UMass Amherst

Basic Necessities

Amherst Survival Center

Amherst Survival Center provides low income individuals and families in the greater Amherst region with a variety of free programs including a food pantry, soup kitchen, drop-in health clinic, free store with clothing and diapers, emergency loans.

Buy, Sell, Trade & Consignment Shops

On Campus

The Five College Social though not strictly an On Campus program, is restricted to staff and faculty from the Five College Consortium.

Off Campus

Goodwill Industries located in Amherst, sells used clothing, furniture, household goods, and more.

Hospice of the Fisher Home Hospice Shop located in Amherst, is a destination shop for gently-used clothing, accessories, art, jewelry, and household goods.

New 2 You Family Boutique located in Sunderland, sells used clothing and accessories for men, women, and children.

Salvation Army located in Hadley, sells used clothing, furniture, appliances and more.

Food Assistance

Off Campus

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as the Food Stamp Program is a federally funded program administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance. In addition the SNAP Benefits Hotline, 1-866-950-FOOD (3663) provides eligibility information. You may also visit Getting Food Stamps for information and an application.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federally funded program, administered locally through Community Action. WIC provides supplemental foods and nutritional information to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to the age of five. For Amherst program hours, location and information, call (413) 548-1285. Please call first as hours are limited.

Fuel Assistance and Home Heating Co-Op

Off Campus

Fuel Assistance, a program of Community Action helps low income households in Franklin and Hampshire Counties, by paying a portion of their home heating costs.


On Campus

UMass Family Housing provides rental apartments to students and staff affiliated with the University. The rental mix includes 185 one-bedroom apartments and 124 two-bedroom apartments. Family Housing also has 12 one-bedroom apartments modified for the physically disabled.

UMass Housing and Residential Life manages a searchable rental housing database that includes private and Subsidized Apartment Complexes in Amherst and surrounding towns. May be used by non University families.

Off Campus

Amherst Housing Authority provides subsidized rental housing and housing vouchers to income-eligible Amherst households.

HAP Housing is a multi-service housing agency that provides subsidies to income- eligible households throughout Western Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Association of Realtors provides information and a searchable database of realtors throughout Massachusetts.

Valley CDC provides assistance to first time homebuyers and services for sustaining homeownership.

Housing Discrimination is illegal. If you believe you or your family have been refused housing unfairly call the Hampshire-Hamden Discrimination Project (800) 675-7309 or visit their website Mass Fair Housing Center.

For information regarding lead paint concerns please refer to

Homelessness Services

Amherst Community Connections is a non-profit organization in Amherst dedicated to helping people find affordable housing and available employment in the area.

Amherst Survival Center offers case management services to homeless individuals and families.

Family Outreach of Amherst, a program of Center for Human Development, assists Amherst families that are either at risk of becoming homeless or homeless.

Jessie's House, also a program of Center for Human Development, offers emergency shelter to homeless Amherst and Hampshire County families.