Frequently Asked Questions


Do people have to pay to stay at Abby’s House?

Guests in our overnight shelter do not pay any fees. Residents in our affordable housing pay a monthly rental fee. Vouchers are accepted and rental assistance may be available according to income.

Since rental fees cover only a portion of the operating costs for these units, the remainder is covered by individual donations, Thrift Shop revenue, foundation and corporate grants, and money raised from special events.

Where can I park?

For visitors or volunteers coming to 52 High Street, there is a small parking lot behind the building, which offers a limited number of spaces. There is also on-street parking in the area and a parking garage across the street. For volunteers helping out at the shelter, there is a small lot behind the building which is generally reserved for volunteers.

How long can people live at Abby’s House?

The average stay at our overnight shelter has increased to 30 nights and is getting longer. There is no time limit on how long a resident can live in our service-enriched affordable housing units.

Where do shelter guests go during the day?

Shelter guests are out and about during the day. Some are trying to secure long-term housing or social service program placement, others are taking part in day programs, and others are working. Some stay with friends or relatives during the day, or come to the building at 52 High Street to use the Women’s Center or to meet with their Advocate.

Can residents and guests have pets?

For health and safety reasons, residents and guests are not permitted to have pets. However, Abby's House has partnered with the Paws for People pet therapy program, which has volunteers make weekly visits with their trained therapy dogs.

What services do you offer?

Abby’s House provides shelter, housing, and advocacy and support services to women, with or without children. Guests and residents can also access the Women's CenterThrift Shop and Food Services.

What are your hours of operation?

52 High Street: Weekdays from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, or by appointment.

Shelter: 5:30 pm - 8:00 am

Thrift Shop: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, Monday-Thursdays; 10:00 am - 2:00 pm on Fridays and 10:00 am - 1:00 pm on Saturdays.

Food Services: Lunch is served on Thursdays from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm.

When and where can I drop things off?

All donations need to be brought to Abby's House Main Offices, located at 52 High Street, Worcester, MA. Thrift Shop donations can be brought directly to the Thrift Shop during operating hours.

Please contact Jean Anger at (508) 756-5486 ext. 27 prior to organizing a food or clothing drive, and to coordinate the drop-off of donations.

How can I volunteer?

You can call or email our Volunteer Coordinator, Jean, at Abby’s House: 508.756.5486 ext. 27 or   Before contacting her, we encourage you to visit our volunteer page to obtain more information.

Can I volunteer if I am under 18 years of age?

Abby’s House welcomes volunteers ages 18 and up. Youth volunteers often work in groups off-site to prepare meals or raise funds to benefit Abby’s House. Read more here.

Where does your funding come from?

Funding for Abby's House comes from community, civic and religious groups and individuals like you.  We also raise funds from events, mailings, the sale of house pins, fees for services, rent, Thrift Shop revenue, and corporate and private foundation grants. To read more, visit the  Support Us section.

Where does money from the Thrift Shop go?

Proceeds from the Thrift Shop help support our overnight shelter, housing, advocacy and support programs. Abby’s runs one of two family shelters in the area that do not require its guests to be on welfare. This allows us to serve women from all circumstances, but means we do not accept state or federal government funding. Abby's House is able to meet the needs of women and children because of generous donations from individuals, groups and businesses, sales in the Thrift Shop, fundraising events and support from a handful of private and corporate foundations. 

What is the snow policy at Abby’s House?

Thrift Shop: When the Worcester Public Schools are closed, so is the Thrift Shop.

Shelter Volunteers: Shelter volunteers are encouraged to show up for their shift no matter what the weather.

Volunteers who need to discuss their volunteer assignment should email Jean Anger, Volunteer Coordinator or call her at 508-756-5486, ext. 27.  Any volunteer going to the Women’s Center should contact Katrina McNamara at 508-756-5486, ext. 15

Are you always full?

The census changes fairly frequently, so this is a difficult question to answer. Some nights our shelter is full; at other times, we do have beds available. In the instance we do not have space for a women or a family, we work hard to find an alternate place for them to go. Our housing units are usually full, but units become available from time to time. If you or someone you know needs shelter or housing, the best thing to do is to contact us directly by calling 508-756-5486. Click here to visit our shelter page for more information. Click here to learn more about affordable housing and to download an application.

How do I get to Abby’s House?

For directions to our main facility at 52 High Street, click here.