- Find summer camp and summer enrichment opportunities from Boston Public Schools here. For other summer camps, including day or overnight opportunities, here is a list of camps in or near Boston.
- The Vital Village Mental Health Committee and the Boston Public Library are offering Children’s Mental Health Virtual Storytime. They will bring families together for book readings and activities focused on Social-Emotional Learning inspired by their Children’s Mental Health Storytime Toolkit. Designed for children 3-8 years old, and the whole family is welcome.
- Boston Public Library has free online resources such as audio books, courses, newspapers, music and movies with a library card. If you don’t already have a library card, Massachusetts residents can enroll for a free e-card here.
- 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.
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 25, 2023
Education & Enrichment
Employment & Financial Resources
- 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.
- 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.
- If you are having trouble paying your utility bill, you may be eligible for assistance from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or from the Salvation Army’s Good Neighbor Fund. Families/elders struggling to pay for fuel can get help applying from Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD). Applications can also be taken over the phone by calling 617-357-6012.
- National Grid and Eversource both offer low-income discounts on utilities. Check your eligibility for these discounts on the National Grid or Eversource websites.
- The City of Boston has outlined a comprehensive list of Fuel Assistance programs that may be able to help you heat your home during the winter. For additional heat and utility assistance see the City of Boston’s Help During the Winter Heating Season guide.
- Take advantage of Earned Income tax credits, child tax credits, and health care tax credits by calling 617-635-4500 or visiting www.bostontaxhelp.org. Get information and assistance regarding the new child tax credit advance payments here.
Loans & Financial Support
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is accepting applications for reimbursement for COVID related funeral costs up to $9000 incurred since January 20, 2020. FEMA will continue to provide funeral assistance until September 30, 2025, to those who have lost loved ones due to the pandemic. 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. The student loan payment pause is extended until the debt relief program is implemented or litigation is resolved. Payments will restart 60 days later. If the debt relief program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, 2023 — payments will resume 60 days after that. Borrowers will be notified before payments restart. 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.
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.
- Boston Public Schools provides free breakfast and lunch for all students.
- The Pandemic-EBT food access benefits have been extended. For more information, or to replace a lost card, visit the P-EBT website.
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.
- 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. There is a discounted delivery fee for SNAP customers. 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.
- 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 over a dozen retailers including Walmart, Amazon, Stop & Shop, and more. Many more retailers will accept EBT cards via Instacart as well through this program. Delivery fees vary depending on the retailer.
- 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
- The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center operates the East Boston Farmers Market on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 6:30 pm at Central Square Park. In addition to local produce, there will also be art, music, family activities, and free meals for kids.
- Check out this list of food resources in East Boston (available in English and Spanish).
- About Fresh’s mobile market, Fresh Truck, stops at various locations throughout Boston and accepts EBT, HIP, and OTC. Online ordering for pick-up is available as well.
- 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 1-800-942-1007. You can also contact your local WIC office directly.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- The CDC has released guidance for COVID-19 vaccination booster shots for all individuals 5+. You can find the latest guidance on the CDC website.
- 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.
- Through the City of Boston’s office of Immigrant Advancement, volunteer attorneys are available for free consultation. To make an appointment, email the office of Immigrant Advancement or call 617-635-2980.
- For basic legal information and legal advice reach out to Mass Legal Help for free guidance.
- 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
Rent & Housing Assistance
- Boston’s Office of Housing Stability is committed to assisting residents maintain stable housing. They assist with housing crisis due to fire, natural disaster, eviction, or condemnation. They also have information on emergency resources for tenants. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-635-4200.
- For information on tenants and landlord rights, 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.
- MetroHousing Boston is providing eligible households housing relief through the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (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 email@example.com.
- 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.
Additional Local Housing Resources
- Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development is a division of Neighborhood Services offering fuel assistance, homelessness prevention, and neighborhood economic development. Call 617-573-1100 to reach their main office.
- Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance offers counseling for first-time homebuyers and advocacy on housing issues. Contact MAHA at 617-822-9100 or reach out to a member of the CHV team.
- Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless is a homelessness advocacy organization. Contact at 781-595-7570.
Post-secondary Scholarship Resources
- ALKU and Mass Mentoring Partnership’s academic scholarship offers rising high school seniors in Massachusetts up to $7,500 annually. If you’ve been positively impacted and engaged in a youth-adult mentoring relationship for at least one year and have plans to attend a four-year college or university, learn more and apply today here.
- 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!
- uAspire provides several resources including a College Cost Calculator, scholarship support, financial aid knowledge, and postsecondary advising.
Post-secondary Scholarship Opportunities
- Fidelity has partnered with the United Negro College Fund to support students of color who are currently enrolled or plan to enroll in a four-year, two-year, or certificate academic program. This Fidelity Scholars Program is part of their new Invest in my Education Initiative. Anyone who is from MA (including Boston and surrounding areas) who is PELL GRANT eligible, and has an unmet financial need is encouraged to apply.
- UNCF has a variety of scholarship opportunities available on their website. The majority of these awards are for Black, African American and/or African Diaspora students. Some scholarships are also open to Latino, Indigenous and Asian/Pacific Islander students, too.
- The Yawkey Scholars Program offers a four-year renewable tuition scholarship and other supports. More information can be found on the Yawkey Foundation website.
- The Paul Tsongas Merit Scholarship offers Massachusetts students merit-based funding to eligible state schools. Find eligibility and application information here.
- Interested in a career in teaching or working with children? The Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program may be a scholarship opportunity for you. Visit this state website to learn more.
- The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) offers a variety of annual scholarship awards between $1,000 – $15,000. Applicant must be a member of NBNA, currently enrolled in a nursing program, and have at least one full year of school remaining. Learn more by visiting their website.
- The Ron Brown Scholar Program is a $40,000 scholarship award over four years. Applicants must be Black/African American and a US citizen or permeant resident to apply. Learn more by visiting their website.
- The Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund awards scholarships every year with an average of $6,000 to $10,000. Applicants should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and meet certain financial eligibility requirements.
- The Equitable Excellence® Scholarship Program by Equitable Foundation is available to high school students with a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale that demonstrate financial need.
- 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.
- The Salvation Army has a variety of programs, including Thanksgiving and Christmas 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. 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 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.