We’re here to make the connection. With wrap-around support addressing essential household needs, the Youth and Family Support team works collaboratively with local partners to facilitate resources for families navigating a myriad of challenges.

Looking for housing assistance? Food access? Clothes or furniture? We continue to curate a varied collection of reliable resources available to Boston families below.

Updated: July 19, 2022

Covid-19 Information

Vaccine Appointments

  • All Massachusetts residents age 5+ are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. The FDA has authorized the Pfizer vaccine for kids age 5-15. The COVID-19 vaccine is free regardless of insurance or immigration status. To locate open appointments, visit the state’s VaxFinder website.
  • The CDC has also released guidance for COVID-19 vaccination booster shots for all individuals 5+. You can find the latest guidance on the CDC website.
  • Boston’s Age Strong Commission can assist eligible seniors that need help with the online vaccine registration system. Call 3-1-1 and ask to be connected to the Age Strong Commission for vaccine registration assistance. The Age Strong Commission can also be reached at 617-635-4366.

 

Vaccine Questions

  • The Dimock Center is compiling a COVID-19 Vaccine Information Hub with resources that will help individuals make informed decisions about the vaccine.
  • Mass General Brigham is developing a comprehensive COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ on their website in multiple languages. For Spanish, click here.

 

Testing Locations

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough or fatigue), you can find a list of testing sites across the city here. Boston Public Health Commission hosts free walk-in testing sites that are open to all.

 

Additional COVID-19 Resources

Education & Enrichment
Employment & Financial Resources

Employment

  • The MassBioEd Foundation is introducing an opportunity for a paid one-year apprenticeship at a local biotech company where you will receive free training, mentorship, and opportunities to explore paid full-time jobs in the BioTech field. Learn more about the apprenticeship program and find the application here.
  • MassHire is committed to serving the needs of job seekers and employers including workshops, resources, and career counseling services. Visit their website for a regularly updated list of employers who are hiring now.
  • If you have lost your job or your work hours have been cut due to COVID-19, you may qualify for Unemployment Insurance.
  • The Lawyers for Civil Rights have launched a free Unemployment Assistance Initiative which connects affected workers with volunteers who can help them complete the unemployment application. Request assistance here.
  • Refer to this COVID-19 paid leave and unemployment chart if you are unsure which unemployment benefits you are eligible to apply for.
  • Be aware of unemployment fraud – if you believe someone may have used your identity to falsely claim unemployment benefits, learn how to report the fraud and what to do to protect yourself by calling 877-626-6800 or click here.


Financial Resources


Taxes

  • The Boston Tax Help Coalition provides fast, easy, free tax preparation for residents earning less than $60,000 in 2021. Take advantage of Earned Income tax credits, child tax credits, and health care tax credits by calling 617-635-4500 or visiting www.bostontaxhelp.orgGet information and assistance regarding the new child tax credit advance payments here.
  • Find information on federal stimulus eligibility from the Boston Tax Help Coalition. If you do not usually file taxes, you can submit your payment information to the IRS here so they can deposit your stimulus.


Loans & Financial Support

  • If your Massachusetts-based small business has been impacted, you may qualify for a Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is accepting applications for reimbursement for COVID related funeral costs up to $9000 incurred since January 20, 2020. There is no deadline to apply. All applications are completed over the phone, call this multilingual hotline to apply: 844-684-6333.
  • A list of relief funds for artists, musicians, nonprofits and more can be found here
  • If you have federal student loans, the Department of Education has extended an interest-free relief period through August 2022. Payments are to resume after August 31, 2022. Private loans are not covered, and you should contact your lender if unable to make payments.
  • You may be eligible for Temporary Assistance for Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) cash benefits if your family has children under 18, including teen parents, and pregnant women that are due in less than 4 months.
  • For those over the age of 65 or disabled that have very low or no income, you can check your eligibility for Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children (EAEDC) here.


