COVID-19: Public Resources
Resources for guests, partners*, and the public. Page will be continually updated.
- Women can call Rosie’s Place Advocacy Helpline at 617.318.0236.
- For general help, call 2-1-1 or use the HelpSteps app or at helpsteps.com.
- Boston residents can call 3-1-1.
Your Health & COVID-19
DO NOT avoid testing or treatment for lack of coverage!
- DON’T wait for medical help. Call your provider or Boston Health Line at 617.534.5050!
- MassHealth covers 100% of COVID-19 testing and treatment. Private insurance covers most, if not all, COVID-19 needs.
- For MassHealth Assistance, call 800.841.2900 (TTY 800.497.4648), or apply online.
General COVID-19 information:
- World Health Organization
- Centers for Disease Control
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health
- Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
- City of Boston
- How and where to find testing
Information may change often. Please check back.
Resources in alphabetical order:
Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF)
- Community and fitness centers are closed, click here for updates.
Education From Home
- ABCmouse offers activities for kids ages 2-8 (use code: AOFLUNICEF).
- Adventure Academy offers activities for kids 8-13 (use code: SCHOOL7771).
- Amazon and Audible offer free videos and stories for kids.
- Boston Children’s Museum has free online learning resources.
- Codecademy is offering 1-year of free Codecademy Pro to high school and college students.
- CovEd offers free tutoring to K-12 students for all school subjects from K-12, mentorship, and college preparation.
- Khan Academy offers free learning resources for parents.
- Massachusetts libraries have ebooks, audiobooks, and other resources. Boston Public Library has online resources on topics for all ages.
- Mass Department of Education has free online educational resources for parents and students.
- ReadingIQ offers books for children 12 and under (use code: AOFLUNICEF).
- PwC offers Free technology and financial literacy materials.
- WGBH offers resources for students, educators, families and more.
For Children with Special Needs
- Boston University offers materials for deaf kids, teachers, parents, and students.
- Mass Advocates For Children offers help for children with IEP and disabilities, call at 617.357.8431 ext. 3224 (English) or 617.357.8431 ext. 3237 (Espanol).
- The Cotting School offers resources for students with special needs.
- For learners with autism: Sight Words | Sequences for Autism | See. Touch. Learn | Supporting Individuals with Autism toolkit from UNC
- For learners with dyslexia: Sound Literacy | Dyslexia Quest | Happy Math Multiplication Rhymes
- For learners with writing difficulties: The Writing Machine | iWrite Words | Letter School
- Boston Public Library locations are closed and all events have been cancelled.
- Most municipal libraries have closed or modified services. Click here for an updated list of library closings and service changes.
- Massachusetts Libraries have many e-books, audiobooks, and other resources available online. Click here for more information.
Museums, Zoos, Aquariums, & other activities:
- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater offers free online performances and classes.
- Joshua Smith, Student Wholeness Specialist, is streaming Facebook puppet helping kids cope with the COVID-19 crisis, every weekday 10-10:30am.
- Mattapan Family Engagement hosts a virtual playgroup Mon. and Fri. 10:30 a.m.
- New England Aquarium offers educational animal videos.
- San Diego Zoo offers live cams of animals.
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA offers aquarium live streams.
- The National Aquarium, in Baltimore, MD offers aquarium live streams.
- The San Diego Zoo, CA offers live feeds and pre-recorded videos.
- The U.S. National Parks have set up free virtual ranger guided tours.
- Virtual tours: Museums across the world have set up free virtual museum tours, famous theater stages across the word have set up free virtual tours, the U.S. National Parks have set up free virtual ranger guided tours
Cash Assistance and DTA
- Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) local offices are closed to in-person visits until further notice. Call your local DTA office to apply for cash assistance.
- DTA is stopping negative case actions for TAFDC and EAEDC during the COVID-19 crisis.
- If you have questions or problems with your cash benefits, call the Greater Boston Legal Services’ Welfare Law Unit at (617) 603-1806.
Childcare and Schools
- All group child care programs in MA are closed until at least June 29.
- Anyone with a child care subsidy now will keep their subsidy once child care centers reopen across the state.
- Priority access to emergency childcare is given to vulnerable children and the children of families designated as “COVID-19 Essential Workforce.”
- Search for available FREE emergency childcare programs here.
- All K-12 schools are closed (except residential special education schools), More information is available from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
- Boston Public Schools are providing Chromebooks to students without a laptop.
- Boston area colleges have closed and are mostly transitioning to online education.
- Call 911 if you are in danger right now.
- For support, connecting with an advocate, or finding a shelter bed, call SafeLink at 877.785.2020, Casa Myrna Vasquez at 800.992.2600, or see Jane Doe's list of Massachusetts domestic violence programs.
- Each court has a different process for handling restraining orders due to the pandemic. For help with a restraining order, call SafeLink at 877.785.2020 or the Legal Program at 617.318.0271.
