Housing & Shelter


Shelters and Transitional Programs: Emergency assistance shelters and transitional programs provide temporary housing for Worcester families, teens, and adult individuals who find themselves homeless with nowhere else to go. Most shelters offer support services including housing search assistance.

Homelessness Programs: Homelessness programs help low and moderate income families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. These programs help Worcester residents keep their current housing or find other-safe affordable housing. Homelessness programs provide various types of emergency assistance, including financial assistance, legal help, counseling, emergency shelter, medical treatment, and other support services. Emergency Assistance (EA), run by the Department of Transitional Assistance, is the main government homelessness prevention program.



Food Pantries and Free Meals: There are many food pantries in Worcester where people in need can go to get free canned and packaged food to take home. There are also several free meals programs, such as soup kitchens and Kids Cafe, where people can go to eat cooked meals free of charge.

Food Stamps: Food stamps are a form of government assistance to help low-income families and individuals buy food. Food stamps can be used to buy almost any food item in any supermarket where you usually shop for food. If you have very little money and you need food right away, you can get emergency assistance food stamps within a week.

  • Food Stamp information: 1-800-249-2007

  • Food Source Hotline: 1-8OO-645-8333


Emergency Aid to Elders, Disabled and Children (EAEDC): EAEDC provides cash assistance and medical benefits to low-income elders, disabled, and children in Worcester and other Massachusetts communities 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 (TAFDGI: TAFDC is a government program that gives cash assistance and medical coverage to low-income families with dependent children and to pregnant women. Worcester residents who appear to be eligible for TAFDC and need help right away can get an emergencies 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 (SSl): SSI is a government cash assistance program for low-income elders age 55 or older, and for disabled and blind people of any age who don't own much and have little income. Worcester 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. The Worcester Social Security office decides if an emergency exists and if you qualify for an immediate payment.

Veterans' Services (VS): VS is 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, the Worcester Veterans' Agent can approve an emergency cash payment and an advance on benefits for food, rent or other basic needs.