We all have a role in combating poverty. Although everyone experiences bumps along the way, too often there are real barriers which present obstacles to success. Just as some public policies create conditions for success, other policies have created obstacles to opportunity for some, or allowed those obstacles to persist. Together we can – and must – work to strengthen programs which help move households to economic self-sufficiency, while making changes to policies which trap families in the poverty cycle.

On March 4, 2020, WCAC hosted its 2nd Annual Poverty Forum featuring a keynote address by Mary Ann Bates, Executive Director of the North American Office of the Nobel Prize winning Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT. Entitled Driving Solutions in Partnership, the event also featured a dynamic panel discussion including Ken Bates, President & CEO of Open Sky Community Services; Gina Plata-Nino, staff attorney for Mass Legal Services/Community Legal Aid; Dr. Luis Pedraja, president of Quinsigamond Community College and Laurie Ross, Associate Dean of the Faculty and Director of Clark University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning. See photos from the event here.

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Effective programs that help families to make ends meet, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, SNAP, fuel assistance, Head Start, and Social Security cut the number of people in Massachusetts living in poverty by almost half and reduce the number of children living in poverty by more than half, according tothe report on poverty called Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward Together.”

WCAC was proud to first host a community forum exploring strategies & solutions to addressing poverty here in Central Massachusetts on October 5, 2018, and invite you to remain engaged with us to address the struggles facing those in need.

In the News


IMPORTANT NOTICE: WCAC's main office remains closed. All staff are working remotely. Fuel clients can now call 508-754-7281 to check on the status of your application by entering your social security number and/or to leave a voicemail for staff to call back. For all other home heating inquiries please contact For all other matters contact    (Updated 4/6/2022)