Resources for Families

Resources for Families

Support with physical and mental health and/or safety:

Purpose / Support with:Organization NameLink to websiteNotes:
Emergency Mental Health ServicesBoston Emergency Services TeamBoston Emergency Services TeamA mental health emergency hotline to do crisis evaluation and treatment if you feel your child has become a danger to themselves or others in the home. Must have mass health insurance. The BEST team is able to evaluate children and adults.
Helping Parents with StressParents Helping ParentsParents Helping Parents Stress HotlineThe current national health emergency is causing many parents anxiety.* How do I protect my children?* What do I tell them?* Or simply, how do I keep them busy when there is no school?
Parental stress line counselors are still there to listen to your concerns and problem-solve with you. 24-7, free and confidential.CALL: 800-632-8188
Emergency Childcare ProvidersExempt Emergency Childcare ProvidersExempt Emergency Childcare ProvidersTo slow the spread of coronavirus, Governor Baker has issued an emergency order temporarily closing all early childhood education programs across the State of Massachusetts to suspend providing childcare by 11:59 P.M. on Sunday, March 22, 2020. This will remain in effect until April 6, 2020 and may be extended as needed.
Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs will be the only child care programs that are allowed to operate during this time. This prioritizes public health and safety while maintaining critical service.
Crisis Hotline ResourcesCity of BostonCrisis Hotline ResourcesSuicide prevention, domestic violence, and other crisis hotlines for youth, young adults, and their friends and families.
Crisis Text Line – Text TALK to 741741Crisis Text LineCrisis Text LineCrisis Text Line is here for you 24/7. Text a free Crisis Counselor anytime. You don’t have to deal with the hard parts of life alone. Text us. Get free help.Anxious about coronavirus? Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
Help Line and Teletherapy ICNA Relief: Muslims for Humanity  HELPLINE@ICNARELIEF.ORG
National Help Line – The ICNA Relief Helpline is a free, nationwide peer-support service providing information and resource referrals to people facing difficulty due to the Covid-19 crisis.                              1-844-412-9809 M-F 9am-9pm ET   Teletherapy – Mental health is crucial at a time like this. Eligible clients can receive treatment without worrying about leaving home and staying safe.
Suicide Prevention Hotline Suicide Prevention HotlineLifeline ChatAnyone who is depressed, going through a hard time, needs to talk, or is thinking about suicide can use the chat. The chat counselors are here to listen and support you through whatever difficult times you may be facing. The Lifeline Chat service is available 24/7. If you have trouble connecting to the chat service we encourage you to call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Support with food and shelter:

Purpose / Support with:Organization NameLink to websiteNotes:
Boston Food Meal SitesBoston.govBoston Food Meal Sites“Grab and go” breakfast and lunch will be available to youth and teens 18 and under
Food and Meal Service HotlineProject BreadProject Bread Food Source HotlineFood and Meal ServicesFoodSource Hotline – Project Bread’s toll-free FoodSource Hotline is the only comprehensive statewide information and referral service in Massachusetts for people facing hunger. To find food resources in your community, call the FoodSource Hotline: 1-800-645-8333 TTY 1-800-377-1292
Stop and Shop – shopping for ages 60+Stop and Shop Stop and Shop Starting March 19th, Stop and Shop will have a 90-minute window from 6 am-7:30 am open only to shoppers ages 60+.
Food ResourcesHaley House Soup KitchenHaley House Soup KitchenHaley House Soup Kitchen is providing take-out meals throughout the week. Mon-Fri 7-9am Breakfast, Sunday Brunch 11-2pm, Elder Meal (age 55+) Tues & Thurs 1-3pm @ 23 Dartmouth St, South End
Free Lunch Buffet for Boston StudentsThe Breakfast SpotThe Breakfast Spot FlyerTuesday-Friday 11:30am-2:30pm at 2805 Washington St, Roxbury. If you know a child depending on school lunch, please sent them to The Breakfast Spot. Mention Romilda or Families for Justice as Healing to receive a free meal.
Free meals YMCA

