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Are you looking for assistance, services or resources to help meet you or your family's basic needs during this transitional time? Check out the tabbed pages below to find local housing, legal, financial, and other resources to help improve quality of life and achieve self-sufficiency.
Coming Home Directory
A comprehensive directory of Reentry Services available to people returning from incarceration to communities and neighborhoods in the Greater Boston Area.
City of Boston's Guide to Low Income Resources
A directory of resources created by the City of Boston that includes links to services that will provide help with basic needs such as paying heating bills, food assistance, reduced public transportation, affordable housing, and resources for families.
Related Library Resource Guides
The following Boston Public Library guides will include additional information and resources to supplement the listing of organizations included on this page. Please click on the links to browse the content. If you need assistance, visit your local BPL branch location.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts
The ACLU of MA is a private, non-partisan organization that is the state affiliate of the national ACLU. The ACLU of MA is a nationwide leader in defense of civil rights and civil liberties.
GLBQ Legal Advocates and Defenders
Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy and education, GLAD works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status and sexual orientation. As part of this work, GLAD handles legal issues involving GLBTQ and HIV positive prisoners. Will refer out non-New England prison issues
Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project
A student practice organization in which students represent inmates in Massachusetts prisons. PLAP student attorneys argue at disciplinary hearings on behalf of prisoners charged with violating prison regulations. PLAP students also argue before the Massachusetts Parole Board for prisoners facing parole revocation or rescission and second degree life sentence hearings. In addition, PLAP provides inmates with assistance in matters ranging from civil rights violations to confiscated property.
Legal Services Center
The Legal Services Center has a long record of providing exemplary legal services to address the unmet needs of low-income families in Greater Boston.
Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
Callers are given a referral to a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA), if appropriate, or are referred to an MBA public service program, a state or local agency, or a legal services agency for possible free representation. All calls are screened for income. Referrals to MBA attorneys are based on legal need (on both criminal and civil issues), geographic convenience, and the caller’s financial situation.
Massachusetts Legal Aid Websites Project
The online resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates. The Legal Resource Finder search results will give you contact information for legal aid programs, nonprofits, government agencies and court programs that may be able to help you with your legal issue for free or at a low cost. It will also give you links to legal information and self-help materials.
MassLegalHelp.org's mission is to improve access to practical legal information and connect advocates and the general public. Services include: CORI help and information, free legal aid resource finder for eligible individuals, and access to a Law Librarian for legal information question. Available in several languages.
Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee
The Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee works to enhance and protect the rights of persons with mental health concerns in key areas most closely related to their ability to live full and independent lives free of discrimination. All callers who present a legal issue related to mental health within broad priorities will receive basic advice and referral information.
Prisoners' Legal Services
Prisoners’ Legal Services is a not-for-profit legal services corporation, founded in 1972, that provides civil legal assistance to people who are incarcerated in Massachusetts state prisons (Department of Correction facilities) or in the county jails and houses of correction.
Trial Court Law Libraries of Massachusetts
There are 15 Trial Court Law Libraries located across Massachusetts to serve the courts, attorneys and the public. Just like local public libraries, the law libraries are open to everyone. You can receive legal reference assistance, borrow books, and use print and electronic resources.
Veterans Legal Services
Veterans Legal Services promotes self-sufficiency, stability, and financial security for veterans in Massachusetts through comprehensive and accessible legal services. VLS’s unique model of delivering services on-site at homeless shelters and service centers allows it to reach veterans who would otherwise go without the legal help they need.
ABCD Boston - Housing Services
Finding and sustaining affordable housing is one of the toughest challenges in greater Boston. Through our offices in Boston and Malden, we’re supporting people in their search and working to prevent families from entering homelessness by providing housing counseling. We provide assistance, including information to help you navigate the maze of paperwork and procedures that comes with subsidized housing.
Casa Esperanza Supportive Housing Progam
Supportive Housing at Casa Esperanza, Inc. provides a safe and sober living environment focused on sustaining recovery and on developing independent living skills. Our Supportive Housing consists of 37 residential units for individuals and families in recovery equipped with ample space, remodeled kitchens, and upgraded bathrooms that provide a comfortable, safe, and recovery-oriented home.
Haley House owns and/or manages 109 affordable housing units throughout Boston’s South End. The majority are supported by project-based Section 8 subsidies, which enable people with low income to live securely in their own homes, without fear of being displaced.
24 single-room-occupancy (SRO) units are reserved for individuals who are living in shelters or transitional programs and are ready to move into permanent housing. Individuals must be on or eligible for the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) waitlist and meet certain other requirements.
Heading Home provides emergency, transitional and permanent housing, and support services, to low-income homeless and formerly homeless families and individuals in the communities of Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Malden, Everett, Quincy, Chelsea and Revere.
HomeStart provides affordable housing search services and homelessness prevention services to individuals and families. HomeStart also offers help in money management and training/technical assistance.
HomeStart has walk in hours every Wednesday from 3pm – 4:45pm to provide brief housing consultation and referrals to appropriate housing resources.
Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development
DHCD oversees funding and resources to help people in Massachusetts live affordably and safely.
New England Center & Home for the Vets
Housing support is provided for any individual who has served to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, regardless of length of service or discharge status. Housing types include: Emergency Housing, Transitional Housing, Separate Female Transitional Housing, Permanent Housing On-Site, Housing Advocacy, Safe Haven
The Family Shelter offers a haven for 11 single mothers and their children. Each family has a private room and access to a communal kitchen, dining room, living room and children's activity room. They receive assistance to find safe and affordable housing for their families and access to educational and workforce development programs.
Project Place staff dedicate themselves to each client’s success in completing a program, landing a job, and finding permanent housing.
ABCD Tax Assistance Program
ABCD provides free tax assistance if you’re income eligible and meet a few other requirements. For instance, in 2016, we provided this service to those who earned under $54,000 that year. We encourage you to contact us to see if you qualify.
Boston Tax Help Coalition
The mission of the Boston Tax Help Coalition is to broaden pathways from poverty to financial empowerment by maximizing the impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax credits through quality, free tax preparation, financial education and economic stability opportunities.
Department of Transitional Assistance
The Department of Transitional Assistance assists and empowers low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, improve their quality of life, and achieve long term economic self-sufficiency. DTA serves one in eight residents of the Commonwealth with direct economic assistance (cash benefits) and food assistance (SNAP benefits), as well as workforce training opportunities.
Jewish Vocational Service in Boston (JVS)
Offers programs on: financial coaching, financial education workshops; and, free tax preparation
Mayor's Office of Financial Empowerment
The Office of Financial Empowerment’s mission is to link those seeking financial security and wealth generation with access to capital, financial education, and financial services. Programs include: tax help services in 8 languages, financial opportunity centers, banking options, and a Hospitality career program.
Social Security: Benefits After Incarceration
Individuals released from incarceration may be eligible for Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability benefits if you have worked or paid into Social Security enough years or Supplemental Security Income benefits if you are 65 or older, or are blind, or have a disability and have little or no income and resources.