Opened in 1976 as one of the country’s first homeless shelters for women, Abby’s House (Abby Kelley Foster House, Inc.) has provided more than 13,000 women and children with shelter, housing and advocacy. With 78 units of affordable housing, Abby’s House is Worcester’s largest provider of affordable and supportive housing specifically designed to meet the needs of marginalized women and children. Each woman is assigned her own Advocate who helps her develop an Individualized Empowerment Plan designed to help her regain her footing on the path to independence and break the cycle of homelessness.
At Abby’s, we empower the women we serve to lead self-directed lives filled with dignity and hope. By working with a woman to develop an Individualized Empowerment Plan, we help her move into a place of confidence and empowerment. This model has helped more than 13,000 women to succeed over the last 40+ years.
Women turn to Abby’s House when they no longer have a safe, affordable place to live. In today’s economy, the demand for our services has increased. The women who arrive at our door have exhausted their resources, having already lived with family, friends, or in their car.
Abby’s House provides a warm, welcoming and safe place for women who are homeless due to lack of safe, affordable housing, domestic violence, eviction, natural disaster, emotional crisis, economic crisis, or unemployment. The intent of our broad-based advocacy efforts is to enable women needing housing to develop a network of appropriate services and support to prevent future homelessness. Abby’s House staff and volunteers provide a safe, trauma-sensitive, welcoming and supportive environment for guests throughout all aspects of the program.
With a nine-bed shelter and 77 units of safe and affordable housing, Abby’s House is Worcester’s largest provider specifically designed to meet the needs of low-income women and their children. Our housing and advocacy programs operate year-round; seven days per week/24 hours per day. We have an on-site emergency response team to address any issues that may arise during non-traditional office hours.
Unlike most other low-income housing and shelter programs, we do not have restrictive residency requirements (most require two-year residency in the city) nor do we require our women served to be on state assistance (welfare). As a result, we can meet the needs of working women who cannot afford market-rate rent, or enable those who are on SSI or SSDI to live safely and comfortably.