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Letter: CHP Berkshires ready to support proposed shelter efforts in North Adams

To the editor: CHP Berkshires wishes to express its support for repurposing a dormitory at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts into a residence for homeless families. ("MCLA may turn one of its dorms into a homeless shelter for families. Some North Adams officials are wary of the plan," Eagle, March 24.)

This is a commendable and progressive initiative in our Northern Berkshire community. There are reasonable questions about what support services would be available to residents of Berkshire Towers. CHP Berkshires and its mobile health team already care for residents of a Pittsfield shelter, and we are prepared to provide medical care for Berkshire Towers residents as well if this plan comes to fruition. CHP North Adams Family Medical and Dental is open to all patients, and our practice staff is uniquely committed to caring for underserved patients. And we are confident that other nonprofits in our area will step up as partners in this important effort to help meet the needs of families.

CHP Berkshires serves patients who are well off and patients who have little. For those with little, housing insecurity and homelessness are key stressors for families, especially those with children. We are prepared to step up to provide health care at Berkshire Towers.

​Michelle Derr, Lakeville, Conn.

Dawn Kohanski, Williamstown

The writers are the senior vice president of family services and associate medical director of CHP Berkshires.

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