Plight of homeless in the Berkshires
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
Recently, I was hospitalized at Berkshire Medical Center. I was struggling with a diagnosis and a real fear of having nowhere to go. I had been a victim of domestic violence and as a result I suffer from PTSD. Because of my diagnosis I was fortunate enough to be given a bed, in transitional housing, with a one-month stay. On the BMC Jones II unit I met a woman who had been living in a tent because she couldn’t afford housing.
When I got to Brenton House I decided to get involved by volunteering in a community garden dedicated to feeding the homeless and underserved in Pittsfield. As I attempted to find affordable housing I was appalled by all the waiting lists, some as long as four years. I was afraid I would never find suitable housing.
I then learned of the plight of the homeless in Berkshire County, one of the most beautiful places in the world. People are sleeping in abandoned buildings, tents, and walking the streets in the winter to keep from freezing.
I was further appalled to learn that there is something called the city block grant which is established specifically for needs such as homelessness and that not one penny of the grant went to the cot shelter started last year in Pittsfield. People will suffer this winter due to homelessness. A solution, the cot shelter, has been passed over for funding in favor of "other projects."
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