e-Zine: Weekly Updates for Northern Berkshire
March 4, 2021

This edition of the e-zine offers updates about our upcoming programming, local events of interest, and agencies and resources available during the COVID-19 epidemic. As things are constantly changing, please call these agencies to get the most up-to-date information.

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Thank you and stay healthy,

The Staff at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition
Our next Community Forum is next Friday!
Join nbCC for our March Community Forum, Laughter Is the Best Medicine, next Friday, March 12, from 11-am-1pm. We'll be meeting virtually via AirMeet. No need to register, just visit this link. (Please note that AirMeet works best with Chrome and Safari.) If you don't have a computer or an internet connection, we have a limited number of in-person slots available at the UNO Center in North Adams! Give us a call at 413-663-7588 to reserve your spot.
Upcoming nbCC Events & News
Free Shamrock Craft Kit & Contest! Create your own Lucky Shamrock for St. Patrick's Day. Register for your free kit today by contacting Stephanie Puc at 413-663-7588 or spuc@nbccoalition.org. Post your creation on our Facebook page to enter to win a Family Fun Basket!

New program alert! Northern Berkshire Youth Health Collaborative: Are you a young person who's passionate about making life better for other young people in your community? Do you want to put your skills to work to help your peers? The Northern Berkshire Youth Health Collaborative brings together young people from across north Berkshire to address issues relevant to youth in the region. In conjunction with the Northern Berkshire Youth Collaborative, a group of youth development and substance abuse prevention professionals committed to supporting young people in north Berkshire, the group will work on projects and initiatives that they deem important. The group will meet weekly from the week of April 5 to the week of May 28. Participants will receive a stipend of $50 a month for their contributions. Apply online here.

Curious about our Grandparents Raising Grandchildren group? Let us introduce you! nbCC will host a special session on Tuesday, March 16, from 1:00-2:00pm. Sign up, join us, and receive a FREE pizza kit the day after. Many grandparents find themselves in the position of raising their grandchildren. This is a group offers grandparents a safe and confidential space to share experiences with their peers peers. For more information, or to register for the group, call Stephanie at 413-663-7588 or email spuc@nbccoalition.org.

Active Parenting of Teens Workshop, Tuesdays, March 2, 9 & 16, 3:30 - 5:30pm: Tips and tricks to get you through the teenage years! Learn how brain development affects teen behavior and decision-making, improve discipline and communication, learn about teens and technology and about how to spot and handle bullying. This workshop will be held in-person at our offices at 61 Main St., and virtually via Zoom. Give Stephanie Puc a call at 413-663-7588 or email spuc@nbccoalition.org to register.

New virtual workshop for expectant parents, All Babies Cry, Friday, March 19, 10:00 -11:30 am: In collaboration with the Family Center-Child Care of the Berkshires, nbCC will offer this virtual workshop that will cover strategies to calm and comfort babies, how to recognize signs of a colic, and ways to calm yourself when baby is fussy. All participants will receive a Berkshire Baby Box. Sign up by March 15 to receive materials. Contact Stephanie Puc at 413-663-7588 or spuc@nbccoalition.org to reserve your space!

nbCC's updated Community Resource Guide is out now in English and Spanish! It's a FREE, comprehensive, 44-page booklet that can help you find the right community resource to help yourself or your neighbor, whether it's food access, legal services, immigrant support services, health care, substance use, or youth programming (just to name a few). Call us at 413-663-7588 to pick up a copy (or multiple copies), or download the PDF of the English version here, and the Spanish version here.

The Student Support Program at UNO Community Center is held on Wednesdays from 12:00pm-3:00pm, and Thursdays from 3:00pm-5:00pm. The purpose of this program is to provide guidance and support to students navigating remote learning. Any child under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Walk-ins are permitted if space is available. nbCC staff will be following all COVID safety protocols. Face masks are required for everyone. Space is limited. Please call to sign up a week in advance. Register with Stephanie Puc at 413-663-7588. Note: This program is staffed by community volunteers and nbCC staff, not trained tutors.

In-person All-Recovery Meetings at Terra Nova/the Green (85 Main Street, North Adams) on Wednesdays, from 1-2pm (with doors opening at 12:45) are now hybrid! That means you may attend in person (10-person limit, masks and social distancing required), or on Zoom. ALL are welcome. If you come in person, you will need to wear a mask (or face shield). If you forget yours at home, we will have some on hand. If you have any questions, please call Wendy at 413-663-7588.
Here is the link to the Wednesday all recovery meeting:
Meeting ID: 828 3858 5454
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,82838585454# US (Washington D.C)
+13126266799,,82838585454# US (Chicago)

All-Recovery phone-in/Zoom meetings continue on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 1:30pm-2:30pm. The information for logging in follows:
MEETING ID #:  878 9287 2269
or call in via one of these numbers: 312 626 6799, 929 205 6099, 301 715 8592, 346 248 7799, 669 900 6833, 253 215 8782 
MEETING ID #: 878 9287 2269
If you have any questions about this meeting or other recovery resources available during these challenging days, please contact us at 413-663-7588 or wpenner@nbccoalition.org.

