Assistance Programs


Section I – Food and Nutrition Programs/Services

 Food Pantry

 Arlington Food Pantry

The Arlington Food Pantry is open from 9:30am to 11:30am the second Tuesday and last Saturday of each month.  The Food Pantry is located at the Church of Our Savior, 21 Marathon St, Arlington.  Arlington residents must provide proof of residency and families may come to the Food Pantry once per month.  The amount of food received depends on family size.

 Contact Information: 781-316-3177

Helping Hand Food Pantry - Cambridge

Arlington residents, who miss the distribution dates at the Arlington Food Pantry, may receive services from The Helping Hand Food Pantry in Cambridge.  A photo id is required and families may use the Helping Hand Food Pantry once per month.  For locations, dates and times, please call 617-876-4381. 

WIC – Women, Infant & Children’s Program

WIC is a nutrition program that provides healthy food, nutrition and health education, and other services free of charge to pregnant or nursing mothers and families and caregivers with children less than 5 years of age.  WIC has Arlington office hours every Tuesday from 10:00am to 6:00pm at 7 Central St, Arlington. For more information on the WIC program, visit

Income eligibility: 1) proof of current household income (e.g., a recent pay stub), 2) proof of Massachusetts residency (e.g., a utility bill, bank statement or rental agreement), and 3) proof of identity (e.g., driver’s license, birth certificate, MassHealth card, etc.)

 Arlington WIC Office, 7 Central St, Arlington, MA  02474, 781-646-2032

 Also: Cambridge/Somerville WIC, 366 Broadway, Suite 102, Somerville, MA  02145, 617-666-5059

 Food Stamps/SNAP Program

The Food Stamp Program has a new name: SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  SNAP is a government assistance program that helps low-income households buy food. SNAP food stamps can be used to buy almost any food item in any supermarket where you usually shop for food. People who use SNAP food stamps can spend the money they save to help pay their other bills. SNAP food stamps are for U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens with limited incomes who buy food and make meals at home. People living in homeless shelters, group homes for people with disabilities, drug and alcohol treatment centers, and subsidized elderly housing are also eligible.

 To download an application, obtain additional eligibility information or for a complete list of local offices, please visit

 Below is a partial list of local organizations that can help with the SNAP application process:

 Cambridge Economic Opportunity Council

11 Inman St, Cambridge, MA  02139



East End House      

105 Spring St, Cambridge, MA  02141                          



Dept of Transitional Assistance

80 Everett Ave, Chelsea, MA  02150         

617-551-1700 or 800-650-2566


Project Bread         

Food Source Hotline 800-645-8333


Section II – Heating/Fuel Assistance

 State Fuel Assistance

 Fuel Assistance, also known as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), is a government program that helps low-income families and individuals pay their heating bills during the winter.  Fuel assistance is for low-income tenants and homeowners, and eligibility is based on the household's gross annual income. Renters may also receive fuel assistance even if their heat is included in the rent.

The amount of fuel assistance received depends on income, housing status, and heating costs. Recipients of State Fuel Assistance are also eligible for discounted rates on their electric and gas utility bills. Additionally, residents may be eligible for weatherization services, heating system repairs, and Citizens Energy heat assistance programs.

Eligibility Requirements: 1) must meet State income guidelines, 2) must provide income documentation and heating bills (i.e., gas, electric or oil bills), and 3) applications accepted any time during the heating season (i.e., November 1 through April 30).

 Contact information: Community Teamwork Program, 45 Kirk St, 2nd Flr, Lowell, MA  01852, 978-459-6161.  Hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm, with extended hours on Wednesdays until 7:00pm.

 First-time applicants may also apply through the Arlington Health and Human Services Department.  Assistance is offered by appointment only.  First-time applicants should call 781-316-3400 for information regarding appointment dates and times.  Assistance with the Fuel Assistance application is available from November through April. 


Emergency Financial Assistance

Catholic Charities and Salvation Army both offer limited assistance with payment of rent and utility bills for eligible clients.  For program details and specific eligibility, please contact:


            Greater Boston Catholic Charities, 617-625-1920

            Salvation Army, 339-502-5900 or 617-547-3400

 Weatherization/Home Repair Program

This program allows Arlington income-eligible homeowners to weatherize and repair their homes, including new heating systems, new storm windows, insulation, roofing and gutters and plumbing and electrical systems, porches and walkways.   

Contact information: Arlington Weatherization Office, Jack Jones, 781-316-3430,

 Low-Interest Home Improvement Loan Program

The purpose of this program is to improve living conditions for low and moderate-income homeowners in Arlington who meet income eligibility requirements.  Loans are calculated at 1 point above prime and can range from $2,500 to $25,000, with up to 15 years to repay the loan.

