Imagine having nowhere to go; nowhere to sleep, eat or shower. Now, imagine having to take care of children too. Where would you go?
Since 1976, women in these circumstances have been coming to Abby's House for help. When it opened, Abby's House was one of the first homeless shelters for women in the United States. Since then, we have helped more than 11,500 homeless women and children reclaim and rebuild their lives. At Abby's, we help women move out of the chaos of homelessness and regain their independence.
"If it weren't for Abby's House, I would have frozen to death in my car this winter, because that's where I was living. You can't imagine what that's like. Abby's House took me in. They helped me figure out a way to get out of my situation and find a place to live. Without them, I would probably be dead." -- a recent shelter guest
Staffed by a Shelter Advocate and more than 60 regular volunteers, the Abby’s House Emergency Shelter is open year-round and serves hundreds of homeless women and children from across Central Massachusetts each year. It is one of two family shelters in the area that does not require its guests to be on welfare, which allows us to serve women from all circumstances, but means we are not eligible to receive state or federal funding.
The average stay at our shelter used to be 11 nights, but has increased to 27. This means that we sometimes need to use our rental units as an extension of our shelter, which, in turn, reduces the amount of rent we take in. It costs $157,650/year to run the shelter, but we receive only $15,500 in grants. The remainder comes from individual contributions and sales in our Thrift Shop. If we had to pay staff to provide coverage instead of having a dedicated corps of volunteers, it would cost an additional $69,500 to shelter the women and children who turn to us for help.
To make a donation to the shelter, use the blue donate button to the right.
If you are at least 18 years of age and would like to volunteer, please fill our our Volunteer Application Form.