YMCA of Greater Boston

YMCA Food Distribution

Grab and go breakfast and lunch provided from 8AM-12PM M-F by YMCA of Greater Boston for youth and teens 18 and under. Visit for locations.
More details provided by the Egleston Branch– Open from 8am-12pm M-F handing out breakfast and lunches for kids and adult meals as well. Every Friday they give out pantry and produce bags. They have also been giving hygiene products. If a family needs diapers, they are able to get them upon request. Call 617.522.0946 with any questions. Location 3134 Washington St, Roxbury, MA 02119. 
Children and adults meals are served at specific branches – Egleston, East Boston, and Oak Square-Brighton. 
Make Shift Boston Free GroceriesMake Shift Boston Make Shift Boston FlyerFree Food and supplies every Monday 5:30pm @ 549 Columbus AvenueUpdates: follow or twitter: @bostondistro
Free Cooking ClassesMattapan Flavors Cooking ClassFree Cooking ClassesThursdays 6-8pm @ Mattapan Community Health Center 1575 Blue Hill AveEasy, fun cooking to feed you and your family! Weekly cooking classes taught by the Boston Organization of Nutritionists and Dietetics of Boston. No fee to participate. Gift card for groceries after completing 3 sessions!
Pet Food ServicesPet PantryPet Food ServicesThe Pet Pantry offers support for those in need of pet food assistance. They have various distribution sites across the South Shore.
Fresh Truck FoodFresh truck Box is a community-based food distribution program developed in response to the COVID-19 crisis.. The goal of Fresh Box is to provide food access for Boston residents throughout the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown and to support local businesses. The program is supported by the Boston Resiliency Fund.
Food Pantry ABCD for Boston Community Development food pantry is operating at 5 locations across the city. Roxbury/North Dorchester Neighborhood Opportunity Center: 617.442.5900. Call ahead to get on list. Monday through Wed. 10a -12p, 2nd and 4th Thursday 10a
Community meals Food for the Soul in Dorchester’s Grove Hall neighborhood, the restaurant is also helping to feed upwards of 1,000 people a day (as of article published mid-March)— from school children to seniors — in conjunction with Violence in Boston Inc. Call (617) 602-1042 for details. 
Grocery Delivery and friendly check-insGood Neighbors https://www.nesterlygoodneighbors.comFree deliveries and friendly check-ins for those at-risk for COVID-19. Get what you need safely, from a volunteer neighbor. Can request online or call (877) 958-8785
Meal Delivery Building Audacity–RH0GfhmB4DAbDF3A5ZeKyx9EEa5gEIuL4az8Z89RuNKw/viewform

NOTE: This resource may no longer be available based on supply. Please check link to confirm. 
Youth Food Delivery ProgramBuilding Audacity volunteers will be working with community organizations to deliver meals to families unable to access food sites in the Greater Boston area. 
Family RegistrationWe deliver 2-3 days worth of groceries free of charge on Monday and Thursday when we have enough food donations and volunteer drivers. If you know of any families in need of groceries, please have them register using the below link.
Supporting Neighbors in Need/Community Help Center Nextdoor up on the website required. Help Map so neighbors can mark their house with an icon to indicate they are available to help. And those who need help can use the map to find nearby volunteers and ask for help.
Meal Drop Off, and other community supports ICNA Relief: Muslims for Humanity Relief provides social services across the U.S. to the underprivileged and those affected by natural disasters.
COVID relief efforts include Meals on Wheels- team of volunteers go on the road to specific locations to give food to those in need. Door Step Deliveries – to the elderly and immuno compromised neighbors, our volunteers deliver boxes with essentials for cooking and hygiene products. 
Food Pantry and Community Meal Programs The Greater Boston Food

Partner Agency locator provides a list of food assistance options in each community served. Type in client zip code and identify local food sources (pantry, church, soup kitchen, etc).
Pre-packaged meals to go, pre-bagged groceries from food pantry Rosie’s Place rosieplace.orgA sanctuary for poor and homeless women. Shelter is currently full, other services in place. If you are in need of assistance, please call Rosie’s Place before coming. 617.442.9322. Pre-bagged groceries from their Food Pantry available between 8a-2p  
Pandemic EBT cards for families who qualify for free and reduced-price school meals Mass.gov addition to breakfast/lunch pickups, Pandemic-specific, individualized Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards are going to be available to all Massachusetts families with school-aged children who qualify for free and reduced-price school meals. This includes any student in a school that provided free meals to all students. 

Support with Employment / Income and Legal Services:

Purpose / Support with:Organization NameLink to websiteNotes:
Legal HelpLawyers for Civil Rights (LCR)Lawyers for Civil RightsNeed Legal Help or Support During COVID-19? LCR created a multilingual landing page to share multilingual information and will update it regularly.
Unemployment ResourceCity of BostonUnemployment ResourcesIf your hours have been cut due to COVID-19, you qualify for Unemployment Insurance. 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. Apply here:
Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Virtual Town Halls Sign up for a town hall presentationMassachusetts Department of Unemployment AssistanceUnemployment AssistanceThe Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Unemployment Assistance will be hosting daily virtual town hall meetings featuring a step by step process to achieve a successful unemployment claim. They will also take questions from claimants across the Commonwealth.The current virtual town hall schedule is:Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 3:30 PMMonday, March 23, 2020 at 9:00 AMTuesday, March 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM – Spanish Town HallWednesday, March 25, 2020 at 9:00 AMFriday, March 27, 2020 at 9:00 AMClick here to sign up for a virtual town hall via phone or online.
Financial ReliefUnion Capital Boston Visa Gift Card SupportGift Card SupportDo you live in the Greater Boston area? Are you in need of financial support due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) either because of school closings or lost wages?
If yes, please fill out this form and answer honestly. Union Capital Boston will order Visa gift cards on Friday, March 20 and take 7-10 days to arrive. We will divide the amount on each card evenly based on the amount of money raised. Do you know someone who can donate? Ask them to donate at:
Utility Bill assistance – COVID-19Utility Bill assistance – Mass.govUtility AssistanceIf you are having trouble paying your utility bills, here’s information you should know. State’s moratorium on electric and gas service shutoffs EXTENDED for the duration of the state of emergency for COVID-19
COVID-19 FAQs related to workers rightsLegal Aid at WorkLegal Aid at WorkCOVID-19 FAQs related to workers rights
Boston Rental Relief FundRental Relief FundThis program is for Boston resident households who lost household income due to COVID-19 and are having difficulty paying their rent, please refer them to the Boston Rental Relief Fund. This program is available to undocumented households.