 Eligibility Requirements: 1) must meet income eligibility – proof of income required and 2) must have a good credit rating

 Contact Information: Arlington Home Improvement Program,

20 Academy St, Suite 202, Arlington, 781-316-3436


Section III – Housing Assistance Programs/Services

 Arlington Housing Authority

The Arlington Housing Authority provides subsidized housing for elderly, low-income families and disabled persons.  Residents pay 30% of their income for rent regardless of their income.  To apply for housing, visit the Arlington Housing Authority office.  A waiting list usually exists for subsidized housing. The Housing Authority does not provide emergency shelter. 

 Contact Information: Arlington Housing Authority, 4 Winslow St, Arlington, MA 02476, 781-646-3400

 Housing Corporation of Arlington

Housing Corporation of Arlington, a non-profit community development corporation, owns and operates units for low-income families and individuals within two-family homes and small apartment buildings in Arlington.  Units vary in size from one to four bedrooms. 

 The Town, in conjunction with the Housing Corporation of Arlington, has a program that provides grants to individuals facing an immediate crisis with their housing.  The program may be able to pay back rent to prevent eviction, or security deposits for new housing. 

 Contact Information: Housing Corp of Arlington, 781-316-3451, or

 Millbrook Square Apartments

Millbrook Square, located at 17 Mill St, offers affordable housing for the elderly and disabled, where tenants pay 30% of their income for rent.  Applicants must be income-eligible and at least 62 years old.  For more information, please contact Millbrook Square directly at 781 641-1410.

 First Time Homebuyers – Town of Arlington

This program offers affordable condominiums for first time homebuyers.  Arlington’s zoning bylaw requires all new developments with six or more units include units for low and moderate income households.  Purchase prices range from $150,000 to $250,000, with resale prices similarly restricted.  Purchasers are selected by lottery, and must attend a class for first time homebuyers.

Contact information: Laura Wiener, Arlington Director of Housing, at 781-316-3091,

Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT)

Raft, a state-funded program, provides short term, limited financial assistance and support to allow low-income families to stay housed or move into their next homes during periods of financial crisis.  Applicants must provide documentation/proof that a move is necessary to avoid homelessness.  Please contact the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP) for eligibility guidelines.

 Contact information: MBHP at 617-425-6700 or

 Caritas Communities, Inc.

Caritas Communities owns and manages 29 houses (2 in Arlington) and provides Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing.  References must have good rental history and good character.

Contact Information: Caritas Communities, 25 Braintree Hill Office Pk, Suite 206, Braintree, MA  02184, 781-843-1242

 Homeless Shelters:

For people in need of emergency housing assistance please call:

             Bristol Lodge Individual Shelter for Men

            25 Lexington St, Waltham, 781-893-0108


Bristol Lodge Single Women Shelter

            205 Bacon St, Waltham, 781-894-1225


            Department of Transitional Assistance (families)

            80 Everett Ave, Chelsea, MA  02150

            617-551-1700 or 800-650-2566

 Somerville Homeless Coalition

This program provides housing and case management services to homeless young adults ages 18 to 24 who are in recovery.  Participants must demonstrate a commitment to recovery and have a foundation of stability in sobriety

 Contact Information: Somerville Homeless Coalition, 1 Davis Sq, Somerville, MA  02144, 617-623-6111

 Home Modification Program

For residents who are elderly and/or physically challenged and need help with accessibility, the Home Modification Program helps families by improving access to their homes, thus enabling them to live independently in the community.  Residents may be eligible for a low or no interest deferred-payment loan or an amortizing loan, depending on the family income.  Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $30,000.

 Contact: Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, 617-425-6637

 Section IV – Workforce Transition

 Workforce Assistance

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development offers assistance with job placement, training as well as tips for job searches and interview techniques.  For more information, please visit

 Workers In Transition

The Workers in Transition is a support group geared for networking and transition at work meets.  The Support Group meets every Tuesday from 10:00am to 12noon at the Robbins Library, 700 Mass Ave, 4th Floor, Arlington, MA  02476

Contact information: Stewart Jester, 781-643-6123


Lift, a volunteer-run agency, assists low-income individuals and families with housing assistance, job placement, resource counselling and referrals for services like childcare and healthcare. For more information on the LIFT program, visit:

 Local Office Contacts:

LIFT-Cambridge, 19 Brookline Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, (617) 349-6342 or

 LIFT-Somerville, 366 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143, (617) 591-9400

 Section V – Counseling/Support Programs for Youth and Families

 Arlington Youth Counseling Center (AYCC)

AYCC is a fully licensed Massachusetts Department of Public Health mental health counseling facility that works towards the treatment, prevention and resolution of problems relating to Arlington children and their families.  AYCC accepts most insurance (e.g., MassHealth, Network Health, Commonwealth Care, BCBS, Harvard Pilgrim, and Tufts, etc.). 

 AYCC helps children and their families cope with peer and social stress, behavioral difficulties, family crisis and violence, depression, grief, abuse, neglect and alcohol and drug abuse.  

