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Essex County Massachusetts assistance programs.

Below you will find information on non-profits, charities, churches, and government programs that provide help with paying bills. Get help with expenses that range from utility and heating bills, rent expenses or a security deposit, mortgage payments, and foreclosure. There is also free food, support for immigrants as well as the elderly and other resources offered. Assistance programs in Lawrence, Salem, Lynn and Essex County Massachusetts are available.

Beverly Bootstraps Community Services Inc.

Services offered by this agency include rent and mortgage payment assistance as well as, Debt Reduction/Budget Counseling. There are also a number of Financial Management Workshops, Benefits Assistance, and Landlord Tenant Assistance mediation or advice. Coordinators for this program also assist residents in variety of ways, including applying for government programs such as DTA and Food Stamp benefits online, accessing local programs such as fuel and heating oil assistance, or provide help with an eviction.

There is also support for people with a notice to quit or court summons, rent or mortgage arrearages, financial literacy classes, individual budget review, and completing public housing applications. The bottom line is a number of social services are available. The location is Beverly MA Call (978) 927 - 1561

Catholic Charities - North Massachusetts

Various assistance programs are offered. For example, you may be eligible for rent payment assistance, free food, or mortgage help payment assistance. Low income tenants can also get help from security/rental deposit assistance, or electric, heating, water, and gas bill payment assistance in Essex County.

There is also free general legal aid and advice, immigration/naturalization  services, teen parent/pregnant teen education programs, parenting/family support groups and day camps, and pregnancy counseling. They have offices in the area, including in the city of Lynn and Gloucester. Call (781) 593 - 2312.




Community Action, Inc.

Get access to assistance for basic resources such as clothing, shelter, food, income and health and medical care. The non-profit community action agency provides clothing, food, and information of Massachusetts and federal government program and advocacy for tenants. Counselors will offer services to clients requesting assistance with utility companies to maintain services. Administers EFSP funds, Gazette Santa (holiday program), and Coats for Kids in the wintertime.

Other resources and services offered by Community Action Inc. to qualified people include: Access to Free Food Pantries as well as Housing Search and Information. Community Action also as Winter Clothing Programs as well as Free Housing and Foreclosure Counseling, or emergency Rent Payment Assistance. Or try the non-profit for free General Clothing, Individual Advocacy, Landlord/Tenant Assistance, Eviction Prevention, Holiday Gifts/Toys, and Grants for Heating Bills. Offices are in Haverhill and throughout Essex County, and they also support the city of Lynn. Dial (978) 373-1971.

North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc.

An option known as the Housing Assistance Program (HAP) helps people who are facing an eviction or foreclosure. They offer counseling, information on government programs, and grant programs. Learn more on Massachusetts foreclosure programs. (978) 531 - 0767

Salvation Army

Multiple offices are around the county, including in Salem and Lawrence. The Salvation Army provides services to working poor and low income that include utility, heating bill assistance, access to free food from local pantries, or rent and housing payment assistance. There are also free school supplies, Christmas baskets and meals, prescription expense assistance, and Thanksgiving baskets in Essex County. Learn more on prescription medication programs. Call (413) 442 - 0624.





Several other services are offered by the Salvation Army to Essex County families. They revolve around guidance and case management. The working poor, senior citizens, and low income can receive information on self-sufficiency type services, which can include job training, applications for government benefits, and support in overcoming a financial hardship. Read Salvation Army assistance Essex County.

Lawrence CommunityWorks

Helps people in low income areas. Resources and programs administered help with home rehabilitation programs, housing counseling, eviction prevention, and mortgage foreclosure assistance. This means the non-profit will mostly focus on housing needs. Call (978) 685 - 3115.

Action, Inc.

This is the local community action agency. They only support a limited region. The center is located in Gloucester, Massachusetts and covers the Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Essex, and Ipswich (and sometimes Hamilton) areas. Programs offered include the following.

  • Energy Services - Can help low income individuals pay heating bills during those cold winter months. Get information on heating oil programs, and financial aid. Learn about the Citgo Free Oil Heat program.
  • Heating system repair or replacement - If your system is not working properly, you may qualify for a free heating heating or repairs.
  • Weatherization - Save on your winter heating and summer cooling bills from this free energy conserving program. Get energy saving updates to your home.
  • Job programs - Get training, career counseling, information on local employers, job placement, and services such as computer training and resume review.
  • Housing and rent - Get information about emergency rental assistance programs and eviction prevention. Staff from Action Inc. work to prevent and reverse homelessness in the region.

Call Action Inc. at (978) 283-7874.

Danvers People to People food pantry

Provides food to people who need help. There is also a soup kitchen, free holiday meals or hygiene products, and other assistance around hunger prevention in Essex County. Dial (978) 739 - 4188.

Haven from Hunger

The low income, unemployed and working poor can contact The Haven From Hunger program, which operates food pantries, congregate meals/nutrition sites, provides holiday and Christmas meals and thanksgiving meals. Call (978) 531 - 1530.





Jewish Family Service of the North Shore

A social services agency that helps people of all religions. Some of the services and assistance programs run include grants, financial assistance for bills and expenses, food pantries, consultation, counseling, referrals and networks to other service providers and charities. Call (978) 741 - 7878.

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center

This community clinic provides primary medical and health care and community medicine for residents regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay for their medical bills or current programs. Call (978) 686 - 0090.

