Friends of Families in Transition

Friends of Families in Transition is a non profit organization that serves as a contact point for families dealing with housing crises and for community groups needing advice on how to best guide families who are either struggling to maintain housing or in need of emergency housing assistance.

Friends of FIT also works to identify and encourage best practices for supporting and lifting up struggling families before a crisis hits. This includes being actively engaged with Mass. State Legislators working to proactively respond to systematic issues and policies that impact children and families; such issues include the need for much greater trauma informed training in low-income daycare settings and reforms in the foster care system. Friends of FIT is also a working partner of the Worcester Area Mission Society’s Sustainable Massachusetts Conference Series that spotlights innovative approaches that are being used to help children and families achieve self-sufficiency during a time when shifts in our economy are leaving many people further behind.

Friends of FIT was first formed in 2011 in response to the needs of families living in emergency motel shelter in Northborough, MA. Soon thereafter the organization was contracted by the State of Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to assist with coordination of community services at several other motel shelter sites. At the height of the housing crisis that resulted in as many as 2000 families being sheltered at motels, Friends of FIT served as a state-wide model for communities who wanted to deliver services to these families both compassionately and effectively.

You Can Help

As with many small but mighty organizations, our one person staff is our biggest expense and we rely on corporations, non-profit organizations, community groups, and individuals for all aspects of our work.

Monetary donations allow us to compensate staff in a limited way and to pay for operational expenses including office supplies and equipment (the telephone!). Donations of gift cards to grocery stores, Target, etc. allow us to provide emergency assistance  to families as needed.

Friends of FIT is grateful to all who support our work, including Trinity Church Northborough for providing much needed office/ storage space.

Secure Online Donation

The Team

Julie Higgins Stanwood, Executive Director and Founder:

Together with her husband, Julie Higgins Stanwood is the parent of 5 biological children and 3 foster children.  In addition to her work with families, communities and social services agencies aimed at lifting up and empowering families in times of crisis, Julie is a tireless advocate for  children in state care, and the source of practical hands-on advice for numerous biological and foster families navigating special education and trauma / health care. Julie is an active member and award recipient of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of MA. She has previously served as Outreach Coordinator at St. Lukes Westborough and Central MA Coordinator for Birthday Wishes.


Barbara Clifford, Former President, Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce

Robin O’Neil-Manning, Esquire, Manning & Associates, Northboro, MA

Mary Robbins, Vice President for Program, Worcester Area mission Society