Financial Empowerment Resources

  • The Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment offers a list of information and resources related to debt, loan collections, financial aid resources and more. They’ve also launched a financial navigator program to offer residents free financial services that address critical financial issues brought on by the pandemic. Learn more about the program and sign up here to speak with a navigator here or call 617-356-8229.
  • Working Credit has developed tips on how to protect your credit score during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Food Access

Food Sources for Youth

 

Online Food Shopping & Delivery

  • The Daily Table offers affordable groceries and SNAP-eligible prepared meals with free delivery within 2 miles of their Dorchester and Roxbury store locations.
  • The MA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has expanded its online purchasing options. SNAP recipients can use their EBT card to buy food online from Amazon, Walmart, Stop & Shop, Hannaford, ALDI, and Price Chopper via Instacart. No delivery or pick-up fee on your first 3 SNAP-eligible purchases over $35.
  • If you or a loved one have a chronic illness, you may be eligible for free meal preparation and delivery from Community Servings.
  • Ethos is offering a Meals on Wheels program for individuals 60 and older. For more information visit their website.
  • If you’re not low-income but looking for food delivery, Food For Free has compiled a list of grocery delivery options.

 

SNAP Food Assistance

  • Massachusetts adults with no or low income have the right to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Click here to apply. To receive assistance applying for SNAP benefits, visit the Greater Boston Food Bank’s website.
  • SNAP benefits can be used to have seasonal produce delivered from local farms. They do not charge SNAP customers a delivery fee. Find more information and order at www.massfooddelivery.com.
  • If you receive SNAP benefits, then you have Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) dollars to spend. About Fresh accepts HIP dollars at their re-launched safer FreshTruck produce markets in some Boston neighborhoods. You can find the schedule and location of the markets here. You can also use the DTA Finder tool to locate Farmer’s Markets and other locations that accept HIP dollars across MA.
  • A pilot program allows the use of SNAP funds to purchase groceries online in Massachusetts. Currently, Amazon and Walmart are the only retailers in MA accepting SNAP funds through their websites. SNAP funds do not cover the cost of delivery.
  • College students struggling to afford food may be eligible for SNAP assistance. Most low income college students who meet any of the following conditions are eligible: attend community college, or were awarded work-study or a MassGrant, or have an Expected Family Contribution of $0. Students can apply for SNAP online through DTAConnect.

 

Additional Food Resources

  • Find food resources in your neighborhood and throughout the city on the City of Boston’s Food Resources Hub.
  • WIC is a federal nutrition program that provides healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to healthcare and other services to pregnant or breastfeeding women and children under 5 years old. Parents, grandparents and foster parents may apply for children under the age of five years who are in their care. WIC is available to all families regardless of immigration or citizenship status. All WIC programs are providing all services by phone. Learn more about the WIC program and apply here or call 617-721-6601 or 1-800-942-1007.
  • Free outdoor community fridges and pantries have been created to provide mutual aid for residents in need of food in Allston, Fenway, Dorchester, Roslindale, and Mattapan with additional locations coming soon. Community fridges are managed by volunteers and contain produce, dry and canned goods, and other essential household items. More information and a map of existing community fridges can be found here.
  • If your family does not have adequate food resources, call Project Bread’s FoodSource hotline: 1-800-645-8333.
  • Learn more about free groceries for all offered by the Solidarity Supply Distro at Makeshift Boston (549 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118). 
  • Abundance Boston offers an application you can download to your phone (or visit their desktop website) to find additional resources related to food access.
  • Every Friday the Friday Night Supper Program provides a free nutritious meal to anyone who would like one. Dinner is open to anyone and served from 5pm to 7pm at the Arlington Street Church in Boston. 
Health & Wellness
  • COVID-19 testing is available to all residents for free, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Residents can find information here on testing sites including hours of operation, contact information and address. Please call ahead for pre-screening and to schedule an appointment unless otherwise noted.
  • ForsythKids offers FREE dental screenings, cleanings, and sealants for kids at various locations across the city. They have increased infection control procedures to provide the safest dental environment for patients in community settings and there is no cost to you or your family.
  • Parents Helping Parents of MA has a 24-hour free, confidential parental stress line: dial 1-800-632-8188.
  • For support navigating services for children’s mental health and Special Education Services, contact the Parent Professional Advocacy League.
  • For crisis response for youth and families affected by community violence, contact the Neighborhood Trauma Team Support Line: 617-431-0125. Calls are free and confidential.
  • A list of free clinics and health centers in MA can be found here.
Legal Resources
Rent & Housing Assistance
  • Boston’s Office of Housing Stability is committed to assisting residents maintain stable housing. A fact sheet about their services and their contact information can be found here
  • For information on tenants and landlord rights during the COVID-19 emergency, refer to the MassLegalHelp website.
  • Find self-guided resources and tools to respond to a Summary and Complaint (if filed by your landlord) and to prepare yourself for court from the Massachusetts Defense for Eviction (MADE) online portal from Greater Boston Legal Services.
  • The moratorium on electric, gas, and water utility shut off for residential customers ended on July 1, 2021. If you are struggling to pay or are behind on your utilities, contact your utility company to discuss a payment plan. You will be protected from utility shut-off if you have a payment plan in place and make your payments. More info about customers rights regarding essential utilities here.
  • City Life/Vida Urbana operates emergency eviction and foreclosure hotlines in English at (617) 934-5006 and Spanish at (617) 397-3773. They also have a template letter available in both English and Spanish to send to your landlord or bank if you rent, if you have a mortgage or if your ability to pay has been affected by the coronavirus.
  • The CARES Act, passed by Congress, offers some forms of mortgage relief for those experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus. You can learn more here.
  • MetroHousing Boston is providing eligible households housing relief through the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program and Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) which expands the eligibility requirements of the RAFT program. If you live outside the Boston area, visit www.masshousinginfo.org to find your local administering agency.
  • The Boston Rent Relief Fund has increased the amount of funding available to households to cover past, current, and future rent. Funds can also be used to cover utilities, home energy, and internet expenses. Even if you’ve received rent relief before, you can still receive it again.
  • The City of Boston and the Boston Housing Authority have set up a dedicated fund for BHA public housing residents with rental arrears. Households with arrears in BHA properties between March 13, 2020 and now must contact their property manager to complete an application. You can also email rental.relief@bostonhousing.org.
  • The City of Boston is launching a One+ Boston Mortgage Program to assist first time home buyers with the lowest mortgage rates and assistance with down payment and closing costs. Visit the One+Boston website to see if you’re eligible.
  • The Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights has launched a pro bono initiative to help folks complete applications for rental relief funds. Apply for free application assistance here.
  • City Mission has launched a limited one-time grant for back rent for qualified Boston residents. Learn more about their housing services, utility assistance, and paths to employment here.


