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Information for Web Site Users

Information on this web site is provided by Community Resources Information, Inc., an independent non-profit organization not affiliated with any government agency or program.

About Us

Note: Glossary words are highlighted. Click on any glossary word to see its definition.

Community Resources Information, Inc.

The web site was developed by Community Resources Information, Inc. (CRI), a not-for-profit, tax exempt, 501(c)(3) charitable organization. CRI's principal mission is to develop and maintain Internet web sites that provide information about assistance programs and other resources for people with limited incomes. CRI was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in the state of Massachusetts on October 2, 2000.

The President of CRI is John C. Buckner, Ph.D.; Vice-President is Jennifer Perloff.

You can find more information about Community Resources Information, Inc., on the CRI corporate web site.

About is an online resource for Massachusetts residents in need of housing, food, health care, and other basic services. The primary purpose of the web site is to make it easier for people to find out where to go for help, who is eligible for benefits, and how to apply. makes this information available to anyone who needs services, free of charge, all in one place. is a web site of Community Resources Information, Inc. (CRI), a small independent non-profit organization. CRI is not affiliated with the Massachusetts state government or any other government program or social service agency. For information about our privacy policy and terms of use, see Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. was launched in 2003.

Why "resource" web sites are needed

All people have basic needs including shelter, food, and health care. People with limited incomes may require help to meet these needs. Many types of assistance are available, such as cash assistance, food stamps, free health insurance, housing vouchers, subsidized child care, and fuel assistance. However, families and individuals in need may not know that these programs exist, or may not know how to apply for benefits.

"Resource" web sites make it easier for people to get the help they need. They provide information, applications, contacts, and eligibility checks for a wide range of assistance programs, all in one place. "Resource" web sites are like shared, centralized file cabinets that are well-organized and routinely updated. Families and individuals who use 'resource' web sites can become more self-sufficient in their search for assistance. Service providers who use the sites can spend less time tracking down information and more time with their clients.

"Resource" web sites in other states

The first web site that CRI developed was, a community web site that serves residents of Worcester, MA and surrounding towns. The organization and structure of the web site allowed CRI to develop the statewide web site using the same template. Expansion to the state level required only a few changes.

Similarly, the web site can serve as a template for other state "resource" web sites without major changes., launched in 2005, is an example. Organizations interested in developing resource web sites in other states can lease the CRI, Inc. web site template on an annual basis for a low fee. For further information, please contact:

John C. Buckner, Ph.D., President
Community Resources Information, Inc.
P.O. Box 2067
Natick, MA 01760
E-mail: John Buckner

"Digital divide" and public Internet access

People with lower incomes are less likely to have computers and other technology than people with higher incomes. This gap is often called  the "digital divide."  To help bridge this gap, many organizations in Massachusetts offer free use of computers, free Internet access, and free computer training:

  • Public libraries throughout Massachusetts offer free Internet access and computer training. For hours and rules, call your local library:

    Massachusetts Library Directory
    Select your city or town from the "Municipality" drop-down menu and select "Public Library" from the "Library Type" menu.

  • All One-Stop Career Centers offer free Internet access and assistance to job seekers:

    Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers

  • If you have a computer that is set up for wireless, and you need free wireless Internet access, you can use the JiWire Wi-Fi-Hotspot Finder to find free hotspots near you:

    JiWire Hotspot Search
    Enter your zip code and then look for "Free" under "Access Options" to find hotspot locations near you that do not charge a fee.

  • The Charles River Public Internet Center in Waltham provides the general public with untimed access to the Internet for a small donation. The Center also offers free one-on-one training on how to use a computer.

    Charles River Public Internet Center
    The CRPIC is located at 154 Moody St., Waltham, MA 02453, 781-891-9559.

About Massachusetts

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with about six and a half million people, is a predominantly urban state and one of the most densely populated states in the nation. It is located on the eastern coast of the United States, bordered by New York on the west, Vermont and New Hampshire to the north, Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. High-technology industries, finance, banking, tourism, and higher education are all important to the Massachusetts economy.

Map of Massachusetts, showing the county borders

Massachusetts is famous for its historical landmarks, cultural activities, recreation centers, and institutes of higher education. It is often called the "capital of higher education," because it is home to Harvard University, MIT, Amherst College, Smith College, and over 100 other private and public institutions of higher education.

Massachusetts has played an important role in American history since 1620, when the Pilgrims founded Plymouth Colony. The state's population increased steadily, especially after the Civil War when rapid industrialization attracted tens of thousands of European immigrants to the state. Massachusetts today has a diverse population from many national backgrounds, and many communities within the state have strong ethnic identities. Boston is the capital and largest city in the state. Other large urban communities within Massachusetts include Worcester, Springfield, Brockton, Lowell, New Bedford, Cambridge, Fall River, and Quincy.

For more information, visit, official web site of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.