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Assistance programs in Worcester County Massachusetts.

Find how to get financial help in Central Massachusetts and Worcester County. Programs from charities, churches and the government assist low income, the unemployed, and struggling individuals by providing help for utility bills, rent assistance, debt and foreclosure counseling, and other forms of aid.

There are other services as well as financial assistance programs in the Worcester area. They range from free home heating oil to winter clothes, gasoline for a car, back to school supplies, Christmas toys and more. Non-profits also help with home buying as well as mortgages, they offer free credit card help, cash grants, and other aid as well.

Worcester Catholic Charities

They help people of all religions. The non-profit organization helps families and provides them with emergency assistance for paying bills and expenses, free food and help with debt. Also gain access to budgeting skills to prevent homelessness, while others who need help may be able to find useable, wearable clothing at the Catholic Charities boutique. They also offer community and family development programs. The Catholic Charities agency can be reached at 508-798-0191. The Worcester County Catholic Charities are located at.

  • 9 Spring Street, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, 01588 dial (508) 234-3800
  • 10 Hammond Street, Worcester, MA, 01610 phone:(508) 798-0191
  • 79 Elm Street, Southbridge, Massachusetts, 01550 call (508) 765-5936
  • Several other resources are offered by churches and this charity. Click more Worcester Catholic Charities.

Eviction and homeless prevention programs

Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance (CMHA) helps families in the Worcester area. They help respond to the needs of the homeless and near homeless in the community by supporting prevention programs, advising and directing people to rent assistance programs, and doing whatever they can to help people stay in their homes and apartments. In addition to those services, CMHA can also help senior citizens by coordinating repairs to their home, and they may be free in some cases. Dial (508)791-7265, or read more Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance.




Free legal programs

Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts (508-752-3718) is a non-profit law firm that provides free civil legal advice and assistance to low-income and elderly residents of Worcester County. Get legal help for issues such as foreclosures, consumer debt counseling, landlord/tenant evictions, and other aid. Find more details on free legal advice from lawyers in Massachusetts and learn more.

Worcester County rent help

Cleghorn Neighborhood Center, which is based in Fitchburg ((978) 342 - 2069), offers limited funding for service including mortgage and rent payment assistance. Funding is limited. The Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc. (MOC) may also have limited rent assistance. Phone 888-993-3322.

Or find information on about 15 other agencies and non-profits that offer housing programs. More on Worcester rental assistance programs and services.

Emergency financial assistance for bills, rent, and other expenses

The Gardner Massachusetts based Sacred Heart St. Vincent de Paul Society runs, among other programs, an emergency food pantry and financial assistance for such expenses as rent, electric and heating bill payment assistance, gas bill payment assistance, fuel oil, and medications. Dial (978) 632 - 0405.

Auburn Massachusetts residents can contact the Auburn Community Assistance Fund at (508) 832 - 7701. Resources and services offered by the community fund can include rent and mortgage payment assistance. There are also grants for utility bill assistance (including gas, heating, and water) and even medical payments. During the winter, heating oil and propane may be given for free to the vulnerable, and learn more on free heating oil.

Gardner Community Action Committee, Inc. – Offers a federal program known as EFSP/FEMA, which provides limited cash assistance for paying rent, mortgage, heating and utility bill assistance. 294 Pleasant Street, Gardner, Massachusetts, 01440, call (978) 632 - 8700

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church - Saint Vincent de Paul – The church organization provides food and financial aid.  Specifically assistance includes food vouchers, electric and heating bill payment assistance and gas bill payment assistance. 52 Spruce Street, Winchendon, MA, 01475, phone (978) 297 - 1600

New England Farm Workers Council, Inc. – Runs a program known as Fuel Assistance Program to help with winter energy bills. Cash benefits are available from it. 473 Main St., Floor 3, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, 01420, call (978) 342-4520

Holiday help from non-profits - Several agencies in Worcester and volunteer groups provide free items, such as meals and toys, to struggling families during Thanksgiving or Christmas. Some locations may have a voucher or gift certificate, and other may deliver hot meals too. Read more Worcester County free holiday programs.





Massachusetts Housing Consumer Education, Worcester Centers runs the RAFT program. It helps those facing eviction, a crisis and the currently homeless. The agency may offer short term, emergency transitional housing. Also explore government benefits and get referrals. Local non-profit partners in Worcester may have funds or forgivable loans to pay for a security deposit fee, utility connection, or rent. Case management and job training resources are also a focus. 6 Institute Road,, Worcester, Massachusetts, 01609, telephone (800) 332 – 9667.

Northborough Helping Hands Association – For those with a referral and that live in Northborough Massachusetts, there may be some emergency financial aid offered. Assistance can be for rent expenses, prescription drugs, electric or heating bills, food or security deposits. Call the Family and Youth Services at 508-393-5020 for information.

