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For 50 years ABCD has provided basic services and innovative programs that help empower individuals, families, and communities in Boston to overcome poverty, live with dignity, and achieve their full potential.

ABCD works to:

  • Strengthen & Educate Families
  • Promote Self-Sufficiency
  • Build Community

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January 08, 2016

As the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority considers fare increases, advocates for low-income residents are encouraging the agency to implement something new in the state: discounts for those customers who have the hardest time paying.

John J. Drew, the chief executive of the antipoverty organization Action for Boston Community Development, said his employees reached out to the MBTA after first hearing about a possible discount for low-income riders.

“We help 100,000 people all over Greater Boston,” Drew said. “We have the apparatus where we could document and certify people” as low-income.

Drew, who objects to the MBTA’s proposed fare increases in general, said he believes such a program would be an important step in helping some of the people who need the T the most.

“There are an awful lot of people who totally depend on that system, and their lives depend on that system because they can lose their jobs and everything else,” he said.


Read the rest here.

January 08, 2016

The MBTA wants to jack up bus and trolley prices for public school students by 23 percent as part of its plan to cap a $242 million budget shortfall as new fare hikes that will hit just about every rider were rolled out yesterday.

John J. Drew, president of 
Action for Boston Community Development, Inc., said a sudden fare increase would hit poor families the hardest.

“For folks trying to get to and from work, for people with disabilities, for the elderly, every penny counts,” Drew said. “A sudden and significant fare hike would hit these people hard.”

Read more here.

December 30, 2015

"Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) Head Start and Children’s Services programs serve low-income children and their families, offering a variety of early childhood education, health, and case management services at sites throughout Boston and now serving Malden, Everett, Medford and surrounding towns." read more.

December 30, 2015

"Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) Head Start and Children’s Services programs serve low-income children and their families, offering a variety of early childhood education, health, and case management services" read more.

December 10, 2015

BOSTON – Federal budget cuts are having a big impact on many low income Boston residents that rely on assistance for winter heating.

We're talking about a cut of about $200 this winter. The group we spoke with says it's possible the maximum amount of families can receive this year won't get them through this winter season.

Watch the video here.
December 10, 2015

Elizabeth Tyler struggled to close the Styrofoam to-go container for her slices of sweet potato, apple, pecan, pumpkin, and pumpkin chiffon pies, but you could hardly blame her for trying.

Tyler, a 33-year-old mother of four, said she had been homeless for the past two months, after her family was evicted from their apartment in Charlestown.

Over the past two months, Tyler has lived in a motel, which means cooking meals in a microwave and washing items in the bathtub, she said. But for a couple of hours on Wednesday afternoon at the Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center at Charlesview in Brighton, Tyler did not have a single chore on her plate — just turkey, dressing, and lots of desserts.

“My kids are having fun, and everyone here is open arms and smiles. No one is judging you or looking down on you,” Tyler said. “It makes you feel good."

Read more of the story here.
December 04, 2015

Official history never quite captures the whole story.

Sometimes, we need the memories of those who were there to really understand. And that’s especially true of great public institutions like Community Health Centers. It’s hard to imagine our city without them—but I remember when they didn’t exist. And I remember how ABCD, Boston’s Community Action Agency, not only helped start the first Community Health Centers, but stepped in, more than once, to make sure they survived.

The sixties were a difficult time in America’s cities, full of protest and racial strife. Out of that unrest, new ideas were emerging. While no one had yet said, “Black lives matter,” some were acting in that spirit. But the new ideas were fragile, struggling for life. One such idea was the dream of community health centers,—places that would finally do something about the fact that, as Dr Jack Geiger said, “The poor get sicker and the sick get poorer.”

This was one of the most audacious ideas to come out of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (EOA) created many …

Read the rest of John J. Drew's essay by clicking here.
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