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Low-income resources

Basic Needs
guide

Low-income resources

Last updated 7/13/16

If you are struggling with housing, food, or other basic needs, you are not alone. There are many ways we can help.

FOOD

Contact: Food Initiatives
GET FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

These programs offer aid to help you buy food. Many Farmers Markets in Boston also offer affordable fresh food.

PICK UP DONATED FOOD

Those in need can pick up food from these local food pantries. The City’s BostonCANshare restocks food pantries and raises money for Bounty Bucks.

HAVE A MEAL

Below are just a few of the places in Boston where you can find a meal. Our map highlights locations that source local and fresh produce. 

HELPSTEPS

HELPSTEPS

If you’re not sure where to start, search for all available resources.

Developed by the Online Advocate team at Boston Children’s Hospital, HelpSteps connects people to local resources through a personalized search.

HOUSING

FIND AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Learn more about the City’s affordable housing.

STAY IN YOUR HOME

Are you at risk of foreclosure, or getting evicted? These services can help.

FIND OVERNIGHT SHELTERS

If you need a place to stay overnight, these are a few local groups that can help.

Housing
Park Bench

CONNECTIVITY

GET COMPUTER ACCESS

Boston Public Libraries and some BCYF Community Centers offer free wireless internet and computer use for the public.

GET CONNECTED AT HOME

Learn if low-cost options such as Internet Essentials from Comcast or PCs for People are right for you. This winter, the Lifeline Program will be expanded to offer discounts for home internet.

GET EDUCATED

Build digital skills through these resources:

GET ONLINE

Try Boston’s free public Wi-Fi, Wicked Free Wi-Fi. View our map for current locations. Check back frequently as new locations are often added.

Learn more

Wicked Free WiFi

EMPLOYMENT AND FINANCES

EMPLOYMENT

Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers offer job seekers help through career counselors, workshops, and more. Boston Employment Network helps homeless people and families with job training and employment services.

TAXES

Boston Tax Help Coalition provides free tax preparation for low- to moderate-income residents, facilitating access to the Earned Income Tax Credit for those eligible.

children’s savings accounts

Starting as a three-year pilot program in the fall of 2016, Boston Saves will provide children’s savings accounts to help families of Boston Public Schools kindergarteners save for their post-secondary education.

DID YOU KNOW

You can receive free financial coaching through Mayor Walsh’s Office of Financial Empowerment at a financial opportunity center.

Learn more

 

Financial Opportunity Center
Skating

RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES

FAMILIES
Lunch
SUMMER MEAL PROGRAM

Boston youth 18 and under can receive free wholesome and nutritious breakfast and lunch through this program.

Pools
COMMUNITY CENTERS AND POOLS

Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF) runs 36 facilities across Boston. Find a center near you.

Events
PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

Learn about opportunities for children, teens, and families. 

RESOURCES FOR SENIORS

There are a number of additional resources specific to older adults. Contact Elderly Commission staff for help navigating resources for those over 60 living in Boston.

HOUSING
UTILITIES
  • Boston Water and Sewer offers a discount for adults over 65, as well as residents with disabilities of all ages.

  • Comcast and RCN offer a basic tier option for adults over 62 or 65, depending on the service.

FOOD
HEALTHCARE
TRANSPORTATION

  

Boston

RESOURCES FOR VETERANS

The City is committed to helping veterans and their dependents find the best available services.

LEARN ABOUT AVAILABLE SERVICES

Any veteran, active duty, reserve, national guard or military family member may contact Veterans’ Services for help understanding federal, state, and City laws and benefits.

GET FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Massachusetts offers a financial assistance program for eligible veterans and their dependents for food, shelter, clothing, housing supplies, medical care, and burial assistance. 

CONNECT WITH LOCAL RESOURCES

The Greater Boston Veterans Collaborative (GBVC) and Mass VetsAdvisor connects veterans and their families through a supportive network of organizations that advocate, serve and engage the veterans’ community.

GIVE BACK

Veterans’ Services sponsors several service projects throughout the year. Learn how you can engage with veterans that call Boston their home by sending an email to veterans@boston.gov with subject line “Volunteer”.

END VETERAN HOMELESSNESS

Boston Homes for the Brave brings together government and nonprofit agencies committed to ending veteran homelessness in Boston.