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Catholic Charities Southern Massachusetts assistance programs.

Struggling families can turn to the Catholic Charities in the southern Massachusetts region. Numerous social services, referrals, free food or clothes, and housing programs are administered for the less fortunate and low income. There may be some limited emergency assistance for electric bills or rental payments. 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.

Catholic Charities financial resources

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.

Food vouchers and free 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 Charities of Southern Massachusetts is a participant of these programs

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, as well as Neustra Senora de Guadeloupe. Other partners for social services and groceries include Our Lady of the Assumption, and St. John Neumann to run the food pantries in Barnstable and Dukes counties. There are many other options to find free food in MA.

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 an emergency homeless shelter and Transitional and Long-Term support. It is offered for those facing eviction as well as the homeless. There are also specific programs focused on the vulnerable.

Catholic Charities will try to help immigrants, women threatened by violence, refugees and single mothers in Bristol and Barnstable Counties too. The goal is to ensure female, in particualr moms, have access to a safe place to live. There may be legal help, funds for rent, case management and other services. More on housing programs for single mothers.

Counseling, education and employment programs in southern MA

Counseling is available and is quite extensive. This can include individual and family counseling on issues ranging from pregnancy to marriage. There is mental health support, assistance for pre-marriage or relationships and more.

Education and employment type resources are available in Massachusetts. Workshops and classes held include ESL programs and G.E.D. Assistance. Adults may also be given, for free, the items they need for a job, such as clothes, uniforms and other goods. They will often have information on local and regional job training programs as well.

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. Catholic Charities also arranges 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.

Contact information

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. Main number is 508-997-7337
  • Another Catholic Charities parish is at 261 South Street, Hyannis, Massachusetts 02601. Call 508-771-6771
  • 311 Hooper Street, Tiverton, RI 02878. Phone - 401-624-9270. This also supports the southern part of Massachusetts.


By Jon McNamara

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