Support with internet and technology:

Purpose / Support with:Organization NameLink to websiteNotes:
TechnologyBPS OIITOr call 311BPS LaptopsOr call 311Use this link to request a laptop delivery during BPS School Closure.
Free / Low-cost internetComcastOr call 311Comcast InternetOr call 311Comcast is taking immediate steps to help connect low-income families to the Internet at home. New Internet Essentials customers will receive two free months of Internet service, which is available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month plus tax. APPLY BY April 30, 2020.
Internet Access MA DOE link has a multitude of Out-of-School Access and Internet Safety resources
Free (first 2 mo.) / Low-cost internet for low-income familiesSee website  (i.e. Charter Spectrum, Optimum, Federal Communication Commission’s Lifeline program, Spectrum Internet Assist, Cox Connect, AT&T’s Access program) response to COVID-19 developments, some internet providers are offering free services to low-income families and households with students. See website for list of providers and current offerings. 

Support with home learning and academics:

Purpose / Support with:Organization NameLink to websiteNotes:
Resources for FamiliesBMC Autism Program – Resources for FamiliesResources for FamiliesAn amazing list of “Education and Daily Activities” and “Food, Finances, and Services” resources for families organized by the BMC Autism Program
Kids Daily NewsletterPBS Kids Daily NewsletterPBS Kids Daily NewsletterDaily newsletter of activities and tips to help kids play and learn at home. Sign up using the link!
Book ResourceChildren’s Book: COVIBOOK – My Name is CoronavirusChildren’s’ BookA free short book to support and reassure our children, under the age of 7, regarding the COVID-19. This book is an invitation for families to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation.

Information and Resources related to Coronavirus:

Purpose / Support with:Organization NameLink to websiteNotes:
Boston Public School UpdatesBPSBoston Public Schools Coronavirus UpdatesBPS updates and resources for Boston children and families including Free Lunch & Breakfast locations, staying digitally connected & virtual learning, tips for educators, and more
Boston Alerts and UpdatesCity of BostonBoston Alerts and Text UpdatesOr call 311To get regular updates on #covid19 from the City of Boston text BOSCOVID to 99411
Emergency Response to support vulnerable children and families United Way – MA Bay and Merrimack Valley resources, raising funds and distributing them to people in need, as quickly and efficiently as humanly possible is our expertise. 

Resources for Talking to Students/Children about COVID:

Purpose / Support with:Organization NameLink to websiteNotes:

Guidelines for helping children understand COVID


PBS appears to have various ideas/resources geared to parents and teachers in order to support talking to youth about COVID-19
    Infographic World Health Organization (WHO) Health Organization – Helping children cope with stress 
Resource List Child Mind Institute
The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders.
Health related cartoons for children Tiny Docs 
This is a graphic/story-like description that may be applicable for some of the questions being asked or concerns presented by students. One may choose to use certain pages rather than the whole document depending on relevancy and needs.  
Developmental guidelines Harvard guidelines based on age/developmental stage for parents talking to children about COVID. 
Additional related websites/resources
Teaching through COVID. Resource for educators. Talking to children about the current situation with COVID-19.   

Translation & Interpretation Resources

Purpose / Support with:Organization NameLinkNotes:
Interpreter over the phone or virtual meetingBPSTalk to your student’s teacher or Ms. Madeline ( have the right to request an interpreter and are encouraged to communicate with teachers in their preferred language..3 way Phone call with interpreter through LionBridge Telephonic ServicesVirtual meeting (Zoom) with BPS interpreter and teacher
MessagingSeeSaw Talk to your student’s teacher and families in K1- Grade 2 will use SeeSaw. Families can send and receive messages in their preferred language. Reach out to your student’s teacher with questions.
Messaging Talking Points App with your student’s teacher or email Ms. Madeline ( can send and receive text messages in their preferred language through the Talking Points app or text message. 
Written communicationGoogle and free translations.