Low cost or free community clinics

If the facility above can’t help your or your family, residents have several other options available to them. Northern Massachusetts and Essex County is supported by several non-profit medical centers and hospitals. Many offer a sliding fees scale for low income and uninsured patients. Basic check ups, medications, immunizations, and specialty care is all offered, as needed. Find more Essex County Massachusetts free community clinics, and learn about the services they offer.

Lazarus House Ministries

A program known as St. Luke's Dental and Medical Program provides community clinics in the region. the free center also offers patients free dental care and medical care. The clinic is for those patients who have no health insurance and those who cannot afford to see a medical doctor or dentist. Lawrence MA (978) 269 - 5284.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern New England

Receive foreclosure counseling and debt reduction from this non-profit. CCCS  provides homeowners and people in debt with confidential financial counseling. Services offered to clients include assistance with budgeting and money management, mortgage delinquency, debt management programs, foreclosure and housing counseling, and consumer education. Call (866) 889 - 9347.

Financial help for bills, rent, and mortgages in Essex County Massachusetts

Amesbury Center - Community Action, Inc. – Low and moderate income families can apply for housing, rent assistance, food, mortgage help, holiday meals and gifts and clothing. They also operate a food pantry and clothing bank. In addition get help from a counselor in applying for the CAI Low-income Heating Assistance program (LIHEAP) as well as Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition and health program. 44 Friend Street, Amesbury, Massachusetts, 01913, (978) 388 - 2570

Family and Children's Service of Greater Lynn, Inc. runs the Emergency Financial Assistance Program. This is a so called fund of "last resort" and can help people who have no other options. Call and apply for financial assistance that can be used only after all other entitlement and government funded aid has been exhausted. The agency may provide everything from interest free loans to referrals and other support from FFS.





Depending on funding from the United Way and other agencies, it can provide help for such expenses and needs as utility and heating bills, eviction prevention, utility and heating costs or other emergencies. Food as well as security deposits can also be partially paid. 111 North Common Street, Lynn, Massachusetts, 01902, (781) 592 – 5052, or learn more on Lynn based Family and Children Service.

Transportation is also difficult in Essex County Massachusetts. Low income families often need help commuting or free gas vouchers or bus tickets. Seniors need help getting around as well. There are resources, including free transportation for the disabled, that many of these local agencies can help with.

Lynn Economic Opportunity, Inc. runs the LEO Fuel Assistance. This service provides heating assistance through federal and state of Massachusetts fuel assistance program. People in Lynn, Lynnfield, Nahant, Saugus, Swampscott and Wakefield can apply. Many other programs are run as well, as follows.

  • Head Start and Family Child Care Center help children in Essex County.
  • Emergency grants can help with rent, and this service also offers legal support.
  • LEO runs low income apartments in the region.
  • They also help underemployed Essex County families as well as immigrants access employment. Find more details on increasing income from work from home jobs.

Many other resources are also available for income qualified residents. The address is 156 Broad Street, Lynn, Massachusetts, (781) 581 - 7220 Ext: 283, or more on Lynn Economic Opportunity assistance programs.

GLCAC, or the Greater Lawrence Community Action, mostly provides referrals. Qualified low income families can get support for their basic needs from government benefits such as WIC or the Head Start services. There are also programs focused on energy bills and heating expenses. These are funded by the state of Massachusetts and federal government grants, and can be called upon for either energy conservation or to pay delinquent utility bills.

Other resources include Project SENIOR or child care vouchers. Case managers can offer referrals to food stamps, disability, and similar benefits too. Resources are for families in Methuen, Lawrence, and Andover only. More Greater Lawrence Community Action Council.

Free foliday help is available from charities and churches. There are also some government supported organizations, such as a non-profit community action agency, which can assist with the following.

  • Christmas - Free toys, gifts, winter hats, boot, gift certificates, and other donate items are passed out.
  • Thanksgiving - Hot meals, including a Turkey, are served to low income families.
  • Easter - Some charities in Lawrence and other parts of the county offer this as well.
  • There are a few places to try for help. Read more on free holiday assistance in Essex County.

Household goods, clothes, furniture and seasonal programs are available at free clothing as well as furniture banks. If a family does not qualify for free items at those centers, then thrift stores can provide those clothes, furniture and other items at a reduced price. Some of what may be provided from the Essex County non-profit organizations includes free Christmas assistance, winter jackets, general clothing items, furniture for a home or apartment and maybe even school supplies. Find Essex Massachusetts free furniture, school supplies and clothing centers.







Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities – A couple of offices operate in the region, and low income people in need of assistance from Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill, and surrounding communities may apply for assistance. A diverse range of services is offered, including so called Basic Needs Services. This includes emergency free food, fuel, rent, gas bill, mortgage, and utility assistance, among other resources. The offices of the Essex County Catholic Charities are.

  • 599 Canal Street 6th Floor West, Lawrence, Massachusetts, 01840, (978) 685-5930
  • 70 Lawrence Street, Lowell, MA, 01852, (978) 452-1421
  • Several other emergency financial assistance programs and social services are administered. Read more Catholic Charity Essex County programs.

Free food banks and pantries - Anyone who needs food, groceries, or perishable items can contact a food bank in Essex County. A number of churches, charities and non-profit organizations distribute food to tens of thousands of local families each and every year. Many of the food banks provide other forms of assistance as well, such as clothing, diapers, baby formula, Christmas meals and gifts, and maybe even limited financial help for bills or other basic needs. Find Essex County free food bank locations, and get information on the services they administer.

By Jon McNamara

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