- Click here for additional information and legal resources for survivors.
Finances, Debt, and Taxes
Managing Finances During COVID-19 (From EMPath’s Financial Specialist)
- Tell your financial institution (bank, creditor, student loan servicer) if you experience financial hardship and ask about options, like lower interest payments, changing the bill due date, temporary relief, etc.
- Be ready to talk about your situation. Write down a timeline, important dates, and what expenses you have.
- Find more resources from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and CNBC.
Student Loans and Debt Collection
- Click here for recent changes to student loans policies due to COVID-19.
- Contact the MA Attorney General Office Student Loan Assistance line at (888) 830-6277 for help with student loans and click here to learn more.
- Contact the MA Attorney General Office Consumer Advocacy & Response Division at (617) 727- 8400 for help with debt and consumer issues and click here to learn more.
- Personal income taxes must now be filed by July 15, 2020.
- Find information about filing taxes for free in Massachusetts here and with the federal government here.
- If you worked in 2019 and earned less than $56,000, you may be eligible for free tax preparation assistance from the Boston Tax Help Coalition. Click here for more information.
Direct payments from the government
- A recent federal stimulus bill to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic includes “economic impact payments,” or giving money directly to eligible people.
- Call the IRS at (800) 919-9835 for questions about your eligibility and payment.
Tax and Payment Scams
- People may try to steal your money and/or use your personal information to commit fraud. Click here for tips from the IRS on how to protect yourself.
Food Assistance and School Meals
- Hotline: If you need help with finding food or applying for food assistance, call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline, 800.64.-8333 (TTY 1.800.377.1292).
- Food pantries: use Greater Boston Food Bank’s search tool to find local programs.
- Food in Boston: the City of Boston has a list of food programs and a map of locations.
- Stores: Gov. Charlie Baker ordered grocery stores and pharmacies to offer 1 hour a day of shopping for adults over 60 years old. Check your local store’s websites for details.
SNAP (Food Stamps)
For SNAP Applicants
- This short video highlights major SNAP changes and how to apply.
- Check your SNAP eligibility with this SNAP Screening Tool.
- To apply for SNAP, call the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) at 877.382.2363, visit DTAConnect.com, or download the DTA Connect mobile app.
- New EBT cards will be received by mail only within 5-10 days. People experiencing homelessness can use a shelter address to receive their card.
For Current SNAP Recipients
- No one receiving benefits will lose their benefits during this time.
- SNAP benefits below the maximum will receive a supplement up to the maximum.
- SNAP will be extended for 6 months if you are due for a SNAP recertification.
- SNAP work requirement for adults without dependents has been suspended.
- Reminder: you can give permission for someone to friends, family, or trusted people to use your EBT card for you without paperwork.
EBT for School Children (Pandemic EBT/P-EBT)
- While schools are closed all school children will receive an additional benefit per child in school in the form of a P-EBT card for purchases of additional food.
- For families with SNAP, P-EBT will be added directly to your family EBT card.
- For families without SNAP, you will receive a P-EBT card in the child’s name; the PIN will be your child’s date of birth.
- Parents don’t need to do anything to receive their school children’s P-EBT benefits.
Healthy Incentives Program (HIP)
- As part of HIP, SNAP recipients get $1 for each $1 spent on eligible fruits and vegetables, up to a monthly limit, at participating farmers' markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs.
- Find a HIP vendor close to you. Not all vendors are operating, please verify their availability at the site of the site of your interest.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- WIC Programs are available by phone at 800.942.1007, Monday-Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Apply for WIC online here.
- Find an online list of WIC vendors here and a map here.
- Download the WICShopper App for online tools and resources.
Health care and COVID-19 testing
IMPORTANT: COVID-19 testing and treatment DO NOT count as a public charge for immigrants.
- Call your healthcare provider if you need medical assistance.
- If you are outside, keep safe a 6 foot distance and/or wear a mask.
- Click here for state-wide COVID-19 testing resources.
- The YMCA offers free online classes for all.
- Boston Public Schools offer extra support for kis who may need it during this time.
- MA Department of Mental Health, the CDC, and Vital Village, offer many resources.
- Sesame Street and PositivePsychology offer additional resources and activities for children and teens.
- Find additional resources here.
- Health Insurance
Housing and Shelter
- Click here for a list of shelters for single individuals.
- Families can call 866.584.0653 to apply for DHCD family shelter. If you are denied family shelter, call Rosie’s Place Legal program at 617.318.0271.
- Click here for resources for people experiencing homelessness.
- Call Rosie’s Place Advocacy Helpline at 617.318.0236 for help and referrals.
- Call Boston’s Office of Housing Stability at 617.635.4200 for help with rental assistance and other housing needs.
- HousingWorks is a great tool to search for housing and find resources.
