ADAMS — The Louison House homeless shelter has named Alan "Al" Bashevkin as interim executive director.
Bashevkin, who recently retired as executive director of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, replaces Lindsay Errichetto, who left the shelter to become executive director of the Bennington-based Sunrise Family Resource Center.
"I am happy to be there," Bashevkin said during an interview with the Eagle. "I loved Theresa and I am happy to help out." He was referring to Theresa Louison, the shelter's namesake and former executive director of Northern Berkshire Community Action.
Lousion House is the only comprehensive services center for the Northern Berkshire region homeless population. Services include assisting with budgeting, teaching life skills, providing transitional and permanent housing, and other services. The site is staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Located at 365 Old Columbia St., it has provided services for Northern Berkshire residents for 25 years and is about to launch an annual Friends of Louison House fundraising campaign. More than 4,000 people have been helped by the organization over the years.
Bashevkin said the site is much more about "home" than "shelter."
"The people who work there, the staff, they are so dedicated and so sincere in what they do," he said. "The residents are really nice people who are a little down on their luck, really nice people. Meeting them really breaks down the stereotypes."
Board Chairman Mark Farrington noted Bashevkin's vast human services experience.
"We're fortunate to have someone with such knowledge of the work that is accomplished at Louison House to assist us in this transition," he said in a written statement.
Bashevkin emphasized that he is not seeking the shelter role as a permanent post. A search committee is actively seeking a permanent executive director.
"I love coming in and leading for a little while and sharing some thoughts and ideas," he said. "Then I am happy letting someone else step in. I think executive director of Louison House is an attractive position and I think there are people who will be interested."
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To learn more about Louison House, call 413-743-7957 or visit flsclouisonhouse.org.