Salvation Army of Worcester County – There are a few offices in the area, listed below. Assistance programs administered include emergency rental assistance, food pantries, gas, heating, and electric bill payment assistance. There is also free Christmas and thanksgiving meals and gifts, back to school supplies and prescription drugs.
739 Water St., Fitchburg, MA, 01420, (978) 342-3300 Ext: 203
107 Ridge Avenue, Athol, Massachusetts, 01331, call (978) 249-8111
640 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts, 01608, dial (508) 756-7191
Several other emergency financial assistance and social services are offered. More details on Salvation Army in Worcester Countyfor details.

Housing Authority - Worcester county has a local non-profit government sponsored housing authority that administers a number of services for income qualified families. Resources range from low income and public housing, rent assistance, shelter, and mortgage and foreclosure counseling. Continue with Worcester housing authority.

Town of Upton – Seniors can get help including congregate meals, nutrition sites, home delivered meals, senior ride programs, senior centers, benefit assistance, elder law, activities of daily living assessment, health insurance information/ counseling, and specialized information and referral to government programs and non-profits. Address - One Centennial Court, PO Box 610, Upton, MA, 01568, (508) 529 - 4558

Grants are available for some Worcester County families. They can help with employment needs, housing, and other critical expenses. Private, government, and non-profit options are out there. Find free grant money for paying bills.

WHEAT Community Services, Inc. – People who need help in gaining self-sufficiency can apply for job and employment assistance, weatherization, information and referral to local charities or social services. WHEAL also allows access to food pantry, offers housing, mortgage and rent counseling, free baby food, and emergency funds for utilities, among other programs. 500 Main Street, Clinton, Massachusetts, 01510, Telephone (978) 365 - 6349, or read WHEAT programs in Worcester.

Winchendon Community Action Committee, Inc. – Government grants and funds from EFSP can pay for rent, mortgage, and utility bills in a crisis. 273 Central Street, Winchendon, Massachusetts, 01475, (978) 297-1667

Department of Transitional Assistance has a regional office. Low income residents that are approved by a DHCD Homeless Coordinator can get help with their housing needs, including assistance in locating a new, permanent apartment. Public housing, rental vouchers from HUD section 8, and more is available. The office also can help residents apply for other public benefits. Some of what is available includes the following.

  • Food programs - They include SNAP food stamps, free school lunches, and WIC, among others.
  • Medical care ranges from MassHealth to referrals to clinics in Worcester.
  • Cash assistance or grants are part of TAFDC. An option for the disabled is SSI, so households with a disabled member can get help too.
  • The office is at 473 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA, 01420, dial (877) 418-3308. Or get details on public assistance programs in Worcester County.





Homeless prevention and rehousing is also coordinated by the DTA. This form of support is often combined with long term self-sufficiency to help break a cycle of eviction and/or homelessness. Find a number of Worcester eviction assistance programs.

Worcester Housing Authority – Administers a smaller scale Transitional Housing Program. It is for those that are enrolled in school, working, or have some source of income. Case management is offered as well as other self-sufficiency programs. Address is 87 Tacoma Street, or dial (508) 635-3355.

City of Worcester Saint Vincent de Paul can offer assistance with emergency new or gently used general clothing, utility or electric bill payment assistance and medical bill payment assistance. 507 Park Avenue, Worcester, Massachusetts, 01603 call (508) 752-4232, or click here Saint Vincent de Paul in Worcester.

The Town of Spencer has a charity program known as the Melinda Prouty Harrington Fund. A one time payment may be offered for rent or utilities and it will be paid to your landlord. Vouchers can be used to help families buy the food or groceries they need at a local supermarket. (508) 885 - 2703

City of  Leominster – The Office of Planning and Development and Mayor's office will work to provide deliveries of home heating resources and oil to those who qualify. Funding is very limited. The program is run from 25 West Street. Phone (978) 534 – 7500.

Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. process applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), or what is known as Fuel Assistance in Massachusetts. Cash grants can be offered by the government to pay your bills. All heating types are eligible. Including propane, electricity, kerosene, cord wood, heating oil, wood pellets, and more.

There are also many job services as well. The goal is to help residents of the region gain employment, new skills, and increase their income. A number of tools are used in this capacity. Find a list of resources, even jobs for senior citizens.

The non-profit, also known as WCAC, offers low income families from Worcester County with other resources. For example, the center can offer education and job training, such as GED training or ESL. There are also applications for government benefits, including programs such as SNAP food stamps or weatherization. Counselors also provide free income tax preparation. 484 Main Street, 2nd Floor Worcester, MA, 01608. Call (508) 754 – 1176 for intake. Continue getting more details on Worcester Community Action Council programs.

The City of Worcester is another place to turn to for help. Most of the aid they offer is for the elderly and senior citizens. Assistance programs include home delivered and congregate meals, access to nutrition sites, electric bill/ gas bill payment assistance, government benefits assistance, senior ride programs, and even help shoveling a sidewalk. Other resources include free legal aid and AARP tax aide and VITA program. Low income families can also apply for food stamps, TANF, and/or Medicaid. The office is on 128 Providence Street. (508) 799 - 1232

Friendly House offers financial aid, job placement, and housing from the Neighborhood Center. They provide many social services, ranging from Summer Food for students to a shelter for children and single parents that is run in partnership with DHCD. Other services, including job placement, are available as well. Continue with Friendly House assistance programs.

