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Applying for Emergency Assistance Shelter

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Rosie's Place
Created June 2014

A Guide for families

Emergency Assistance is the shelter system for families in Massachusetts. EA shelter is run by the Department of Housing and Community Development or “DHCD.” Pregnant women and families with children are eligible. Your family must prove that you live in Massachusetts, and there must be one member of your family who has legal status in the U.S. Your income and assets must be very low.

Not having a place to stay is not enough for your family to get into shelter. You have to show you are homeless because of domestic violence, fire, flood or natural disaster, or certain kinds of eviction that were not your fault. You could also be eligible for shelter if you are staying in a very dangerous double-up situation, you are moving around from place to place, or if you have stayed in an unfit place like a car, emergency room or bus station.

This guide will help you understand how to apply for shelter and what documents you need to give to DHCD.

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