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Homeless in Mass? Help from HomeBASE Program

Homeless in Mass? Help from HomeBASE Program

The Home Base Program (HomeBASE) is a helpful program offered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to help those who are homeless. In addition to helping you pay for your move-in costs, the program also covers furniture, a monthly rent stipend and more!


What does the Home Base Program cover?

First and foremost, the Home Base Program is a housing program. It provides assistance with your move-in expenses, including your first month’s rent, last month’s rent and your security deposit.


You may also receive up to $1,000 for furniture such as a refrigerator, beds, cribs, or other items. You may also receive a monthly stipend to help with your first year of rent, utilities, travel costs and other housing-related expenses. It appears that the total cap on benefits from this program is about $4,000, although this figure doesn’t include certain types of assistance.

While you’re involved in the Home Base Program, you’ll have a designated case worker who can help you resolve issues (including issues with your landlord) and connect you to additional helpful services, such as continuing education, child care, or other supportive services.


Who qualifies for the Home Base Program?

Families that qualify for the Emergency Assistance (EA) program qualify for HomeBASE, even if they aren’t already participating in EA.

To qualify for Emergency Assistance, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a resident of Massachusetts
  • Meet the income limits
  • Have needy children under the age of 21 (or be pregnant)

You must also be homeless or facing a housing crisis due to one of the following circumstances:

  • No-fault fire, flood, natural disaster or condemnation
  • Foreclosure
  • Fleeing domestic violence (current or within last 12 months)
  • No-fault eviction
  • Child(ren) are exposed to a substantial health and safety risk

How can I apply for the Home Base Program?

If you need to apply for a shelter, call (866) 584-0653 to speak to a Homeless Coordinator.

Otherwise, apply in-person at one of the ten office locations in Massachusetts. They have offices in Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Hyannis, Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford, Salem, Springfield and Worcester.


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Tuesday 4th of September 2018

Hi Nicole. I applied for home base and was denied because I have nothing from board of health.which I didn't get them involved.i aaplied for a appeal.which they said it wouldn't be for another 2-3 living out of my car with my 15 yr old daughter. Was told today that I can't even be put into a shelter due to being denied home base. Do you have any advise.

Chloe Skupnick

Sunday 9th of September 2018

Theresa, I know it's so hard to be facing that situation and it can be truly frustrating to deal with it. My best advice would be to contact your local assistance office or, if you already have a social worker, talk to them- they sometimes have some resources.

Another option would be to visit a local church or religious organization to see if they have anything available to help the community's homeless. They might not have a shelter, but they might be willing to put you up for a night or two. Meanwhile, I'm going to pass this along to Nicole to see if she has any other advice we could add to this! :)



Monday 27th of August 2018

Hello Nicole,

A desperate friend of mine had recently been granted funds from the Homebase program but has had zero luck in finding herself and her four year old son a steady and safe place to live. Do you have any advice on finding someone who would accept said program?

Nicole Thelin

Thursday 30th of August 2018

Hmm. I've never encountered that problem before! I would definitely recommend contacting the HomeBASE program directly, as they may be able to refer you to the landlords they're currently working with. You may also be able to get some help from a legal aid organization if she is being discriminated against. Personally, I would also look for units that accept Section 8 since they may be more willing to work with programs like HomeBASE. :\ I hope that helps!