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General information about resources for MA residents:
United Way information line: 211
Every day, someone somewhere in Massachusetts needs to find essential community
services, an after school program, a food bank, or where to secure care for an aging parent.
Many face these challenges, but don't always know where to turn for help.

                              The solution is to dial 2-1-1.

With the support of social service organizations that provide health and human services
throughout Massachusetts and in collaboration with Massachusetts Association of
Information and Referral Specialists (MAIRS) the United Way introduces this statewide
Information & Referral System.

On-line, an extensive list of resources for MA is available at:


For more extensive information and before choosing a credit counseling agency,
please refer to:

One non-profit credit counseling service in MA is:

Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Southern New England (CCCS) is a non-profit
organization which provides “personalized financial counseling, which is conducted in
person, over the telephone and Internet on a strictly confidential basis, helps clients resolve
financial difficulties and achieve long-term financial well-being.”

They can be reached at:      1-866-889-9347

Their website is:

One on-line resource for financial assistance:

Phone: (212) 463-7042. Call during normal business hours, which are 9:00am to
5:00pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

They reportedly provide some small grants to assist with one-time bills to eligible individuals
and families.

Are you affected by a disaster?
The Federal government has developed a website of resources which can be accessed

Contact Numbers (from the website):
There are many government agencies and non-government organizations providing disaster

Below is a quick list of basic numbers and a link to a more comprehensive list.

FEMA Help Numbers:
1-800-621-FEMA (3362); Hearing or speech impaired: 1-800-462-7585

24-Hour Toll-Free Line for any questions about government:

Centers for Disease Control (CDC): To contact the CDC, dial 1-800-CDC-INFO, 1-888-
232-6348 (TTY) or via email at

Disaster Telephone Hotlines

Call 1 (800) FED INFO (1-800-333-4636) for any question about Government.
 Call the
National Contact Center if you have questions about government services, but don't know
what agency to contact.

More numbers are available at website:


Food Source Hotline: 1-800-645-8333

The Food Source Hotline can help you to find food resources within your local community
and can also help you to determine if you are eligible for Food Stamps. Assistance is
available in multiple languages.

The following agencies provide free legal assistance to eligible individuals on the North
Shore. More information about Legal Services can be found at:

                        Neighborhood Legal Services - NLS/Lynn
         Director: Sheila C. Casey, Esq.        Main Phone: 781-599-7730
                                                Toll Free: 8007475056
         37 Friend Street                       TTY: 781-599-7730
         Lynn, MA 01902                         Fax: 781-595-2022

            Merrimack Valley-North Shore Legal Services - MVLS/Lowell
         Director: Kenneth F. MacIver, Jr.       Main Phone: 978-458-1465
                                                 Secondary Phone: 978-458-7701
         35 John St., Suite 302                  Toll Free: 8003362262
         Lowell, MA 01852                        TTY: 978-452-4740
                                                 Fax: 978-458-3481

Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service:
Toll-free in Massachusetts: (866) MASS-LRS, or (866) 627-7577.
In the Boston area: (617) 654-0400.

More detailed information is available on-line at:

Fuel Assistance
Wondering if you are eligible for Fuel Assistance? You may be eligible for Fuel Assistance
even if you rent your home.

Contact the following agencies for more information: or if your town is not listed, please call
the Massachusetts Heat Line toll-free at 1-800-632-8175 for information. You will need
documentation of your income and heating costs when you apply. You may apply any time
during the heating season.

Residents of Marblehead, Salem, Peabody, Beverly and Danvers
NSCAP (North Shore Community Action Program)
98 Main Street
Peabody, MA 01960

Residents of: Lynn, Nahant, Lynnfield, Wakefield, Swampscott, Saugus
LEO Inc. (Lynn Economic Opportunity)
156 Broad Street
Lynn, MA 01901

Residents of: Gloucester, Ipswich, Rockport, Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea and
Action, Inc.
47 Washington Street
Gloucester , MA 01930
(978) 281-3900
1-800-696-9276 - Toll Free

Oil Assistance: The Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program
This program makes it possible for eligible households to purchase oil at a discounted rate.
To find out if you are eligible, please contact them at 1-877-JOE-4-OIL (1-877-563-4645).