Montachusett Opportunity Council is a regional community Action Agency. They offer several categories of assistance programs. At a high level, they include free food (Meals on Wheels, Pantries, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program applications) as well as Emergency Rent and Energy bill help (Transitions at Devens, housing search plans, deposit help). There are also Education and Career Services (Head Start, IRS Tax Filing Assistance, etc.) and so much more. There are many energy resources, even the Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program.

The goal of MOC is to help low income and struggling Worcester County families. This is short term grants, loans, or free stuff. They also offer job, career, and educational advice to both the parents as well as children in the household. More on Montachusett Opportunity Council assistance programs.







Town of Ware runs programs such as Supplemental fuel assistance for elderly (65 years and over), Housing rehabilitation assistance for low/moderate income households, home repairs and more. Also get information on heating bill assistance and specialized information and referral to regional social service agencies. Supplemental fuel assistance is offered for the elderly. (413) 967 - 7136

The Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts may be able to assist families in Worcester Massachusetts as well. Low income and struggling families, regardless of their religion, can get referrals, social services, and assistance in a crisis. The churches may have money for energy bills, food, homeless prevention services, and other support. If the council can’t meet your needs, as resources are limited, referrals may be provided. Details on programs from Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts.

Free basic needs, including clothes, are available at non-profit centers, thrift stores, and clothing closets. Low income families and children may receive vouchers for free items while the thrift stores are open to the general Worcester population. Some of what may be offered includes baby supplies such as diapers, shoes, winter coats, school items, and more. During the holiday season the clothing closets may have gifts and toys for children as well. Thousands of families turn to the centers every year. Continue with Worcester free school supplies and clothing closets.

Heating oil

Two programs include the Citgo Oil heat, which provides free heating oil, as well as oil buying networks. Both of these resources can help people save hundreds of dollars per year on home heating bills.

Low cost or free health care clinic

All patients, no matter what their income or type of health insurance coverage, can turn to Family Health Center of Worcester, Inc. for medical and health care. They have a diverse staff of doctors, nurses, and medical professionals on staff and offer all patients a broad range of health care services under one medical clinic. The facility is a federally funded community health center, and because of that, Family Health Center of Worcester (FHCW) provides numerous medical and health care services to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay for their medical bills. (508) 860-7700

Many other free clinics operate across the county. A number a doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals provide high quality care from these centers. Find additional Worcester free community clinics.

Foreclosure and mortgage assistance

Worcester County homeowners can contact NeighborWorks Homeownership Center of Worcester (HOCW). This HUD approved agency provides foreclosure counseling and intervention services to qualified applicants. Various programs are offered, including classes and intervention techniques. They can also provide you information on other Massachusetts mortgage programs. Learn more on Massachusetts foreclosure help, or call them at 508-791-2170.

Help for energy bills, conserve energy, and housing aid

There are two community action agencies in Worcester County Massachusetts. They offer many of the same programs, so you can contact either one to learn about the programs and services they offer to people who need help. They are the Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc. (phone (978) 345-7040) and the Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. (phone (508) 754-1176). They provide the services below, and are a great place to call to learn about other options you may have.

Weatherization - Both agencies offer a weatherization service program that includes adding insulation, weather stripping, and pipe/duct wrap to homes and apartments.

Heating Repair & Replacement Program - This services provides for the free heating system repairs and replacements for qualified homeowners. The program also provides referral services to other community agencies and charities that focused on fuel efficiency and safety.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), otherwise known as Fuel Assistance, is a federal government funded program that will help low-income households with paying for their heating and utility bills.

Information and referrals are provided. For example, the agencies can direct lower income families in Worcester to federal government assistance such as food stamps or Head Start. Case managers will work with qualified clients.

Other programs offered by the community action agencies indicated above include Training & Employment Programs, Family and Youth, National Grid Energy Wise Program, Food Assistance, Debt and Mortgage Counseling, and much more. Read more on additional Massachusetts mortgage and foreclosure programs.





Food pantries, free groceries, and household items in Worcester

Some of the agencies to call include.

  • Daily Bread Food Pantry - Emergency food pantry and government programs. (508) 478 - 4225.
  • First Baptist Church- Leominster - Food, clothing, groceries, and household items. (978) 537 - 2685
  • Food Share Pantry - Holiday meals, free food baskets, and more. Phone number (508) 764 - 6583
  • Mustard Seed - Dial (508) 754 - 7098
  • Pernet Family Health Service - Case management, food, and other forms of aid to low income, the elderly, and other qualified individuals. (508) 755 - 1228

There are other food pantries and hunger prevention programs. Whether it is an emergency, or maybe a working poor family needs help in applying for holiday meals or food stamps, assistance is available. Locate more free food pantries in Worcester.

Debt help and credit counseling

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern New England (CCCS of SNE) provides consumers with access to credit counseling and debt reduction programs. 1-866-889-9347


By Jon McNamara

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