We have over 700 volunteers wanting to help you navigate whatever you may be facing. There is no ask for assistance that is too big or small, and no one will ever be shamed for asking for what they need. Be sure to check out our food and supplies resources detailed below, as well as local grants which are available to Cambridge residents. You can also fill out our request form below for connection to resources.
Click "Food Access" below for details on free food delivery, pantries, and meal sites in Cambridge.
Updated list of Cambridge food pantries and resources available here.
Cambridge Food & Nutrition Services provides breakfast & lunch to feed Cambridge students every weekday from 12 - 1PM! Meals will be FREE for all Cambridge students. To find a site nearest you, click here. More details available here.
A group of volunteers throughout the area are cooking and delivering free lasagnas to families in need of some extra food support during this time. Families looking to receive a meal can sign-up here to have a lasagna delivered to you for free. The group is also looking for volunteers to cook and deliver meals -- more information and a sign up form can be found here.
Cambridge residents who are over 60, immunocompromised, or have a disability and do not have a friend or relative that can go to a food pantry on their behalf, can apply for the Home Delivery Program (30-40 pounds of food delivered 2x/month). The application is available here, or you can request an application be mailed to you.
Need more resources?
Need help navigating what food resources are available near you? Project Bread provides a FoodSource hotline: 1-800-645-8333.
Please find an evolving list of emergency community food resources compiled by the Community Health Improvement Department at Cambridge Health Alliance. This resource list is available publicly on Google Sheets; if you find any information that needs to be revised, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shopping and Delivery
A group of Cambridge bicyclists can assist with your food shopping and deliveries. Click here!
Liam's Love is assisting with shopping and delivery of 12 items to elderly neighbors in need. They accept cash, Venmo, PayPal, or check. Please fill out this form for assistance.
Aletheia Church (short-term housing)
Link to their spreadsheet available here.
Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community (emergency housing)
Due to office closures, families applying for Emergency Assistance shelter through the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community development can only apply by calling this phone number: 1-866-584-0653. Please share this number with those you know, and learn more here.
City Life Urbana (hotline for housing and eviction concerns)
City Life Urbana operates at (617) 934-5006 for housing and eviction concerns, in addition to templates for contacting a landlord or bank about your situation. Link here. Vida Urbana: Tiene problemas con las casas (o viviendas) o amenazas de evicción? Llama a este número: (617) 397-3773.
Need more resources?
The Mayor's office in the City of Cambridge can assist with emergency housing, as well as our community network of volunteers. Email us at CambridgeMutualAid@gmail.com for more information.
General Legal and Social Services
Filing for unemployment: If your hours have been cut or you lost your job due to COVID-19, you qualify for Unemployment Insurance.
To apply for unemployment, use this website.
For a video on how to apply with step-by-step instructions, visit here
For directions specific to the COVID-19 emergency, see here
More detailed information is available on these multilingual Mass Legal Services fact sheets.
Greater Boston Legal Services can help you if your unemployment claim was denied and you do not understand why. They can also help you file for unemployment if you do not read English or do not have access to a computer. Request assistance by calling (617)-603-1530 (Spanish) or (617) 603-1639 (English and all other languages) and leaving your name and phone number. You can also request assistance online using this bilingual form.
Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee can assist with navigating applying for various social services including housing assistance, public benefits assistance, and SNAP/food stamps. Their phone number is (617)-868-2900. More information can be found here, on their website.
Applying for Health Insurance: If you have lost income or lost your employer-sponsored health insurance recently, you may be eligible for Massachusetts state health insurance or a subsidy to help you purchase private insurance. You can apply online at Massachusetts Health Connector website.
Evictions: Due to the statewide COVID-19 emergency, most eviction cases are on hold. If your landlord tries to force you out without the court's permission by changing the locks, turning of your heat, or other means, this is illegal.
For resources on how to respond to an illegal evictions, see this Mass Legal Help webpage.
To obtain legal advice, contact Greater Boston Legal Services at 617-603-1807.
Restraining Orders: If you need a restraining order or a harassment prevention order, this is an emergency. The court will hear your case promptly using telephone, videoconferencing, or in some cases in person.
For online resource on how to obtain a restraining order, see this Mass Legal Help webpage.
To obtain legal advice, contact Greater Boston Legal Services at 617-603-2700.
