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Ideas for Action


Brookline has the potential to be a community in which every neighbor has the supports and opportunities needed to thrive. While many impressive efforts are underway to address poverty in Brookline, there is more we can do. The following recommendations draw on BCF’s research and interviews with town leaders and nonprofit staff.

Recommendation 1: Expand emergency supports to meet more short-term needs. 

  • Expand summer food resources for children who participate in free and reduced-cost meal programs during the school year.

  • Address barriers to emergency assistance, including language, transportation and stigma.

  • Develop a one-stop approach to needs assessment and program enrollment.

  • Assist eligible residents to enroll in state and federal assistance programs.

  • Raise awareness about local programs that reduce financial hardship.

Recommendation 2: Create more pathways out of poverty.

  • Expand adult education, job training and job readiness programming.

  • Develop more programs that empower low-income residents to reach personal and financial goals.

  • Increase wraparound case management services, so residents can access the range of supports they need.

  • Focus on educational equity from an early age, with quality programs that improve the long-term prospects of all Brookline children.

Recommendation 3: Tackle systemic barriers to economic sufficiency.

  • Invest in significant expansion of affordable housing.

  • Ensure that all residents have access to affordable mental and physical healthcare.

  • Ensure all individuals and families can access healthy, affordable food.

  • Foster public dialogue and take action to address discrimination that limits opportunities for individuals based on gender, race, socioeconomic background, disability, age, sexual orientation and other factors.