The nbCC Bike Collective has open shop hours every Monday from 3:30-5:30pm (by appointment only for now, and following COVID-19 guidelines and procedures!) at The Armory, 206 Ashland St., North Adams. Look for the garage in the back; we will be outside weather permitting. If you are in need of a bike, we have bikes to sell or that can be earned. If you are looking to fix, maintain or tune your bike, we can help with that too. We will also accept bike donations. Email Bret Beattie at bbeattie@nbccoalition.org to make an appointment. All residents from Northern Berkshire are welcome! 
Area Events & News
First Congregational Church Williamstown Guest Speaker Monday, March 8, at 6pm: Margaret Keyser, Restorative Justice Practitioner and Conflict Transformation Specialist, will share her experiences with truth and reconciliation and working with the police on justice issues. Details here. Held via Zoom. Questions: organizer@firstchurchwilliamstown.org

Rx for Wellbeing from The Clark pilot program: The program is designed for mental health clinicians, therapists, peer counselors, and their clients or participants. The Clark works with mental health professionals who are interested in exploring the therapeutic potential of visiting an art museum—in-person and/or digitally—as a part of a treatment plan for some of their clients. We will provide a variety of materials for the mental health practitioners to share with their clients; the mental health practitioner would choose which materials are most appropriate for each client and assemble individualized engagement folders. For more information, please contact Chelsea Neveu, Education Coordinator at the Clark, at education@clarkart.edu.

Free online music lessons for Berkshire County students: The Berkshires’ Academy for Advanced Musical Studies, an innovative music-education academy based in Adams, is also known as BAAMS. Its online learning portal, eBAAMS, takes place after school — via a secure, password-protected log in. Lessons for students ages 12 to 18 take place weekly, by instrument. Students may participate in a simple audition process, and beginners to advanced are encouraged to audition. All lessons are recorded and saved to the eBAAMS site. It's currently FREE for all those music students who reside in Berkshire County! Contact Richard Boulger, Director, at info@berkshiresacademyams.org or visit the eBAAMS website here for more info.

NAMI Family-to-Family, Wednesdays at 6:00pm: Beginning February 3, 2021, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Berkshire County will offer a course for family members and caregivers of a person with mental illness over
the age of 18. The facilitators are NAMI-trained family members who have lived the journey and relate personally to those seeking knowledge and comfort when caring for an ill relative. For more information and to register, visit namibc.org/family-to-family.

Build Your Skills for a Post-Pandemic World: Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont is offering four Gateway to Employment Programs in Custodial Skills Training, Employability SkillsRetail Training, and Customer Service Training. Scholarships are available. When you complete the certificate program and submit your satisfaction survey you will receive a $25 gift certificate to our Goodwill Stores. Report about finding a job and get another $25 gift certificate. This is a win/win opportunity for participants. In these programs you will be able to gain skills, create a professional resume, receive job search assistance and interview coaching. These programs are offered throughout the month of March 2021 beginning March 2, 9, and 16. Register online or call Kathy Anker at 413-442-0061 x14 to have a discussion about your interest in the program.

Northern Berkshire Adult Education is accepting enrollments for the spring semester. Individuals interested in enrolling in the program are encouraged to contact the Program Director at 413-662-5386 or via email at R.Bouquet@mcla.edu. For more information, please go to www.mcla.edu/abe.

ROOTS Teen Center March events: Saturday, March 13, 1-3pm: Auto Bio Comics with Anna Moriarty Lev! A drawing workshop for all creative and art-loving folk interested in comics. Artists of all skill levels will learn something new, no experience is required. Saturday, March 20, 10am-2pm: Snowshoeing at the Clark Art Institute. Don't worry about equipment or experience, but make sure to register soon as space is limited. RSVP to dropin@rootsteencenter.org or 413-663-0033.