- Apply online at Metro Housing Boston for help with eviction, foreclosure, loss of utilities, and other housing emergencies through the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program.
- If you have a housing voucher or live in public/subsidized housing, notify your property manager and/or housing authority about income changes as soon as possible. Keep pay stubs, layoff notices, bills, and other proofs for rent adjustments.
- As of April 20, a new law in Massachusetts protects against most evictions and foreclosures for 120 days or 45 days after the end of the state of emergency, whichever is shorter.
If you can’t pay rent and tell your landlord about financial hardship and change in income and expenses within 30 days of rent due date:
- You cannot be evicted or receive a new eviction notice.
- You cannot be locked out or removed from your home.
- You cannot get late fees or negative credit reports.
Your landlord can:
- Use “last month’s rent” for expenses like repairs and utilities.
- Evict you for criminal, health, or safety violations.
- If your landlord tries to evict or lock you out, call Rosie’s Place Legal Program at 617.318.0271.
- Continue to pay rent if you can. The new law does not forgive rent payments.
Boston Housing Authority
- BHA is limiting in-person contact, but is available on-site and by phone at 617.988.4000.
- If you received a BHA voucher and need more time to look for an apartment, call the BHA Leased Housing Department at 617.988.4400.
Metro Housing Boston (MHB)
- MHB’s office is closed, but staff are working remotely. Click here for more information about their services.
- Email housing questions to MHB at ResourceLine@metrohousingboston.org. If you have a voucher and need help, email Gateway@MetroHousingBoston.org.
- RAFT pre-applications may be submitted online here.
Internet, Computers and Phone
Free and Low-Cost Internet
- Click here to learn about Comcast’s 60 days of free WiFi for new Internet Essentials customers who apply by April 30 and are approved. After the promotion, regular rates apply.
- Click here for free and low-cost internet programs.
Free and Low-Cost Computers
- Click here for free and low-cost computers.
- Tech Goes Home has free technology training and Chromebook laptops for $50; PCs for People has low-cost WiFi and computers; Computer Care and Learning has low-cost computers.
- IMPORTANT: Testing and treatment for COVID-19 will NOT count as a public charge.
- Women seeking immigration advice can call the Rosie’s Place Legal Program at (617) 318-0271.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices are closed to the public. Click here for information and resources if you have a pending case.
- Immigrants without access to benefits can click here for help near you, click here, and call 211 to ask about the United Way’s COVID-19 Family Support Fund.
- The Mass. Law Reform Institute has a list of important immigration updates during COVID-19.
- Click here for resources from MIRA Coalition in multiple languages.
- Call the Trial Courts helpline for general questions about cases and navigating the court system at (833) 912-6878 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm). Courts are closed to the public, except for emergency matters, until at least July 1. Call Rosie’s Place Legal Program at (617) 318-0271 if you need help.
- Most eviction cases will not be heard until courts re-open, but some emergency situations may be heard before then. Click here to learn more.
- A new bill as of April 20 stops most eviction cases and sheriffs/constables enforcing executions (48 hour notice of move out).
Small Claims Court
- Small claims cases are postponed until at least July 1. Click here to learn more about small claims and debt collection.
Playgrounds and Parks
City of Boston parks are open, but playgrounds, fitness equipment, and sports fields/courts are closed.
*Si necesita ayuda para solicitar seguro de desempleo en español, visite la página web de asistencia en español del estado.
Call the MA Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division hotline at (617) 727-3465 for help with unfair treatment at work. Note: All workers, regardless of immigration status, have certain rights in Massachusetts.
If you have been laid off, terminated, or given decreased hours, you may be eligible for unemployment assistance.
- Apply for Unemployment by calling at (617) 626-6800 or (877) 626-6800, or visiting this website. Click here for instructions on how to apply.
- If you need help, call Greater Boston Legal Services at (617) 603-1530 (español) or (617) 603-1639 (all other languages), or fill out this short form.
- To contact the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), fill out this form and someone will call you.
- Click here for help if you may be a victim of unemployment benefits fraud.
Changes to Unemployment due to COVID-19
- Some workers who were ineligible for regular unemployment, like gig workers and independent contractors, may now qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Click here to learn more.
Looking for Work
- Click here for a list of mutual aid networks, compiled by MA Jobs with Justice, from communities across Massachusetts offering all types of support and resources.
- Emergency relief funds for Massachusetts workers (from MA Jobs with Justice).
- Boston COVID-19 Community Care.
- Boston Youth Resources.
- People’s Coronavirus Response - Greater Boston Area (Facebook group).
- Disaster and emergency relief resources from Philanthropy Massachusetts.
- Union Capital Boston has established a one-time direct gift campaign to send $150 Visa gift cards to those who need it urgently in the Greater Boston area. Click here to be added to the support request list and here to donate.