Good Neighbor Fund
If you are not eligible for Fuel Assistance, you may be eligible for help from the Salvation
Army’s Good Neighbor Fund, which offers one-time grants for eligible consumers. For
more information about eligibility criteria and where to apply, please call 1 (800) 334-3047 in
area codes 617/508/781/978 or 1 (800) 262-1320 in area code 413.

Utility Discounts:
Do you receive assistance such as SSI or Medicaid/Masshealth? You may be eligible for
discounts in your phone as well as electric and gas bills. Ask your utility company.

Balanced billing or a payment plan: Are you having difficulty keeping up with
utility payments? Ask your utility company about the possibility of arranging for balanced
billing or a payment plan.

Energy Conservation:
There are a variety of programs currently available to assist consumers with conserving
energy and thereby lowering costs in their homes. Call The Residential Efficiency and
Renewable Energy Hotline at 1 (866) 527-SAVE for more information.

Contact either the hotline above or your gas or electric company to request information about
you can arrange a no-cost energy audit of your home whether you own or rent.


The Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) assists people who are eligible
for Fuel Assistance with weatherizing their homes to decrease energy costs. For further
information about this program contact your Fuel Assistance agency (NASCAP OR LEO)
listed above.

Questions about your utility bills?
If you have a billing dispute with your utility company that you cannot resolve with the
company, you may contact the Department of Telecommunications and Energy,
Consumer Division at the following number: (617) 305-3531 or 1-800-392-6066 (toll free).

Massachusetts now requires that everyone in the state have health insurance, except for
some people who have been determined to be exempt due to financial or other special

For more information about the requirement and about health insurance available through the
state, you may contact the Commonewealth Connector by phone:
Call 1-877-MA-ENROLL (1-877-623-6765). Listen for the Commonwealth Care or
Commonwealth Choice options.

More information about the requirement and the options is available on-line at:

For assistance with possibly lowering your prescription costs or questions about your
medications or prescription drug coverage you may contact:
MassMedline: 1-866-633-1617
MassMedLine is a public-private partnership between the Executive Office of Elder Affairs
and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. MassMedLine, started in
2001 through the efforts of MCPHS President Charles F. Monahan, Jr., is a free non-profit
program that assists Massachusetts residents in obtaining affordable prescription drugs and
information about their medication. With one call to MassMedLine and a brief intake with a
program specialist, callers are assessed for any eligible programs and assisted with
enrollments and any other forms needed. MassMedLine is available to Massachusetts
residents of all ages.

Do you have things that you need assistance with? Do you have talents and skills that
you could share with other people? The Lynn Time Bank may be right for you. It
provides the opportunity for people to exchange skills and tasks without any financial
burden. Please contact them directly for further information.

Lynn Time Bank
P.O. Box 46
Lynn, MA 01903

Phone: 781-593-1800
Fax: 781-593-1858

Mission Statement

To build community through neighbors helping neighbors, exchanging skills and talents.

All ages are encouraged to join!

Everyone has something of value to share with another person. People of all ages and from
all towns may join the Lynn Time Bank. Young people may be able to help with snow
shoveling or leaf raking, and might teach someone how to use a computer. Our senior
citizens are valuable resources to teach skills such as cooking, music, or anything else!
Everyone is welcome!

North Shore Career Center

70 Washington Street, 1st Floor
Salem, MA 01970
Phone: 978-825-7200
Fax: 617-727-5989
181 Union Street
Lynn, MA 01901

Phone: 781-593-0585
Fax: 617-727-3712
11-15 Parker Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

Phone: 978-283-4772 Fax: 617-727-5975

Operation ABLE:

Operation ABLE assists people 45 years and older with seeking employment. They also
have some training programs. From their website:

Products and Services for the Mature Job Seeker

Job Search Resources including a Resource Room with computer stations and fast internet
connections for writing resumes and cover letters and conducting online job searches. Employment
listings and job fair announcements are posted as well. Individual coaching and counseling sessions
are available for modest fees, as well as individualized computer skills training.

