A City of Opportunities
The Cambridge Housing Authority and the City of Cambridge have a long, proud tradition of providing support to our low-income, elderly, and disabled citizens.
Whether you need help with childcare, healthcare, finishing school, learning a trade, or looking for something fun to do on the weekend, chances are good that there’s someone in town who can help.
Can’t find what you’re looking for there? Please visit the links below for resources available to low-income family, elderly, and disabled Cantabrigians.
Cambridge Public Library: Cambridge’s main library has over 50 computers for Internet access that are connected to printers (10 free pages per day; 15 cents each page after; black and white printing only) and over 50 more for catalog and database searching. There are also two desktop publishing stations equipped with scanners and the latest publishing software in the Information Commons. All other branches have computers that can access the Internet and perform basic computing tasks like word processing.
Margaret Fuller House: The Technology Center provides computer and Internet access to more than 150 adults and teens annually.
Career Source: Free access to computers for job search at their respective program offices. Access is restricted to actively enrolled clients only. Career Source offers enrolled clients free workshops in Internet use for job search and classes in Microsoft Office software.
Persons with Disabilities
Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities: The Commission runs the City’s temporary disability parking permit program, co-administers the Cambridge taxi discount program, publishes a bi-monthly newsletter provides disability awareness training to City departments and private entities, and runs Disability Reframed: A Community Film Series with the City of Boston Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
Domestic Violence Resources
Cambridge Police Department: Domestic violence resources, including who to call if you are facing domestic violence, information on how to obtain a restraining order and details on what to expect if a person experiencing domestic violence chooses to involve Cambridge Police.
Transition House: Transition House is Cambridge’s domestic violence agency, providing emergency shelter, transitional and supported housing and youth prevention education.
In August 2013, CHA partnered with Transition House to form Pathways to Permanent Housing, which provides supported housing opportunities for individuals who are eligible for subsidized housing as a result of fleeing domestic violence. In addition to the Pathways collaboration, Transition House supports CHA residents, program participants and applicants through its Community Liaison. The Liaison works with CHA tenants fleeing domestic violence and provides safety planning, legal advocacy, referrals and assistance with housing-related issues and with navigating CHA’s application process as a person fleeing domestic violence.
To contact the Community Liaison, call 857-998-9625 or email firstname.lastname@example.org; any contact or correspondence with the liaison in kept confidential.
Citywide Senior Center: A multi-service center for seniors living in Cambridge and surrounding areas, offering many programs including meals, food pantry, ESL and computer classes, exercise programs, trips, craft classes, and health and wellness resources.
Emergency Financial Assistance
Emergency Aid to Elders, Disabled and Children (EAEDC): EAEDC provides cash assistance and medical benefits to low-income elders, disabled, and children in Massachusetts who do not qualify for other cash assistance programs. If you appear to be eligible for EAEDC and you need help right away, you can get an emergency assistance advance on your EAEDC benefits within 24 hours. These emergency assistance benefits include rent and utility vouchers, food vouchers, and temporary health care coverage.
Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC): TAFDC is a government program that gives cash assistance and medical coverage to low-income families with dependent children and to pregnant women. Massachusetts residents who appear to be eligible for TAFDC and need help right away can get an emergency assistance advance on their TAFDC benefits within 24 hours. You can get rent and utility vouchers, a temporary MassHealth card, a cash advance, and emergency assistance food vouchers.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI is a government cash assistance program for low-income elders age 65 or older, and for disabled and blind people of any age who don’t own much and have little income. Massachusetts residents who qualify for SSI emergency assistance can get an advance payment the same day for food, shelter, clothing, medical care, or other basic needs. Your local Social Security office decides if an emergency exists and if you qualify for an immediate payment.
Veterans’ Services: A program that provides cash and medical assistance to low-income Massachusetts wartime veterans and their families who are in need of immediate help. If you are facing a financial emergency, your local Massachusetts Veterans’ Agent can approve an emergency cash payment and an advance on benefits for food, rent, or other basic needs.
Cambridge Employment Program (CEP): Provides free employment assistance to Cambridge residents including counseling and job search assistance, help with resumes and cover letters, identifying job leads, researching employers, and using the Internet for job search. The program’s job developers also work with job-ready clients to match them with open positions.
Career Source: Provides employment services to all types of businesses and job seekers at all professional levels. Career Source offers free access to computers for job search at their respective program offices. Career Source also offers enrolled clients free workshops in Internet use for job search and classes in Microsoft Office software.
Children and Child Care Resources
Cambridge Public Schools: The Family Resource Center provides Cambridge residents resources to register children for school, information on placement, waitlist, transfers and school lotteries.
Cambridge Department of Human Services: Programs for Kids and Youth: Resources including after-school programs, community schools, summer youth employment resources, preschool, recreation and special needs programs.
Child Care Choices of Boston (CCCB): The Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCRA) for Cambridge and Somerville. If you need to apply for a childcare voucher, or need to locate a licensed childcare provider (for instance a private childcare agency or home-based daycare provider), please contact Child Care Choices of Boston. This service used to be offered by the Childcare Resource Center in Cambridge (CCRC), but CCRC has now closed.
Homelessness Prevention & Other Housing Resources
Cambridge Directory of Resources: Homelessness prevention resources, shelter information and other housing related resources including nutrition, education and employment resources in and around the City of Cambridge.
The Division of Housing Stabilization (DHS): MA Housing Stabilization Programs mission is to prevent homelessness, sheltering those for whom homelessness is unavoidable, and rapidly re-housing the homeless in stable, permanent housing.