With a grant from the City of North Adams, Community Legal Aid has created three videos focusing on legal issues that impact low-income elders: financial resources for renters and homeowners; advance directives (durable power of attorney and healthcare proxies); and maximizing SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits. To view these informational videos, use the links below. Contact Jennifer Dieringer (jdieringer@cla-ma.org) for more information. Community Legal Aid assists elders with a range of civil legal issues. If you are in need of services, you may apply for services online at www.communitylegal.org or by calling 1-855-252-5342. FINANCIAL RESOURCES FOR RENTERS AND HOMEOWNERS: A CHECKLIST: https://youtu.be/GeduLJ5ZoW8 
MAXIMIZING SNAP (FOOD STAMP) BENEFITS: https://youtu.be/e7V6-6g14W0

The Massachusetts Smokers' Helpline is offering an incentive program to help residents who use menthol tobacco products quit. Residents will receive a $10 gift card after completing the first coaching call, a $15 gift card after the second coaching call, and a $25 gift card after the third coaching call. While the incentive does not continue after the third call, the Helpline offers five free coaching calls. For more information, visit the Helpline website or call 1-800-Quit-Now to enroll. For more information on nicotine addiction contact Joyce Brewer at jbrewer@berkshireahec.org. In addition to the incentive program, up to 8 weeks of free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges are also available to residents who speak with a coach (once screened for medical eligibility).

The Family Center, a program of Child Care of the Berkshires, is offering virtual parent and child groups. Our building is still closed to the public at this time. The Family Center can still provide children's clothing sizes 0-10, diapers or formula through contactless pick up. Please contact the Family Center office by calling 413-664-4821 to arrange pick up. Visit the Family Center's Facebook page and Instagram page for updates on virtual programing. Here are some upcoming weekly events. Look for upcoming Parent Workshops and Special Events each month! Here are our weekly events:
Monday through Friday:
  • 11:00am - Virtual Playgroup posted on The Family Center Facebook Page and Instagram
  • 10:00am- Baby Group via Zoom. To register, email ereynolds@ccberkshire.org or call 413-664-4821
  • 11:00am Spanish Storytime and Music Playgroup via Zoom. To register email icabanvelez@ccberkshire.org
  • 2:00pm- Zoom Parent Chat: Come connect with other parents- email bprince@ccberkshire.org to register.   
  • 10:30am Toddler Storytime via Facebook Live in the Family Center Facebook Group
  • 11:15am Preschool Zoom Playgroup with playgroup kits. Email or call Emilee, ereynolds@ccberkshire.org or 413-664-4821 to register.
  • 2:00pm Weekend Storytime posted on Facebook

If you are concerned about being able to pay your rent or mortgage arrears when the eviction and foreclosure moratorium ends, Berkshire Housing services are available to help you, including tenant/landlord/homeowner housing counseling; dispute resolution; tenancy preservation; financial assistance if eligible; and much more! The first step is to complete the Assessment Form found here. The assessment is available in English and Spanish and can be submitted via PDF. If a household must print the form it can be faxed to 413-496-9831 or mailed to Berkshire Housing Development Corp./Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority; ATTN: HCEC Assessment, P.O. Box 1180, Pittsfield, MA 01202. If you do not have a computer or need additional guidance, please call (413) 499-1630, ext. 157, and leave a message. The phone line is checked multiple times during the week Monday through Friday.
COVID-19 Updates (newer submissions are at top)
COVID-19 Vaccine Resources (Updated 2/24): The following groups are now eligible for vaccination:
—people age 65+
—low income and affordable senior housing residents & staff
—people with two or more certain medical conditions (comorbidities)
Visit www.mass.gov/covidvaccine for more details. Berkshire County has also launched a website to help folks find appointments. You can also search for vaccination sites across the Commonwealth using this website. If you're in North Berkshire and have questions about how to register, download this FAQ.

Local Councils on the Aging are assisting with registration. Please direct anyone who is having difficulty to their local COA for support:
ADAMS- (413) 743-8333
CHESHIRE- (413) 743-1172
CLARKSBURG- (413) 663-8353
FLORIDA- (413) 662-2811
NORTH ADAMS- (413) 662-3125
SAVOY- (413) 743-4290
WILLIAMSTOWN- (413) 458-8250

Vaccine Education and Outreach Materials are available for download here.

COVID-19 EMERGENCY ORDERS AND UPDATES: For more information, visit Mass.gov. Also visit Mass.gov for a weekly COVID-19 public health report.

COVID Eviction Help Project: Do you need help with an eviction in Massachusetts? The COVID Eviction Legal Help Project (CELHP) was formed to expand the capacity of legal aid organizations in Massachusetts, as well as the pro bono bar, to provide urgently needed legal assistance in COVID-related eviction cases. CELHP will provide referrals, legal information, assistance and legal representation in Housing Court, and where capacity allows in District Courts and for tenants at risk of losing their subsidized housing. The goal of representation is to achieve housing stability.

