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Rise Up Cambridge Gives Relief to Families

Wednesday, December 13, 2023
" Due to financial hardships, the mother has struggled with rent, putting food on the table, and some of the things in life that can be taken for granted such as making new memories with her son. "
  • The program has helped alleviate poverty among the city’s struggling families with children.  


In June 2023, the City of Cambridge announced that it was accepting applications for Rise Up Cambridge. The primary goal of the program was to alleviate poverty among struggling families with children and to build financial security through direct cash assistance. Ultimately, the City focused on helping families with children to meet their basic needs.  

One family that is deeply thankful for the program was a single mother and her 7-year-old child. Due to financial hardships, this Cambridge mother was struggling with rent, putting food on the table, and some things in life that many can take for granted, such as making new memories with her son. With an extra $500 in her bank account each month, this mom has been able to pay her rent on time and have extra food for the family. It also gave her the opportunity to vacation with her son for the first time, and travel to Salem, Massachusetts via a ferry to visit museums.  

As she told us, “We will use this money carefully (and) spend it wisely. Thanks for the Rise Up program.”  

The program provides eligible Cambridge households with at least one child under 21 years old that earn at or below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level with $500 per month for 18 months. Through Rise Up, Cambridge became the first city in the nation to introduce a non-lottery program to provide direct cash assistance to all eligible families. It is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act and operated in partnership with the Office of the Mayor, Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee, and the Cambridge Community Foundation.  

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