Assistance Applying for SNAP: Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee can help assist with the application process, website here.
Special Unemployment Qualifications for Hour Cuts: If your hours have been cut due to COVID-19, you qualify for Unemployment Insurance. On March 16, Governor Baker announced emergency regulations that will allow those impacted by COVID-19 to collect unemployment insurance. Emergency legislation is being filed that will waive the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits. You can learn more and apply here.
Mental Health and Crisis Support
Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse
Transition House is a Cambridge-based organization addressing domestic violence intervention and prevention. Call their 24/7 hotline at (617) 661-7203.
Advocates are available to provide support and help to safety plan. If services beyond crisis support are needed, hotline advocates will refer to the Community Team. All new referrals must go through the hotline advocates.
Emergency shelter at capacity. Resource guide available here.
Massachusetts’ statewide 24/7 toll-free, multi-lingual domestic violence hotline and a resource for anyone affected by domestic violence can be accessed by calling (877) 785 2020.
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in more than 200 languages. All calls are free and confidential.
Support & Resource Referral
Cambridge Women's Center
Folks anywhere can call-in Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm to speak to a trained volunteer about talk about anything on their mind or to receive assistance navigating complicated resources. Printable poster (pdf).
For external support and resource referral reach out to (617) 354-6394 or (617) 354-8807 and dial '1' for emotional support and '2' for resource referrals and navigation assistance. You can also leave a voicemail and they'll call you back!
Warmlines are phone lines people call when they could use some emotional support. You do not have to be in crisis to call a warmline. Here is a printable list.
Metro Boston Recovery Learning Community Peer Support Line (warmline)
The Peer Support Line is a compassionate community telephone service, staffed by Operators who have lived experience with mental health issues. Call 877-733-7563 on Monday through Sunday from 4pm to 8pm. Spanish speaking operators on Sundays and Tuesdays.
SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (warmline and hotline)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
En Español: Call 1-800-985-5990 and press "2", or text Hablanos to 66746.
Veteran Crisis Line (warmline and hotline)
The Veteran Crisis Line is available 24 hours, 7 days/week.
Call 800-273-8255, and press "1"
You can also chat online.
LBGT Helpline (warmline, over 25 years old): Call 617.267.9001 or toll-free 888.340.4528 on Monday through Saturday from 6:00 to 11:00 pm.
LGBT Peer Listening Line (warmline, 25 years old & under): Call 617.267.2535 or toll-free 800-399-7337 on Monday through Saturday from 5:00 to 10:00 pm.
The Trevor Project: Call 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678678. A national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth.
Need more resources?
Crisis Counselor: Text MHA to 741741 and you’ll be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor. Crisis Text Line provides free, text-based support 24/7.
For those home sick and needing a meeting, Pause a While will host a free conference call for AA meetings, 2pm EST everyday. Dial-in number: (425)-436-6360 with the access code 422932#
Managing Fears and Anxiety around the Coronavirus (COVID-19): here.
Tips for emergency responders in self-care and identifying burnout from the CDC.
Free 60-day internet connection for those without is available here.
Check out this document put together by City Councillor Marc McGovern on internet accessibility at this time.
Work and Training
City of Cambridge Multilingual Help
Information on the stay-at-home advisory, food assistance, housing resources, the Mayor's Fund and more can be found here in multiple languages. Quick links on food assistance below.
Financial Help for Job Loss
Information on unemployment pay in Massachusetts can be found here.
The Pioneer Valley Workers Center has created a free online tool to help those who speak Spanish fill out unemployment claims, as the state's online portal is only available in English.
COVID-19 Fact Sheets
An extensive list from the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS)
Cartoon Explanation with Details for Service Workers in Spanish from Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD)
An online resource in dozens of language here.
Information for Seniors
Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services
If you are age 60 or older, Somerville Cambridge Elder Services is a fantastic resource. They can have meals delivered to your house, provide weekly check-in calls, or talk to you about your particular needs and help connect you to other local resources. Call SCES at 617-628-2601 for more information.
The Friendship Line (hotline and warmline, 60 and over)
The Friendship Line is both a crisis intervention hotline and a warmline for non-emergency emotional support calls. Institute on Aging’s 24-hour toll-free Friendship Line is the only accredited crisis line in the country for people aged 60 years and older, and adults living with disabilities. Call 800-971-0016.
