We’re Here in Our 45th Year!

And we need your help celebrating!

To celebrate our 45th year, we plan to keep doing what we’ve always done – support youth and families in need. With your help, we can provide families with resources to overcome financial emergencies.

We are looking to raise over $4,500 with our Spring Drawing to provide necessary resources for the Help Fund! For a donation of $10 per ticket, you will receive a COMPASS 45thanniversary commemorative ticket and an opportunity to be entered to win some great prizes! Every 25 tickets sold will assist a family in a financial crisis.

Over 50 Help Fund requests have been granted this year alone, totaling more than $15,000 in assistance to youth and families.

You can learn more about the prizes and purchase tickets here (


Since its founding in 1974, COMPASS has grown to be one of the Commonwealth’s leading providers of education and human services for children in need. Over the last 45 years, COMPASS’ programs and services have evolved in nature and location in response to changing needs of its clientele. The organization’s first services were special education, outreach and tracking, and foster care in the greater Boston area (Charlestown, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and South Boston). As the reputation of COMPASS’ successes and expertise began to grow, it started to have a wider base for referrals outside of Greater Boston and into Central and Northern Massachusetts. Today, COMPASS specializes in providing services to an at-risk population of youth, adolescents, and families that include comprehensive and individualized educational, stabilization, transition, counseling, support, and enrichment services.

A large amount of the youth and families that COMPASS serves through its programs are considered low-income (annual income that is below to at most 2 times the federal poverty limit). Children living in poverty and are involved with the child welfare system tend to have negative parent-child relationships and interactions, along with negative short and long-term health outcomes. When parents have limited social networks, they tend to have less people and resources to fall back upon when there is a lack of income to support themselves and their families. A lack of income for basic needs can tend to lead to families experiencing high levels of chaos and stress and lack of control. These traumas all have a negative effect upon a child’s cognitive, emotional, and social development. Additionally, a child’s health outcomes are greatly affected by the availability of resources to meet daily needs, access to quality education, and access to healthcare services.

In order to mitigate the short and long-term effects that come with the intersectionality of poverty, health, and child development, COMPASS established the Help Fund. This fund assists families with emergency assistance with groceries, clothing, housing, and education for youth. Families that are experiencing a dire situation where they need help with accessing basic needs can apply for small grants through the Help Fund.


Examples of the Help Fund in action:

A COMPASS School student and their family were living in a homeless shelter with winter approaching. The Help Fund provided assistance for the student to purchase pants and other warmer clothes to be prepared for colder weather.

A family served by COMPASS’ Worcester Office received support from the Help Fund to attend a welding class. The family recognized that they needed to have some additional certifications and qualifications to obtain better jobs to support their child.

A family served by COMPASS’ Lawrence Office received a furniture donation from a local organization, but they did not have any way to transport it to their new housing. The family received support from the Help Fund to rent a truck to transport their new furniture.

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