Community Resource Guide: Emergency Financial Assistance

Lend-A-Hand Society

Small (maximum $300) grants for needy families, elders, individuals; for back rent or utilities.

Requires a referral form and letter from a social service agency. You can get the evaluation and referral by visiting the WATCH Housing Clinic.

City of Waltham's Rental Assistance

The City of Waltham has two assistance programs for renters:

  1. Up to two months' rent arrears,
  2. First month's rent/security deposit.

At least one member of the family must be either a US citizen or a Documented Permanent Resident (for example, Green Card holder). Funds will be pro-rated if not all members of household meet these conditions.

To apply:

  1. For rent arrears, applicants must have a formal eviction notice, and be able to pay future rent. Bring copy of lease, and documentation of both client's income and of rent arrears (letter from landlord, notice to quit or court summons).  application here
  2. For first month's rent and security deposit, complete application with required documentation, then call 781-314-3380 to schedule an appointment.


Housing Division
25 Lexington Street

JFCS Emergency Assistance Program

Grants of up to $1000 for back rent or utilities, or first month's rent/security deposit. Serves individuals and families. Must complete detailed budget to apply, and must demonstrate ability to pay rent on a continuing basis after receiving assistance.

For assistance applying, visit the WATCH Housing Clinic to discuss, or call the JFCS Emergency Intake Line at 781-693-1388.

RAFT-State program, Administered by Metro Housing Boston

Appointments can be scheduled at WATCH, every other Tuesday - come to Housing Clinic first, or call 781-891-6689 x203, to be screened.

Services: Rent or utility arrears, or first month's rent/security deposit,  up to $4000, or families , individuals, or pregnant women who are either homeless or likely to become homeless, and need temporary assistance. Requires copy of court summons for evictions. Must demonstrate ability to pay rent on a continuing basis after receiving RAFT assistance.

Salvation Army 

Client must call first (phone number below) to make appointment.

1) United Way Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP) provides up to one month (only) rent & utility help for residents of Middlesex County who are not receiving subsidized housing. Can apply once per year.

2) Utility assistance for Waltham residents.

3) Utility assistance through Good Neighbor Energy Fund.

Waltham Location:

33 Myrtle St.
Waltham, MA, 02453

Perpetual Benevolent Fund

Services: rent, security deposit, utilities; for residents of Waltham, Watertown and Newton. (Maximum $500).

Requirements:  emergency, loss of job, or illness. Help is given once in a lifetime.

Process: Applications are reviewed by the Fund's Board of Trustees. Must provide documentation.

Pick up application at the Mayor's Office, City Hall, Waltham
Open Monday-Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

610 Main St. Waltham, MA, 02452; 781-314-3100; fax 781-894-9581

Fiske Fund

Services: one time help for utilities or phone. May be limited to $500. Money cannot be used for rent.
Requirements: must be working at least part time, Waltham resident. Must provide documentation.

Process: "Applications are reviewed by the Fiske Board of Trustees, who will respond in writing within two weeks."

Pick up application at theTreasurer's Office, City Hall, Waltham
610 Main St.
Waltham, MA, 02452
fax: 781-314-3260

St. Mary's Church, Waltham
Services: help with utilities
Contact Tim Buckley

133 School St.
Waltham, MA, 02451

Brookline Center

Services: Help with SD/FMR or back rent for residents of Waltham, Watertown, Newton and Brookline. Call for information.

41 Garrison Rd, Brookline; (617) 277-8107

Catholic Charities
Services: Help with utilities, rent and mortgage payments.

270 Washington St, Somerville; Call 617-471-2904

Marshall Home Fund 

Services: Emergency assistance
This service is for residents of Watertown, ages 55 and over only. Contact one of the agencies below for an application.

Watertown Council on Aging (617) 972-6490
Watertown Social Services Resources office (617) 744-9585
Springwell (Area Agency on Aging)  (617) 926-4100.

First Parish Church Lexington, Good Samaritan Fund

See their website for details; annual deadline is April 30th

Services: rental assistance, subsidies, housing searches
This service is for families at risk of eviction or in shelters.
*Must present a valid form of ID at front desk

105 Chauncy Street, Suite 502
Boston, MA, 02111
617-542-0338 (serving Greater Boston only)

678 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 502
Cambridge, MA, 02139
617-234-5340 (serving Cambridge only)

Just A Start Corporation, Cambridge(serves Watertown, but not Waltham)

Rent & utility arrears