Sign up for the Cambridge-based weekly newsletter for aging community members here.
Information for Parents
Food for Children
Every weekday, Cambridge Public Schools will be packing and distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches to locations throughout the city, starting March 16. CPS families who are facing food challenges can pick up one bag per child. Any Cambridge child 18 and under can pick up a bag. Come to the location most convenient for you. Details available here.
Boston's Free Lunch and Breakfast Map for school-aged kids can be found here.
Activities in School Closures
A list of free online resources and educational activities for children of all ages available here.
Free online tutoring and homework help is available here.
Free 60-day internet connection for those without is available here.
Parental Stress Line (warmline)
Parents Helping Parents of Massachusetts is administering a 24/7 warmline in all languages at 800-632-8188.
Online support groups also available.
The Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate in partnership with UMass Medical is launching a public information campaign designed to make Massachusetts families aware of state resources that are available to them and encourage struggling families to reach out for help. We would greatly appreciate your assistance in spreading the word.
They have posted a series of graphics on this website (https://www.mass.gov/lists/we-all-need-help-sometimes) that are available to be be printed, emailed, and/or shared on social media. Would you please consider sharing them with your networks through whatever distribution channels (email, social media, etc) you have available?
Currently the graphics are available in English and Spanish. We are working on getting them translated into additional languages, and will post those versions as soon as they are available.
If you'd like to be notified when new languages are available, or have any questions about this project, please email me at Melissa.Threadgill@mass.gov.
Information for Local Artists
Cambridge Artist Relief Fund (Cambridge)
The Cambridge Artist Relief Fund will meet immediate needs in the arts sector. Over the next six months, effective Thursday, March 19, the Foundation will accept applications on a rolling basis to provide grants to organizations and individuals facing a financial burden.
Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund (Cambridge)
Mission: To assist musicians in our community who are in dire need of financial aid due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where a huge amount of musicians are losing income due to relying on a gig economy.
Boston Music-Maker COVID-19 Relief Fund (Greater Boston)
The "Record Co." has established a fund to provide financial relief to music makers in the Boston area experiencing lost revenue from gig cancellations resulting from coronavirus and COVID-19.
Musicians Foundation (National)
United States-based musicians who've been active for the past five years are eligible to apply for a microgrant. NOTE: We give grants for medical and allied living expenses in emergencies, and pay these debts on behalf of the musicians we help. We do not write checks directly to musicians.
Boston Singers Relief Fund (New England)
As of March 11, 2020, the Boston Singers' Relief Fund is offering a streamlined application process for grants up to $500. New England-based singers whose classical performances were cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19 are eligible to apply. Deadline for the first round of grants is April 1
CERF (Craft Emergency Relief Fund) Artists (National)
CERF+ provides emergency assistance to artists working in craft disciplines who have had a recent, serious emergency and are U.S. residents.
Foundation for Contemporary Arts (National)
This fund is open to U.S.-based artists who've fallen on hard times because of the coronavirus outbreak. If you've had a performance or show canceled because of COVID-19, apply.
Pen America Writers Emergency Fund 2020 (National)
This fund is for professional (published or produced) writers and editors who are in acute financial crisis. The PEN America Writers’ Emergency Fund assists, in times of emergency, those whose main professional pursuit is writing.
Theatre Community Benevolent Fund (Greater Boston)
TCBF provides financial relief in a confidential, respectful manner to individual theater practitioners and non-profit theater organizations of Greater Boston and the surrounding areas, facing occurrences of a catastrophic nature.
Information for Small Businesses
Instructions for for small businesses affected by COVID to make it easier for people to support them directly can be found here.
A full list of open businesses and resources for businesses is here.
Resources From Cambridge Local First
Fill out the Cambridge Local First: COVID-19 Impact Survey. CLF are sharing the results with the City and other critical stakeholders, so make your voice heard.
Support our national advocacy efforts. CLF has partnered with organizations nationally to encourage the federal government to adopt the five steps listed here. Businesses and non-profits can join us as partners here (or respond to this email with "I'm in!"), and community members can sign the Change.org petition here. And, amplify the message over Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Check out MainVest's ongoing $2,000 zero-interest cash infusion; info is here.
Let us know if your landlord plans to charge rent without any rent release. We are working with the City to negotiate rent.
See a list of small local business to support here.