PITTSFIELD >> The city has released information on efforts to assist the homeless during the coming winter, both in Pittsfield and in north and south Berkshire County.
ServiceNet, Inc., Family Life Inc. (Louison House), Construct Inc., and the Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority are working to provide a regional response to homelessness by increasing homeless shelter and related supportive services capacity during the higher demand cold weather months.
BCRHA will provide homelessness diversion and prevention services for homeless and imminently at-risk individuals. Diversion/prevention services will include Court-Connected and Community-Based Mediation and Conciliation Services, Housing Counseling, Housing Search assistance, and Representative Payee and Financial Literacy Assistance.
ServiceNet will increase the emergency shelter capacity for individuals at the Barton's Crossing homeless shelter on North Street. This program will provide nightly shelter to eligible homeless persons. ServiceNet will provide 20 additional cot beds for both men and women, seven days a week.
In general, intakes at the shelter 1307 North St. will take place after 4 p.m. and these guests will leave the shelter no later than 8 a.m. If weather conditions such as temperatures below 10 degrees and/or winter storm warnings are issued, guests will be able to stay in the shelter during the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. ServiceNet shall provide for 2 meals per day for on-site guests. To promote rapid re-housing, ServiceNet will refer and help guests access appropriate community services and mainstream resources.
Both Construct Inc. and Family Life Support Inc. will have increased emergency sheltering and supportive services in the north and south county regions. Resources and services include triage and case management, as well as vouchers for temporary emergency hotel stays; food, and public transportation for homeless individuals in southern and northern regions of the county. The voucher program will target homeless individuals living in these regions who need emergency sheltering from 1to 3 nights before accessing more permanent alternative sheltering (Barton's Crossing) or accessing other appropriate temporary or permanent housing options.
• Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority, 1 Fenn St., third floor, Pittsfield. Intake and Assessment via Berkshire Housing Development Corp., 413-499-4887.
• ServiceNet (Barton's Crossing), 1307 North St., Pittsfield, 413-442-1445.
• Louison House, 395 Old Columbia Road, Adams, 413-743-7957
• Construct, 41 Mahaiwe St., Great Barrington, 413-528-1985.