HomeStart: Advocates work with clients from more than 50 shelters and programs to obtain apartments and subsidized housing, provide stabilization resources for families to maintain housing and services for veterans.
Cambridge Community Development Department (CDD): Offers access to affordable rental and homeownership units created through City programs. CDD works with the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust, non-profit housing providers, and the Cambridge Housing Authority to acquire, build and preserve affordable housing. CDD also works with private developers and owners to offer access to affordable units created by the City’s Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance. In addition, CDD offers First Time Homebuyer Classes, pre-purchase counseling, and financial assistance for new homebuyers, and manages the City’s stock of more than 500 affordable homeownership units; working with non-profits to offer low-interest loans to assist owners in making necessary home repairs and improvements.
Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP): Massachusetts largest regional provider of rental housing voucher assistance. MBHP serves homeless, elderly, disabled, and low- and moderate-income individuals and families with services including rental assistance, homelessness prevention, foreclosure prevention, tenancy prevention, fair housing education and information and resources for property owners.
Solutions at Work: Helping thousands of homeless and low-income people achieve self-sufficiency annually by providing them with children’s items, moving services, professional clothing, and computers.
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homelessness: Providing programs and advocacy for people experiencing homelessness or those at risk of homelessness in areas of public policy, including affordable housing; adequate income maintenance programs; medical care; mental health services; social services; job training and employment.
The MassAccess Housing Registry: Assistance in finding affordable housing in Massachusetts. A key feature of the Registry is to highlight homes for people with disabilities who need accessible or barrier-free housing.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Formerly known as “Food Stamps” SNAP is a nutrition program for families and individuals that meet certain income and resource guidelines. SNAP benefits help families buy pay for food. Working individuals and those without employment may qualify for SNAP benefits. Benefits can be used to purchase food at most grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies.
Project Bread, getting SNAP.org: an online resource to help answer questions and determine eligibility for SNAP.
The Food Pantry Network: This food resource guide lists all of the Cambridge Food Pantries and Cambridge meal providers with addresses and times of operation.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program: WIC is a nutrition program that provides nutrition and health education, healthy food, breastfeeding support and other services free of charge to Massachusetts families who qualify.
City of Cambridge’s Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS): Advocacy for all veterans and their dependents. The department advises clients as to the availability of state services and benefits to which they are entitled. In addition, DVS provides financial assistance to needy veterans, surviving spouses and their dependents.
The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH): Combining Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the HUD-VASH program provides these services for participating Veterans at VA medical centers (VAMCs) and community-based outreach clinics.
VASH Programs in Massachusetts: Brochure with a brief overview of VASH program, eligibility and MA VASH contact information.
Cambridge Election Commission: Information for Cambridge Voters including Voter registration, polling places, absentee ballot application and election results.
MBTA Reduced Fares: Seniors, persons who are disabled, passengers who are blind/visually impaired, and junior-high and high school students and children under the age of twelve (when accompanied by a paying adult) are eligible for free or discounted fares when using public transportation.
MBTA The Ride: “The Ride” service provides door-to door, shared-ride transportation to eligible people who cannot use fixed-route transit (bus, subway, trolley) all or some of the time because of a physical, cognitive or mental disability. Accessible vehicles are used to serve persons with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs and scooters.
Education (Adult Education)
Community Learning Center: The Community Learning Center offers free class for adults in the morning, afternoon, and evening. These classes include English classes, citizenship classes, basic reading, writing, and math classes, preparation for the HiSET and GED tests, preparation for college, and preparation for careers in healthcare and information technology. The Community Learning Center also offers free educational and career counseling, tutoring, and basic computer instruction.
Central Street Health Center: The Outpatient Addictions Service (OAS) serves patients 18 and older providing psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioner and licensed clinical social workers. OAS is experienced in both Addictions and Dual Diagnosis Treatment.
ACLS Training Center: A link to an article about common medical problems affecting the elderly population.
Health & Dental Insurance
MassHealth Connector: The Massachusetts Health Connector is the state’s marketplace for health and dental insurance. The Health Connector can help you shop for and enroll in insurance plans from leading health insurers in the state. You can also find out through the Health Connector if you are eligible for any programs that help you pay for health insurance premiums and lower your out-of-pocket health care costs.
Prescription Drug Assistance Programs: There are a number of prescription drug assistance programs in each state of the U.S. Some of these programs, such as the Extra Help program, are designed to support Medicare beneficiaries, while some other available resources can also support state residents who are not enrolled in Medicare.
General Health Services
Aids Action Committee: Providing comprehensive programs and services, including client advocacy, testing, counseling, and rental and utility support.
Cambridge Somerville Emergency Services Program (ESP): provides 24-hour emergency psychiatric services to adults, families, and organizations to the communities of Cambridge and Somerville. ESP provides behavioral health crisis assessment, intervention and stabilization services through 4 service components: Mobile Crisis Intervention (MCI) services for youth, adult mobile services, ESP community based locations and community crisis stabilization (CCS) services for ages 18 and over. Call 800.981.4375.
Smoking Cessation (Help to Quit Smoking) Programs
Cambridge Health Alliance Tobacco Treatment: The Tobacco Treatment Program is run by the Department of Community Health Improvement. We offer six session tobacco treatment groups in English, which are open to any CHA patient. These groups are currently held at Somerville Hospital Primary Care and Windsor Health Center.
SmokeFree.gov: A website intended to help people quit smoking. Support both immediate and long-term needs to become, and remain, a non-smoker.
Information and resources for women who need help quitting smoking.
Information and resources for teens that need help quitting smoking.
The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program: is dedicated to reducing the health and economic burden of tobacco use.