History

Founded in 1999 by a few local Realtors concerned about the rising costs of housing and committed to maintaining diversity in Cambridge, CHAF helps homeless and near homeless individuals and families find permanent housing by assisting with the initial costs of renting an apartment.

Now in its 17th year, the Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund continues to have a positive impact in the Cambridge community. In fact, in 2015 alone, CHAF raised $183,000, enough to aid more than 119 households. To date, CHAF has raised more than $2,200,000 to open doors for over 1,900 households along the way.

CHAF has grown from a fledgling group of concerned citizens into a citywide coalition including the Cambridge banking community, local businesses, universities, city officials, and individuals committed to opening doors for the homeless.

Hopefully, CHAF has dispelled some stereotypes along the way. Many of CHAF’s homeless are working families who have fallen on some hard times and need a “hand up” to get back on their feet. With counseling and follow up support services from our agency partners, 96% of CHAF clients who receive follow-up services from CHAF partner agency HomeStart remain in their homes one year after receiving assistance and beyond.

Every November, CHAF holds Open Doors for the Homeless in Cambridge, a fundraising event which in the past has included jazz concerts, dessert tastings, and cocktail receptions. Don’t miss Open Doors for the Homeless 2016!