medications, school supplies, and more. More on Middlesex County St. Vincent de Paul.
The Second Step and the Liz Kirsch Opportunities Fund can assist with basic needs of domestic-violence survivors. Emergency funds can be used for bills, including even child care assistance. Other services in Middlesex County include security deposit assistance, moving costs, transportation assistance, rental assistance, and funds for utility and gas bills. Newtonville, MA, 02460, (617) 965 - 2538.
HUD grants - Federal government issued money can help with housing needs in Middlesex County. The grants can pay for rehousing, utility bills including water or electric, rent, and legal aid. Tenants of all backgrounds can apply, including the disabled and families living in poverty that are facing homelessness. More eviction and rehousing in Middlesex County.
Holiday and Christmas help - Dozens of agencies, such as the Salvation Army, provide assistance during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays. Middlesex County families and children can receive free clothes, toys, and hot meals, among other resources. More on Middlesex County Massachusetts holiday programs.
Town of Wayland can offer short-term, emergency financial assistance to residents. Any type of payment will be made directly to the vendor, landlord or suppliers of services. Other resources offered are utilities, prescription medicine, medical bill expenses, rent, food, clothing and more. Address is 41 Cochituate Road. Dial (508) 358 - 3624.
Short term housing and low income homes are located across the county. Resources range from non-profit and government funded transitional housing programs to emergency shelters. Most of the programs also have a case management component that will help clients regain self-sufficiency, employment, and improve their financial situation so that they can pay the rent on their own in the future. More on Middlesex County transitional housing programs.
South Middlesex Opportunity Council – Offers funds to pay rent in an emergency. 300 Howard Street, Framingham, MA 01702. Phone number - (508) 620-2300
MAPS – A non-profit agency that is based in Cambridge Massachusetts. They can provide utility bill payment assistance to those in a crisis. 1046 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139. (617) 864-7600
Cash assistance - The state works closely with the county as well as local governments in Lowell and Cambridge to administer public aid. Programs range from cash and grants to pay heating and energy bills to free food for seniors, children, and low income families from SNAP and other resources. Middlesex County also administers various rental and housing assistance programs. More Middlesex public assistance.
Cambridge, Lowell, and all Middlesex County Massachusetts families can get foreclosure counseling, utility help, rent assistance, food and other financial aid from these statewide programs.
Homeowners Options for Massachusetts Elders (HOME), which can be reached at (413) 443 - 7138, provides loss mitigation / anti-foreclosure counseling, homeless prevention, legal advice, and mortgage help. Also learn about Massachusetts foreclosure programs. Click here.
Another non-profit housing agency is Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, Inc. The programs they run include rent payment assistance, foreclosure information, mortgage and loan delinquency, and default resolution counseling. Dial (800) 272 - 0990.
Homeowners across Middlesex County, and specifically people in the Cambridge area, can receive confidential one-on-one foreclosure counseling and information on how to get help paying their mortgage from Chase. The lender has opened a home loan counseling center in the region. More Chase Cambridge homeownership center.
In addition to those organizations, the region is also served by a number of non-profit credit and housing counseling organizations. They offer individuals a number of solutions to their housing or debt problems. Find a list of Middlesex credit counseling agencies.
For residents of the northern part of the county, in areas such as Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham, Woburn, and Winchester Massachusetts, they can contact the Tri-City Community Action Program, Inc. This is the non-profit community action agency that helps low income and struggling people in area north of Cambridge. They offer information and referrals to federal government and Massachusetts programs. They may also be able to provide financial assistance for the following expenses.
Call Tri-City Community Action Program, Inc at (781) 322 - 4125.
Some of the options for food, household items, clothing, and other items may include the following. If those resources can’t help, there are many other pantries and food assistance programs in the community. To learn more, click here for other Cambridge and Middlesex Massachusetts food banks.
If those locations can’t help, then there are additional food banks to try. These focus on residents outside of the city limits, both to the west and east. Groceries, holiday meals, and other support is provided. Find a listing of free Middlesex County food pantries.
A Place to Turn, which is based in Natick, provides residents with a food pantry with some general clothing available. Dial (508) 655 - 8868.
Bedford Community Table/Pantry, Inc. distributes free meals and food from its pantry. Dial (781) 275 - 7355.
Clothing and holiday assistance - In addition to the centers above, there are dozens of other organizations and clothing closets that focus on meeting basic needs of those who are struggling. Some are churches, or maybe a regular charity organization. The locations distribute free clothing and household supplies around Cambridge, Lowell and other towns and cities in Middlesex County. Many unemployed and/or low income individuals receive assistance every year. Learn more clothing closets in Middlesex County.
Of course the most populous city in Middlesex County is Boston, and some programs exist for that area as well. Learn more on Boston assistance programs.
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