Training Options include Operation EmployABLE, a 19-week computer, office skills and job search
training program for mature job seekers who have little or no knowledge of computers. Operation
Service! is a shorter 6-week class that is available for mature job seekers who need a quick review
of the Microsoft software applications, but also need intensive job search assistance. Both of these
programs are fee based but there are several tuition options.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is available for low-income mature
job seekers 55 and older who live in Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk and Worcester counties and meet
the income guidelines. This creative Department of Labor program allows the job seeker to earn a
stipend while conducting community service at a non-profit or government agency, get on-the-job
training, and learn how to search for a job. The ultimate goal is to find unsubsidized work.

General Information

Operation A.B.L.E. of Greater Boston, Inc.
131 Tremont Street
Suite 301
Boston, Massachusetts 02111-1336

Phone: 617.542.4180
Fax:    617.542.4187

Possible assistance with pets:

Pawsitive Connections:

5 Blackburn Center
Gloucester, MA 01930

Business Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm

Office: 866-927-1050 | 978-281-1750

                                                                                                             93 Washington Street, Salem, MA 01970
Salem City Hall                                                                                                                    ph: 978-745-9595

Foreclosure Prevention & Legal Resources

 Specifically, Freddie Mac servicers and foreclosure attorneys were told to contact as quickly as possible an estimated 6,000 borrowers with
 foreclosure sales scheduled between November 26, 2008 and January 9, 2009. If the property is occupied, the servicers and foreclosure attorneys
 will halt the sale. This temporary suspension of foreclosure sales will not apply to vacant single family properties. Additionally, no evictions will be
 completed between November 26 and January 9. The suspension will help servicers implement the Streamlined Modification Program recently
 announced by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), HOPE Now and 27 mortgage servicers. The temporary
 suspension is also expected to give servicers more time to help borrowers avoid foreclosure.

Below are links that can help you avoid predatory lending, prevent foreclosure, access legal services and more:

What is the subprime mortgage crisis? Wikipedia discusses all the players and their roles.

Foreclosure Prevention Clinics and Seminars

Click here for Foreclosure Prevention Clinics being sponsored by North Shore Community Action Programs.
 Participants do not have to pre-register but they are free to call before with questions. Participants do NOT need to
have a notice from the bank. As soon you know you can’t maintain your mortgage payments, you should attend a
Click here for are Homeowner Foreclosure Prevention Workshops sponsored by governor Deval L. Patrick and the
Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development.

Foreclosure Prevention
Most foreclosure prevention counseling services are free of charge for all Massachusetts homeowners who are at risk
of losing their homes. You do not have to wait until you get a notice from your lender. If you are having trouble paying
your debts or think you might have trouble in the future, you can get free help. Some programs have specific eligibility

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), “How to Avoid Foreclosure”

An alliance between counselors, servicers, investors, and other mortgage market participants

Center for Responsible Lending
A nonproift, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by
working to eliminate abusive financial practices. Recently published the Subprime Spillover Report.

"Help for Homeowners" Lenders
The federal government and the mortgage industry have partnered to assist those homeowners who have been
negatively impacted by recent changes in the economy, or are concerned about the future. The mortgage lenders
listed below are voluntarily participating in this special effort. If your lender is listed here, you can help protect your
home by contacting them immediately!

Project Lifeline (article from
During February 2008, a program called "Project Lifeline" was announced. Six of the largest U.S. lenders, in
partnership with the Hope Now Alliance, agreed to defer foreclosure actions for 30 days for homeowners 90 or more
days delinquent on payments. The intent of the program is to encourage more loan adjustments, to avoid foreclosures.

Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Massachusetts
CCCS at 100 Cummings Center, Bevelry, MA 01915, 978-922-5655, is a non-profit, HUD approved housing
counseling agency.

www.mortgagerelief fund
Every day we hear more and more about families facing rising mortgage costs and the very real possibility of losing
their homes. To help prevent that from happening, five banks in New England have partnered together - with the
encouragement of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston - to provide assistance to homeowners before the threat of
foreclosure becomes a reality.

