HomeStart Renew Collaborative

Every year in Massachusetts, thousands of people are evicted from their homes because they can’t pay their rent. It’s expensive for both sides, costing landlords thousands of dollars and leaving families homeless.

What if there were a way to divert the money spent on evictions and instead put it to work keeping families in their homes and giving them a chance at stability? That’s the big idea behind HomeStart’s Renew Collaborative, a disruptive social innovation launched with active participation from United Way. The Collaborative convenes partners from homeless service agencies and mobilizes new ways to bring resources to families facing eviction.

Offering Solutions

The Renew Collaborative found early funding as a winning submission to the IF Challenge, a collaboration between United Way and the Boston College School of Social Work looking for innovations that would reduce family homelessness in Massachusetts.

Initially, the Collaborative was a pilot with the Boston Housing Authority that worked with tenants facing imminent eviction. As part of the program, tenants were offered short-term, intensive case management, assistance with landlord negotiations, and access to small grants to help pay down owed rent, eventually leading to long-term support to help them remain financially stable in their homes.


The results in Boston are promising. HomeStart found that even one-year out, 97% of families they assisted remained in their homes in good financial standing. Four years later, 87% were still stable.

HomeStart took these positive results to other property owners, looking to replicate the Renew Collaborative in a larger area. Homestart is now a United Way Lead Partner, and we’re working with them to scale the Renew Collaborative outside of Boston, with assistance from service providers in communities across our footprint.

Collaboration: It’s What We Do

The Renew Collaborative is a hallmark of United Way’s approach to cross-sector collaboration and partnership. United Way brings together the providers and funders who are best positioned to offer services and resources on the ground in their communities. We act as their shared connection, allowing them to find solutions and scale their impact to new communities. Such solutions address entrenched problems like homelessness, helping families stay safe and secure in their homes.

United Way is currently seeking philanthropic partners to support scaling of the Renew Collaborative, as well as partners in private property development to explore its replication across a wider area.

For more information about the Renew Collaborative, contact Sarah Bartley at