About Abby’s House

Abby’s House (Abby Kelley Foster House, Inc.) was founded in Worcester, MA in 1976. A nonprofit organization, we provide shelter and affordable housing, as well as advocacy and support services, to homeless, battered, and low-income women, with or without children.

Over the years, we have helped more than 16,000 women and their children reclaim and rebuild their lives, empowering them to lead self-directed lives filled with dignity and hope.

Our Values

Abby’s house is a safe and welcoming place that values people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. We provide a home to residents and guests, not just a place to live.

The Abby’s House Community commits to acknowledge historical inequities and affirm women of all races, ethnicities, ages, national origins, sexual orientations, disabilities, educational backgrounds and gender identities. We embrace diversity and foster healing and well-being for all.

We believe that each person is unique and deserves to be treated with dignity and compassion. We develop caring, supportive, non-judgmental, and enduring relationships. We listen to and give each other support, and we act on our belief that each one of us is capable and strong.

We believe that women can name and change the injustice that exists in the lives of women. We encourage women to be leaders and decision-makers. Abby’s House helps women to recognize their own inner strengths, opportunities and abilities to lead self-directed lives.

Abby’s House is a multi-cultural, multi-racial community of people working collectively to achieve our mission. Our community is comprised of residents, guests, staff, volunteers, board members, donors, and partners. The contribution of each person is valued and respected and makes Abby’s House a special place that nurtures self-determination, independence and strength.

Our History

It was through the sheer determination of compassionate and concerned individuals that Abby’s House came to be back in 1976. See How It All Began

Our Founder

When her idea for a women’s shelter was turned down, Annette Rafferty forged ahead. Be Inspired by Our Founder

Who is Abby?

We are proud to be named after Abby Kelley Foster, an abolitionist and advocate for women’s rights. Get to Know Our Namesake

Board and Staff

Our staff and board are dedicated to the women and children we serve. We believe in what we do and are committed to being the bright spot in the city for as long as needed. Meet Our Team

Leading the Way

At Abby’s House, we lead the way in helping women and children find a place to call home.

Our overnight shelter was one of the first shelters in the United States for women and is currently one of the few community shelters (non-state funded) in Worcester

With 9 shelter beds and 79 units of housing, we are the largest provider of affordable, supportive housing in Worcester designed to meet the needs of women and children.

The Need and Our Impact

Every day, we make a difference in the lives of women and children. See How

With Your Support

But we couldn’t do it without you: our supporters, volunteers, and donors. Because of your support, we don’t have to accept government funding for our programs, allowing us to serve women from all circumstances and helping each woman who comes through our doors meet her individual goals.

Thanks to you, we have kept the doors open for women and children in need in our community, ensuring they have a place to call home and the support they need to regroup and get back on their feet. We appreciate the efforts of everyone who’s involved in helping us fulfill our mission.

Get Involved

Find out how you can make a difference in the lives of women and children. Learn More


Have a question about Abby’s House? Check out our frequently asked questions. Learn More