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: August 25, 2021

Covid-19 Information
Vaccine Appointments
  • All Massachusetts residents aged 16+ are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. The FDA has also authorized the Pfizer vaccine for kids age 12-15. The COVID-19 vaccine is free regardless of insurance or immigration status. To locate open appointments, visit the state’s VaxFinder 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. All tests are free regardless of insurance coverage or immigration status.

 

Public Health Best Practices
  • Visit the World Health Organization website for best practices that will keep you and your family healthy, while also helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additional information regarding COVID-19 can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Disease Prevention website.
  • The MA Community Contact Tracing Team may call (857 or 833 area code) if you or someone you were in contact with tested positive with COVID-19. Contact tracing is critical to slowing the spread of coronavirus in Massachusetts.
Education & Enrichment
Employment & Financial Resources

Employment

  • The MassBioEd Foundation is introducing an opportunity to receive free training, mentorship, and a paid one-year apprenticeship at a local biotech company leading to paid full-time jobs in the BioTechfield. Learn more about the apprenticeship program and find the application here.
  • MassHire has a comprehensive list of employers who are hiring now. They are also offering several scheduled webinars to provide more information.
  • If you are unemployed or under-employed, the Career Collaborative has moved their free 3-week career development course with one-on-one coaching online. Contact Trevor Talley for more information.
  • If you have lost your job or your work hours have been cut due to COVID-19, you may qualify for Unemployment Insurance. The process has been streamlined to make it easier during this State of Emergency. Members of our team are equipped to assist Camp Harbor View community members with unemployment applications and with referrals for assistance with appeals. Please contact Darliya Bennett for more information at 617-470-6187.
  • Refer to this COVID-19 paid leave and unemployment chart if you are unsure which unemployment benefits you are eligible to apply for.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Economic Impact Payments: The American Rescue Plan will provide a 3rd round of economic impact payments to eligible citizens and expand benefits for unemployment, insurance coverage, tax credits, and more. Find details about the plan and how it may impact you here. You can track the status of your 2021 payment on the IRS website here. If you were eligible for one of the previous stimulus checks but did not receive it, you can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file 2020 taxes.
  • Be aware that your Federal stimulus payment may come in the form of a debit card in the mail and may look like junk mail. To report a lost, stolen, or tossed card, and request a new one, call 800-240-8100.

Taxes

  • The Boston Tax Help Coalition provides fast, easy, free tax preparation for residents earning less than $57,000 in 2020. 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

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

  • The City of Boston’s Boston Eats program is providing breakfast and lunch to youth aged 18 and younger. No ID or registration required. A map with locations and hours of operation can be found here.
  • Boston Public Schools will provide free meal packs with 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches to all remote learners from their Super Sites, which are open Monday and Thursday 10am-6pm. For a list of Super Site locations around the city, click here.
  • The Pandemic-EBT food access benefit has been extended through the summer of 2021. Remote and hybrid students that would receive free lunch at school are eligible. Funds are loaded July 1st and August 1st onto your P-EBT card or your SNAP card. For more information, or to replace a lost card, visit the P-EBT website.

 

Online Food Shopping & Delivery

  • At the end of each week, unsold fruits and vegetables are collected from local food distributors and offered for sale each Thursday on the Pico Market website for delivery on the weekend. Receive a no-contact delivery (within a 12 mile radius of Boston) of quality produce for a $2 fee.
  • 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. The 3-month SNAP time limit and work rules stopped in April 2020 and will remain stopped throughout 2021. This applies to childless adults aged 18-50 who are not disabled. If part of a larger SNAP household, the household can inform DTA to add them to the family’s case. Learn more about SNAP rule changes here, or 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.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • Free groceries for all by the Solidarity Supply Distro at Makeshift Boston (549 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118) every Monday at 5:30pm.
  • Abundance Boston offers an application you can download to your phone (or visit their desktop website) to find additional resources related to food access.
  • Community Cafe meal sites are offering “grab and go” food for elders. Find a list of locations here.
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 is offering FREE dental screenings, cleanings, and sealants for kids this fall 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. Find more information on pop-up locations and sign up for a session on their website.
  • 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 at info@ppal.net.
  • 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.
Rent & Housing Assistance
  • The Biden Administration has extended the recently expired federal moratorium on evictions through October 3, 2021. Suffolk County is included in this declaration, which allows more time for relief funds to reach tenants. For information on tenants and landlord rights during the COVID-19 emergency, refer to this MassLegalHelp website.
  • 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.
  • Members of our team may be able to help you prepare for court if you’re being evicted, or at risk of eviction. Reach to our team using this form. You can also 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. Both can offer up to $4,000 in relief funding, or up to $10,000 for COVID-related arrears. Qualified applicants no longer need to be behind on rent/mortgage payments to apply, demonstrating that COVID-19 has affected their future ability to pay is sufficient. Apply here. 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. When the application re-opens it can be found here.

Additional Local Housing Resources

Immigrant Resources
  • Through the City of Boston’s office of Immigrant Advancement, volunteer attorneys are available for free consultation about immigration law the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month from 12pm-2pm. To make an appointment, email the office of Immigrant Advancement or call 617-635-2980.
  • The Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF) offer adult education classes in English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) and citizenship classes at centers across the city as well as Hi-SET (GED) classes. For more information, click here or call 617-635-4920.
  • A list of free clinics and health centers in MA can be found here.
  • Further information about services for Boston residents, regardless of immigration status, from the City of Boston is here.
  • The U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) will continue to accept Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal applications as well as first-time DACA applications and advance parole applications. It is recommended that you reach out to Mass Legal Help for free guidance before proceeding with application filings.
  • Contact the Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) main office for free legal assistance and resources. Call: 617-371-1234 or Toll-Free: 800-323-3205
Additional Resources
  • 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.
  • The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation has put together a legal aid resource sheet for those needing legal aid related to COVID-19.
  • Ask for help, offer help. The Human Network Initiative’s Neighborhood Aid Network can be found here.