Our History

FamilyAid Boston has a long and proud history of helping individuals and families in need.

A family at Traveler's Aid

The history of FamilyAid Boston (formerly Travelers Aid Family Services) is the history of people coming together to help those suffering as a result of the economic and social upheavals of the 20th century.

We began in 1916 as an all-volunteer effort, one of hundreds of organizations that emerged around the country in response to the needs of the thousands of new immigrants arriving in the United States each day. The agency, which was incorporated in 1920 as the Travelers Aid Society of Boston, provided help with housing, transportation, and employment to new immigrants, stranded travelers, and the poor at Boston’s train stations and docks.

While remaining true to its founding principles, FamilyAid Boston evolved throughout the century to respond to changing social needs. From assisting immigrant families with housing, employment, and transportation; to aiding migrant workers as they arrived from the South; to helping runaways during the Great Depression; to aiding refugees, servicemen and families at the end of World War II and the Korean War; FamilyAid Boston has been a vital part of this community, helping those with nowhere else to turn.
In recent years, as the high cost of living and lack of affordable housing in Boston have forced more and more families onto the street, FamilyAid Boston refocused its efforts on housing this vulnerable group. Today, as one of the state’s largest providers of services to homeless families, FamilyAid Boston is a leader in homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, and affordable housing.

The original Travelers Aid Society of Boston grew out of the care and concern of ordinary Americans who came together to help the most vulnerable members of their communities. One hundred years later, FamilyAid Boston is carrying that mission forward, working to prevent and end family homelessness, one family at a time.

Want to learn more about the programs at FamilyAid Boston? Read about our Services for Families.

Are you interested in helping Boston’s homeless families? There are several different ways!

3815 Washington Street | Boston, MA 02130 | phone: 617-542-7286 | fax: 617-542-9545
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