 Contact Information: AYCC, 670R Mass Ave, Arlington, MA  02476, 781-316-3255,

 Community Resource Services

The Community Resource Services program aims to connect Arlington residents to information, assistance, and referrals to local services and government programs. This includes connecting residents to basic needs services (such as food programs, housing assistance and shelter information) and also other needs (such as child care, domestic violence programs, and emergency financial assistance services).  For more information or to make a referral, please contact AYCC.

 Contact Information:  AYCC, 781-316-3251,

 Health Access Project

Sponsored by the Child Care Resource Center, this program offers information on various affordable health care programs provided by the State, including MassHealth, Family Assistance, The Insurance Partnership, and the Children’s Medical Security Plan (CMSP). 

 Contact Information: 617-547-1063 x 271 or visit

 Grandparent Support Group

The Town of Arlington provides a support group for grandparents who have responsibility for raising their grandchildren. The group meets the second Tuesday of each month from 12:00pm to 1:30 pm.

 Contact Information:  Lourie August, Council on Aging, 781-316-3410

 irst Step – Domestic Violence Support

Support groups for women leaving violent home situations. First Step helps women learn healthy parenting, prevent and resolve issues of family violence and develop life skills.


Contact Information:

First Step Program Hotline, 781-316-3219

Domestic Violence Shelter 24 hour hotline: 877-785-2020


Communities United (Head Start)

This program provides various childcare resources in Arlington, including Head Start at the Calvary Methodist Church and the Dallin School.  A complete list of day care programs in Arlington is maintained at the Robbins Library, Children’s Department.


Contact Information:

Head Start Director/Coordinator, 300 Mass Ave,

Arlington, MA  02474, 781-648-0515


Robbins Library, Children’s Department, 700 Mass Ave,

Arlington, MA  02476, 781-316-3235


Childcare Resource Center

The Childcare Resource Center program provides childcare information and referral.  Listings of licensed family daycare providers are available.  Some referral services are free, others are provided on a sliding fee scale or at low cost.


Contact Information: Childcare Resource Center,

130 Bishop Allen Drive, Cambridge, MA  02139, 617-547-1063 x 71,

9:00am to 3:00pm, Monday through Friday


Mothers’ Support Groups

There are a number of support groups for new mothers and parents.  A partial list follows:

  • New Mom’s Support Group

(Mothers and babies under one year), Fridays 10:00am – 11:30am, Calvary Methodist Church, 300 Mass Ave Arlington


  • Postpartum Depression Group

Wednesdays 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Jewish Family and Children Services, 1430 Main St, Waltham, MA, 781-693-5625


  • Visiting Mom’s Program

Program offers volunteer assistance and support to moms in their homes for one hour per week up to babies first birthday.


Contact Information for Mother’s Support Groups: Debbie Whitehill, JF&CS Headquarters, 1430 Main St, Waltham, MA, 781-693-5625

 Recreation Program Scholarships

 All recreation programs in Arlington, including the Arlington Recreation Department, the Arlington Boys’ & Girls’ Club, and Fidelity House receive Community Development Block Grant money to subsidize families needing help with recreational program fees. School-based programs will negotiate athletic fees on a case-by-case basis upon request from the parent/caregiver.

 Contact information:

Arlington Recreation, Dan McGrath, 781-316-3884,

 Arlington Boys’ & Girls’ Club, Derek Curran, 781-648-1617,

 Fidelity House, Ed Woods, 781-648-2005,

 Arlington Athletic Department, 781-316-3551


Section VI – Senior Programs and Services

 Senior Transportation Services

The Arlington Council on Aging (COA) provides a number of transportation services for residents ages 60 or older.  The COA Van, a handicapped-accessible van, provides transportation for Arlington seniors from their homes to COA-related activities and/or to medical appointments at designated facilities.  Arlington seniors may also use the Dial-A-Ride Taxi program, which provides transportation anywhere in Arlington.  Both programs provide transportation at a nominal cost.  Additionally, the COA manages several grant programs which provide transportation subsidies for medical appointments, including Sanborn Foundation, which provides free transportation for cancer patients to/from medical appointments.  For more information, please visit or call the COA at 781-316-3400.

 Eligibility Guidelines: 1) must be an Arlington senior, and 2) meet program/income guidelines.


