Please click here for regular updates about Just-A-Start’s programs and services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

JAS COVID-19 Updates

Just-A-Start (JAS) wants to share as much information as possible about changes to the organization’s programs and resources in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please know that JAS’s first priority is the safety and well-being of each and every member of our community, and that we will do our part to help slow the transmission of the virus and support individuals and families in need.

This page provides information about Just-A-Start’s (JAS’s) programs and the date on which these updates were compiled. Please check this site regularly, as this information may change.

GENERAL JAS OPERATIONS: (updated 6/29/20)

To support social distancing and slow the spread of the virus, many of JAS’s operations have moved to a remote format. JAS offices are currently closed. Staff are continuing their work and are available by email, phone, and videoconference. Phone numbers are listed on the staff page of this web site. The main office number is 617-494-0444; messages will be checked daily.

BIOMEDICAL CAREERS PROGRAM (updated 5/26/20)

The Biomedical Careers Program is continuing remotely until further notice. For more information, contact Korynn Stoyanoff at korynnstoyanoff@justastart.org. The Biomedical Careers Program will start recruiting for the next cohorts later this spring. For information about the application process, contact Tanya Quintanilla at tanyaquintanilla@justastart.org.

IT CAREERS PROGRAM (updated 5/26/20)

The IT Careers Program is continuing remotely until further notice. For more information, contact Korynn Stoyanoff at korynnstoyanoff@justastart.org. The IT Careers Program will start recruiting for the next cohorts later this spring. For information about the application process, contact Tanya Quintanilla at tanyaquintanilla@justastart.org.

JAS YOUTHBUILD (updated 5/26/20)

JAS YouthBuild is continuing remotely. For more information, contact Jesse Lyons at jesselyons@justastart.org. YouthBuild will resume recruiting for the next cohort in the coming weeks. For information about the application process, contact Tori Perrakis at victoriaperrakis@justastart.org.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION (updated 5/26/20)

Food For Free is delivering pre-bagged food periodically through the crisis to Cambridge residents who cannot afford food. If you are a JAS resident or student and experiencing a food emergency, please let your Resident Service Coordinator or teacher know and we will add you to the Food for Free list or connect you with resources.

FINANCIAL COACHING: (updated 5/26/20)

For more information on remote appointments, contact Ian Davis at iandavis@justastart.org.

TAX PREPARATION: (updated 6/29/20)

Just-A-Start’s tax preparation services are being offered from May 16 – July 15, both in person and remotely.

In person tax preparation: Just-A-Start’s Tax Help Clinic at 402 Rindge Avenue is operating on a first-come, first-serve basis on Tuesdays from 6-8pm and Saturdays from 1-3pm. IRS-trained volunteers focus on maximizing tax credits and are trained to handle a variety of tax situations. The in-person service consists of an intake/interview with the taxpayer and scanning documents. Once this is complete, the taxpayer can leave, and we will complete the tax return and finish everything up remotely through email.

Wearing a mask at the physical site is required for all participants.

Remote tax preparation: The remote tax preparation process takes about two weeks to complete, except for simple returns. As the tax deadline approaches, we urge people to use the in-person site. Please contact Ian Davis directly at (628) 246-1467 or iandavis@justastart.org to determine eligibility for remote assistance.

Flyer — Just-A-Start tax preparation information

RESIDENT SERVICES: (updated 3/25/20)

For JAS residents who live at 402 Rindge, please contact Nancy Porcaro at nancyporcaro@justastart.org  or leave a message at 617-918-7556. For JAS residents who live at other locations, please contact Pierre Fils-Aime at pierrefilsaime@justastart.org or leave a message at 617-341-8164. No walk-ins please.

EMERGENCY EVICTION PREVENTION OR APARTMENT DEPOSITS: (updated 3/16/20)

For more information, contact Elizabeth Winston at elizabethwinston@justastart.org. No walk-ins please.

HOME IMPROVEMENT LOAN PROGRAM: (updated 4/14/20)

For more information, contact Ethan Solomon at ethansolomon@justastart.org. If you have an existing HIP payback loan and have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you can opt-in to a three month payment deferral to assist during this difficult time. Please look for a letter in the mail about this loan deferral from our loan servicer (Capital For Change). The letter and application for the deferral can also be found here: letter /application. No walk-ins please.

FAMILIES MOVING FORWARD: (updated 5/26/20)

The application period for the program is now open and the program is accepting applications on a rolling basis. You may still apply on-line or mail in an application. No drop-offs please. Contact Tessa Byer at tessabyer@justastart.org for more information.

REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT: (updated 3/16/20)

The JAS Real Estate team is working remotely. For general inquiries, please contact Noah Sawyer at noahsawyer@justastart.org.