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Assistance & Resources

Assistance & Resources

Several working groups and task forces, made up of City personnel, social service agencies and members of the faith-based and business sectors, have been established to help address the varied needs of our community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Caring for the public in time of crisis requires partnership and collaboration to ensure the necessary resources and assistance is delivered to those in need, especially those in our most vulnerable populations. Working groups include:

  • Elder Affairs
  • Food Security
  • Housing
  • Volunteerism
  • Well-Being and Mental Health

Community Resources

An Ear When You Need It

We understand that these are unprecedented times in all of our lives, which can lead to stress and pressure at home. Below are some important resources for when you need someone to talk to:

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  • Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Substance Abuse/Mental Health Helpline: 1-800-662-4357
  • Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
  • Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
  • YWCA Domestic Hotline: 508-755-9030 or visit their Live Chat
  • Safelink Domestic/Dating Violence: 1-877-785-2020
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
  • Local Mental Health Resources

COVID Housing Resources

On December 31, Governor Baker signed into law Chapter 257 of the Acts of 2020, which makes important changes to summary process rules and procedures that will be in effect until the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency. Please take note of the following new requirements:

  1. Until the end of the state of emergency, a notice to quit for nonpayment of rent given in writing by a landlord to a residential tenant pursuant to section 11 or section 12 of said chapter 186 of the General Laws must be accompanied by a form with certain information specified in the statute. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) is required by the law to create and make this form available. The form can be found at mass.gov/noticetoquit.
  2. The new law also requires a landlord to send to EOHED electronically a copy of any notice to quit for nonpayment of rent given in writing to a residential tenant pursuant to said section 11 or said section 12 of said chapter 186. EOHED has created a portal for landlords to upload the required electronic copy of the notice to quit. The portal for upload also can be found at mass.gov/noticetoquit.
  3. The new law also requires EOHED to promulgate emergency regulations implementing these provisions of the new law. The emergency regulations were filed with the Secretary of State, and became effective, on December 31. A copy of the regulations, as well as a link to the new law, are available at mass.gov/noticetoquit.

Learn More

City of Worcester Rental Assistance Program

The City of Worcester has contracted with five local housing agencies to administer $1.9 million in rental assistance to the residents of Worcester. These agencies include:

Please contact these agencies directly through phone numbers or emails. Most agencies are working remotely and cannot accept walk-ins.

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RAFT Funding

On October 12, 2020, Governor Baker announced that $100 million in RAFT funding is being made available for tenants struggling to pay rent. Locally, two agencies administer these funds - Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance (CMHA) and RCAP Solutions, Inc. Additional information about RAFT and other program and how to apply for funding can be found on their websites:

Fuel Assistance

Legal Assistance for Eviction

Directory of Available City of Worcester Resources

Employment Assistance

How to File for Unemployment

To file a new Unemployment Insurance claim or reopen an established claim online:

  1. Visit www.mass.gov/dua/uionline
  2. Select Log in to UI Online for Claimants.
  3. Create an UI Online account or log in to an existing account.
  4. Complete all information requested and submit application.
  5. Be sure to include phone number and email address to make it easier for connections, in case DUA has questions about application.

More information can be found on the How to File a Claim for Unemployment Pamphlet.

UI Online is available 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week. The call center phone line is 877-626-6800.

Career Continuity Resources

Employers in Central Massachusetts Need You: Apply Today! If you’re in good health and not considered high risk* for COVID-19, please make a difference by filling any of these critical jobs. In some cases, you can apply today and start tomorrow!

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Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.

Utility Assistance

As essential businesses, utility companies will continue to provide services during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, including emergency response and customer-requested service. Customers are encouraged to manage accounts online. Call-in service is still available but wait times may be longer. Those who are struggling to pay their bill should contact their utility company as soon as possible for assistance.

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