Additional Local Housing Resources

Scholarships

Post-secondary Scholarship Resources

  • There are lots of scholarship search engines on the web that offer databases full of potential funding opportunities. Start with Niche (account sign-up required) and Chegg – they’re both free and easy to use!
  • The City of Boston Higher Education Funding Opportunities offers details on scholarships at local schools (in Boston and around Massachusetts) and other scholarship resources.
  • Visit the Massachusetts Department of Education for a list of state financial aid programs including grants, scholarships, tuition waivers and loans.
  • The Federal Student Aid website provides FAFSA information and a breakdown on how financial aid works.
  • The Philanthropic Initiative has both information on specific scholarships and additional broader scholarship resources on their website. Check out TPI here!


Post-secondary Scholarship Opportunities

Additional Resources
  • A CHV alum created this interactive map with resources across Greater Boston for those facing Intimate Partner Violence.
  • Casa Myrna provides shelter and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence.
  • Mass Thrive has created a comprehensive database that can be searched for information on resources such as food, funding, employment, elder services, housing, relief funds, etc.


Holiday Assistance

  • The Salvation Army has a variety of programs, including turkey distributions each year. For any of their programs you’ll need to register on their website! 
  • Christmas in the City offers sign ups for Jake’s Toy Mania (gift pick up for children 16 and under) in early December. You must have specific documentation to register, please see here for sign up details. In addition, if you are or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, shelter managers can help make a connection to another Christmas in the City program that offers presents and meals around the holidays.
  • The ABCD Winter Fund has programs for holiday meals and holiday toys for children 17 and under, to see if you qualify, fill out this form.
  • Globe Santa delivers gifts to families with children aged 12 and under, forms must be submitted through DTA.
  • Boston PAL offers the Shop with a Cop program that provides an opportunity to pair up with a member of law enforcement and go shopping for the holidays at Target. Contact your Community Service Officer your Community Service Officer for more information.
  • My Brother’s Keeper offers Christmas Assistance delivery for families in need. To register you must call their Holiday Assistance Line 508–238–2562.