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Southern Massachusetts Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Struggling families can turn to the Catholic Charities in the Massachusetts region. Numerous social services, referrals, food, and housing programs are administered for the less fortunate and low income. The working poor and seniors in Bristol and Barnstable counties as well as surrounding regions (such as Cape Cod) can all apply for assistance.

The Ministry and social services provided by the churches, agencies and apostolates of the Catholic Charities Diocese of Fall River are limited and rely heavily on donations. Unfortunately not everyone will be able to qualify for help or can be served.

Emergency needs can be addressed. The charity assists families and individuals with pressing basic needs such utility bills and rental assistance, food, homelessness, and financial assistance for other types of expenses. Other services are provided at the same time. For example, staff from Catholic Charities will work with your utility company, landlord, or credit card issuer in order to mediate a solution. They also provide budgeting and money management workshops to the needy or help people find a more affordable apartment in Bristol County or other regions.

Counseling is available and is quite extensive. This can include individual and family counseling on issues ranging from pregnancy to marriage.

Education and employment type resources are available in Massachusetts. Workshops and classes held include ESL programs and G.E.D. Assistance. They will often have information on local and regional job training programs as well.

Food vouchers and pantries operate in the region, including in Bristol, Dukes and Plymouth Counties. Families and children can get food boxes and hot meals. Special holiday assistance programs and meals are served as well around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Catholic Social Services works with other religious groups, non-profits and churches such as St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. John the Baptist, St. Mary's Dartmouth, Salvation Army, Neustra Senora de Guadeloupe, Our Lady of the Assumption, and St. John Neumann to run the food pantries in Barnstable and Dukes counties.





Housing and retention programs are offered for renters and homeowners. Receive eviction prevention counseling, mediation and free foreclosure support. Some limited funds for paying rent be be available. Also potential homebuyers can receive pre-purchase counseling as well as debt and credit counseling.

A number of additional housing programs are administered. This can include shelter and Transitional and Long-Term support. It is offered for those facing eviction as well as the homeless.

Catholic Charities also specializes in immigration services. This includes, but is not limited to, Refugee Resettlement, Outreach to Immigrant Communities, and Citizenship Preparation. Some low cost legal support may be offered too.

Children from lower income families are always a focus. Resources include Summer Day Camp for Handicapped Children, Free Meals, Infant Care and Foster Care Programs, Youth Programs and Services, Holiday Assistance and Rainbows Programs for Grieving Children.

Case managers will also support women and children who are the victims of domestic violence. They can receive support, guidance, legal aid, and short term housing in the Falls River region. A number of abuse prevention services are offered.

Clinical and Pastoral Help is offered for those Infected with and Affected by HIV and/or AIDS. This can include information on housing or medical care for patients.

Senior citizens in Massachusetts are always supported by Catholic Charities. Volunteers and staff do what they can to assist. This can include programs for the Widowed, Separated, and Divorced, information on resources such as Meals on Wheels, and senior housing.

Catholic Charities and its partner churches support the working poor in the entire region. Programs are offered in Barnstable and Bristol Counties as well as the towns of Mattapoisett, Marion and Wareham in Plymouth County. Some assistance programs are also administered in Dukes County (Martha’s Vineyard) and Nantucket County.

The southern Massachusetts region is supported by these Catholic Charity offices and centers.

1600 Bay Street, PO Box M/So. Station, Fall River, Massachusetts 02724, telephone 508-674-4681




238 Bonney Street, New Bedford, MA 02744, 508-997-7337

261 South Street, Hyannis, Massachusetts 02601, 508-771-6771

311 Hooper Street, Tiverton, RI 02878, 401-624-9270


By Jon McNamara

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