Contact Information: Council on Aging, 27 Maple St, Arlington, 781-316-3400,

 Senior Services and Protection

 Arlington Council on Aging

The Arlington Council on Aging (COA) provides a variety of programs for its seniors ranging from transportation services, wellness support, assistance with medical insurance, tax preparation, and more.  For information on the Arlington COA programs, please visit our website at


Contact Information: Council on Aging, 27 Maple St, Arlington, MA  02476, 781-316-3400

 E911 – Emergency Telephone Service

E911 is an emergency telephone listing service for frail or physically-challenged persons. Once registered, if an emergency 911 call is made from the resident’s telephone, emergency responders will have the resident’s name, address and particular disability (e.g., blind, deaf, wheel chair bound, etc.).  Registration forms for E911 are available in the following locations in Arlington:

 Contact Information: Arlington Police Department, 212 Mystic St, Arlington, MA  02474, 781-643-1212

 Arlington Council on Aging, 27 Maple St, Arlington, MA  02476, 781-316-3400

 Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is defined as physical, sexual, emotion abuse, neglect or financial exploitation.  For information on suspected elder abuse, please contact Minuteman Senior Services.

 Contact information: Minuteman Senior Services, 781-272-7177 or the elder abuse hotline at 800-922-2275 or visit


Disabled Persons Protection Commission

For information on suspected abuse of a disabled person, please contact the American’s with Disabilities Commission at 617-727-6465, or 800-426-9009 (24 hour hotline).

 Local information and assistance with ADA concerns is available through the Arlington ADA office at 781-316-3430,

Arlington Police Wellness Check

The Arlington Police Department provides wellness checks for its residents.  People concerned with the well being of an Arlington resident, should call the non-emergency police number.


Contact Information: Arlington Police, 112 Mystic St, Arlington, 781-643-1212 (non-emergencies only)


Sanborn Foundation for the Treatment and Cure for Cancer

 The Sanborn Foundation provides financial assistance with medical transportation for Arlington residents who are receiving cancer treatments.  The program is run through the Council on Aging.  The Sanborn Foundation also assists Arlington residents with cancer meet immediate short-term needs related to the disease and its treatment.  Residents should make requests for transportation to the Council on Aging and requests for other assistance directly to the Foundation.


Contact Information: Transportation to Medical Appointments, Council on Aging, 27 Maple St, Arlington, 781-316-3400

 Sanborn Cancer Foundation, PO Box 417, Arlington, MA  02476, 781-643-7775


The Center for Cancer Support and Education

 Provides cancer support and wellness services to patients, caregivers, family members and health care professionals. Support services consist of workshops and support groups offered at no or low cost to cancer survivors and their care givers

 Contact information: 781-648-0312, or visit

 Veterans’ Services

Wartime veterans are entitled to emergency services and financial aid, including living expenses and medical expenses.  Additionally, information and assistance with claims to the federal Veterans’ Administration Program is also available.  For more information, please visit

 Contact Information: Jeffrey Chunglo, Town Hall Annex, 730 Mass Ave, 3rd fl, 781-316-3166,


Widows’ Trust Fund

 The Widows’ Trust Fund is available to Arlington widows for health needs, basic life necessities, and specific one-time or short term needs.  Examples include: wheelchairs, hearing aids, dentures, etc.

 Eligibility Requirements: 1) available to income-eligible Arlington residents who are widows, and 2) must submit documentation of approved expense.

 Contact Information: Christine Bongiorno, Director of Health/Human Services, 781-316-3170,

Section VII – Miscellaneous Programs

Clothing – Little Fox Thrift Shop

The Little Fox Thrift Shop is a volunteer-run shop that accepts and resells gently used children clothing, toys and various household items.  Donated items are screened for cleanliness, working order and safety.  All proceeds are donated to the Fox Branch Library and Arlington Public Schools.  Little Fox Thrift Shop is open Tuesdays 9:00am to12:00pm, Wednesdays 2:30pm to 7:30pm, Thursdays 9am to 12noon and 2:30pm to 5:00pm

Contact Information: Little Fox Thrift Shop, Fox Library, 175 Mass Ave, Arlington, MA  02474


Legal Services

 Cambridge/Somerville Legal Services, 617-603-2700

 Community Legal Services and Counseling Center, 617-551-1010

 Greater Boston Legal Services, 617-371-1234 or 800-323-3205

 Massachusetts Bar Assoc. Lawyer Referral, 617-654-0400 or 800-392-6164

 Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, 617-973-8787 or 888-283-3757

 Senior Legal Helpline (60+ years of age), 866-778-0939

 Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association, 617-423-0648

 Other Useful Telephone Numbers

 Child Abuse Hotline 24 hour hotline, 800-792-5200

 Mass Department of Children and Families, 30 Mystic St, Arlington, MA  02474, 781-641-8500

 Mass Dept of Transitional Assistance, 617-551-1700 or 800-650-2566

 Child Abuse Hotline 24 hour hotline, 800-792-5200

 Mental Health Crisis Team 24 hour crisis hotline, 781-893-2003.

 Social Security Administration Office serving Arlington, 10 Fawcett St 1st Fl, Cambridge, MA 02138, 888-527-9340

 Suicide Prevention Hotlines,  24 hour hotlines, 800-784-2433, 800-273-TALK, 800-252-TEEN