Family Fund

family fund united way mass bay

United Way has administered emergency assistance and flexible funds through its Family Fund since 1976. These grants are specifically to benefit individuals and families in “last resort” situations after the existing public or private sources of aid have been exhausted. The funds are to assist individuals or families with an unanticipated emergency (ie., job loss, health crisis) or to help someone enrolled with one of our partner agencies take steps toward the attainment of financial goals.

There are no income eligibility guidelines.

In FY19, United Way administered $337,906 in Family Fund grants to more than 50 agencies throughout Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. These agencies responded to more than 1,800 requests from families facing housing or food insecurity, fuel/utility arrearages, and other emergency needs. The average award was $243. This does not include disbursements to food pantries, a large anonymous donation to benefit seniors and additional emergency support specifically for the Merrimack Valley gas explosion. 

Year after year, agencies continue to report significant unmet needs.  In FY19 alone, that was the inability to fulfill 5,742 requests due to a lack of funding with an estimated $3M necessary to meet those needs.  The unmet need for fuel and utility assistance alone was over $2M.

“I have a lot of folks who can barely make their rent in this current housing crisis who are at risk of getting their utilities shut off because they have to pay one thing over the other. A lot of folks in this area have experienced a staggering increase in their utility bills after the 9/13/2018 Merrimack Valley explosion.”


  • Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence
  • American Red Cross
  • Casa Myrna Vasquez
  • Catholic Charities
  • Emmaus Inc
  • Family Aid Boston
  • Family Access of Newton
  • Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Greater Lawrence CAC
  • HomeStart
  • HAWC
  • Mass Alliance of Portugal Speakers
  • Project Hope
  • ROCA
  • Somerville Homeless Coalition
  • St. Vincent de Paul (St. Mary’s)
  • Seacoast Youth Services
  • The Community Food Pantry
  • Transition House
  • Wellspring House Inc
  • The Dover Food Pantry
  • Fairtide
  • Homeless Ctr. Strafford Cty.
  • Share Fund
  • New Generation
  • CONNECT (The Neighborhood Dev)
  • Action Inc
  • Cambridge Family & Children’s Services
  • Community Teamwork
  • Community Action Partnership (Strafford Cty)
  • Elizabeth Stone House
  • Family & Children Services of Gr. Lynn
  • Father Bill’s & MainSpring
  • Heading Home Inc
  • Housing Families
  • Lynn Housing Authority (LHAND)
  • Metro Housing Boston
  • Quincy Community Action Program
  • Stars
  • St. Vincent de Paul (St John’s)
  • St. Vincent de Paul (Exeter)
  • The Open Door
  • Crossroads House
  • Urban Edge
  • Victory Programs
  • Revolution Food Program
  • Haven Violence Prevention & Support
  • Seacoast Family Promise
  • My Friend’s Place
  • Lynn Economic Opportunity
  • Action For Boston Comm. Dev.