MassHousing MyCommunity Refinance Loans
Refinancing your mortgage through MassHousing can save you money and reduce the risk of high payments in the

MassHousing Home Saver Program
Home Saver Foreclosure Prevention Fact Sheet
Home Saver Participating Lenders

Homeowner Options for Massachusetts Elders (H.O.M.E.)
H.O.M.E. is a non-profit agency that helps elder Massachusetts residents keep their homes, protect their equity, and
get support services so they can stay in their homes. H.O.M.E. services are free to seniors who meet these eligibility
Massachusetts homeowner with only one residence
60 years of age or older (50 if at risk of losing your home)
Annual income less than $28,000 individual / $34,000 couple
Telephone: 1-800-583-5337

Hope for Homeowners
The Homeownership Preservation Foundation is an independent, nonprofit counseling service provided by the
Homeownership Preservation Foundation which creates partnerships with local governments, nonprofit organizations,
borrowers and lenders to help families overcome obstacles that could result in the loss of their homes. If you feel like
you may be in danger of facing foreclosure, call our 888-995-HOPE hotline. Our HUD-approved counselors are
experts in foreclosure prevention and trained to set up a plan of action designed just for you and your situation. The
help we offer is free. Click here for Federal Housing Administration Site that announces changes in the H4H program
in order to allow more homeowners who are having difficulty making their mortgage paymetns take advantage of this

Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA)
NACA is a national non-profit advocacy and homeownership organization. NACA's Refinance Program offers new
loans to eligible homeowners with unaffordable mortgages. NACA's Home Save program gives counseling and
financial assistance to eligible homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure. All services are free. NACA's Information
and Refinancing Services line: 1-888-302-NACA

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is the nation's largest community organization
of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities. Families at risk
of losing their homes should contact a nonprofit housing counseling agency such as ACORN Housing. They should
also speak to their lenders. Half of those who lose their homes through foreclosure never attempted to negotiate. Call
1-866-67-ACORN if you or someone you know is in danger of losing a home as a result of a subprime loan.
This site has various consumer news, including steps you can take to avoid losing your home and ruining your credit.

Predatory lending

Freddie Mac Don't Borrow Trouble
Don’t Borrow Trouble is a nationwide campaign to help borrowers protect themselves from predatory lending practices
and to assist victims of predatory lending. This web page is available in English and Spanish.

Mortgage Brokers Association
Includes information on warning signs of predatory lending, how to report predatory lending and other information for
mortgage borrowers.
Contact: (800) 348-3931

National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)
NCRC runs the Consumer Rescue Fund, which helps consumers determine if they have a predatory loan and works
with borrowers who are victims of predatory lending practices.

Legal Resources & Information

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Tenant Rights, Laws and Protections: Massachusetts

                                                                                                                           10 provides basic legal information and links to local legal service agencies. Legal advice is
provided by Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc.

Other Resources

NeighborWorks America
NeighborWorks is a national nonprofit organization created by Congress to provide financial support, technical
assistance, and training for community-based revitalization efforts. Together, with national and local partners,
NeighborWorks creates new opportunities for residents while improving communities.

Freddie Mac Buying and Owning a Home
Freddie Mac offers an online tutorial can help you look at your current situation and determine if you are you ready for
homeownership. This web page is available in English and Spanish.

Freddie Mac Credit Smart and Credit
Financial literacy and good credit is a key component to achieving homeownership. Freddie Mac offers this online
self-tutorial to help you build a sound financial future. This web page is available in English and Spanish.

Housing Consumer Education Centers
Housing Consumer Education Centers offers tenants, landlords and homeowners referrals to help solve housing

Housing Discrimination

Do you think you have been a victim of fair housing discrimination?
The following agencies may be helpful in answering your fair housing questions:

The Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston - 617-399-0491 (TTY users, please clal MA Relay Service at 1-800-439-

North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc. (NSCAP) - 978-531-0767

Neighborhood Legal Services - 781-599-7730

MA Commission Against Discrimination - 617-994-6000

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity Office - 800-827-5005