Child Mind Institute: Will My Child Bounce Back From the Coronavirus Crisis? Trauma, resilience and how parents can help. [En Español.]

The Neighbor to Neighbor Grant is available to assist with unforeseen costs, especially those associated with COVID. Individuals work with partner agencies to address costs associated with housing, medical bills, utilities and more.

The Ecu-Health Care office is currently ready to help support you with your health insurance needs. We are currently closed to in-person appointments however, should you need to drop off verifications to be forwarded to MassHealth or the Health Connector, please use the envelopes provided outside our office door and leave them in our drop box. Our staff is available to assist you over the phone during regular business hours of 8:30-5:00 Monday-Thursday and 8:30-4:00 on Friday. Please call 413-663-8711. For assistance please give us a call and we will do our best to help you. To contact MassHealth directly, call 1-800-841-2900. To contact the Health Connector directly, call 1-877-623-6765. Thank you for your patience and cooperation. The Ecu-Health Care staff wishes you and your families all the best during this difficult time.

Northern Berkshire CDBG-CV Regional Microenterprise Assistance Program: Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, the Town of Adams and their municipal partners are pleased to announce the FY19 Community Development Block Grant CDBG CV emergency grant assistance for microbusinesses in Adams and neighboring northern Berkshire communities. Learn more and apply here.

Governor Baker announced that free COVID-19 testing has expanded to North Adams through the Stop the Spread Campaign, at 98 Church St. For information on how to get tested there, visit the BHS website. To find a testing site near you, visit MDPH's interactive COVID-19 Test Site Locator map. To receive a test at Berkshire Health Systems sites around the county, call 855-262-5465. Many sites require pre-screening, a referral and/or an appointment; be sure to verify what you'll need ahead of going to the testing site.

The Williamstown Affordable Housing Trust has raised the ceiling on grants offered by the new Williamstown Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Grant amounts have increased from $1,000 to $2,500. The criteria remain the same: applicants have to be at or below 100% of AMI (preference for 80% or below); adversely affected financially by COVID-19 and must be renting in Williamstown. Online applications are available from the Berkshire Housing website at berkshirehousing.com or by calling 413-499-4887 to leave a message.

Community Legal Aid is now assisting low-income families and students in Berkshire County with educational issues. Our education law attorney will provide advice and assistance with COVID-related and other education issues families face now and in the future as schools reopen, including accessing technological devices and internet connection for remote learning; accessing materials and information in the parent's preferred language (information, notices, and academic materials); accessing special education instruction, accommodations, and services for students who are struggling, whether or not they have been diagnosed with a disability; disciplinary proceedings (such as suspensions and expulsions) or other removals from learning time; bullying; and barriers to school enrollment (such as lack of necessary documentation). Families can apply for services by calling 855-CLA-LEGAL (855-252-5342) or applying online at communitylegal.org/get-help.

Community Legal Aid (CLA) is offering an Unemployment Project to help people apply for benefits, especially if they are encountering technology or language barriers, or if they are otherwise having trouble getting approved. Call 855-CLA-LEGAL or visit communitylegal.org/get-help for help. Also, please contact us if your landlord is not following the new eviction moratorium law that prevents evictions in most cases. Click here for more information about the new law. Although CLA is closed to the public at this time, we are still open and taking cases involving public benefits, elder, housing, family, and immigration (through our subsidiary, Central West Justice Center). Please refer to our website at communitylegal.org for a full list of what we do.

The Williamstown Affordable Housing Trust (AHT) and Berkshire Housing Development Corporation (BHDC) are partnering to distribute emergency rental assistance funding for eligible Williamstown residents who have suffered financial setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for details.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Berkshire County has announced the addition of a Warm Line, 413-445-1136, a phone number that people can call to talk to  either a NAMI BC staff or a community trained volunteer having lived experience with mental health issues, trauma, and/or to assist individuals through a difficult time, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. NAMI Berkshire County will provide support over the phone as well as resources as available. Calls will be accepted during the day and evening until 8 p.m. Callers experiencing isolation, fear, stress can speak to someone so they will not feel as isolated and find some coping strategies that have worked for the operators staffing the phone.  If operators are not available callers can leave their phone number and first name and they will be called back within 24 hours or sooner. The information is strictly confidential.

SafeLink is Massachusetts' statewide 24/7 toll-free domestic violence hotline. SafeLink hotline advocates are multilingual, and all calls to SafeLink are free, confidential and anonymous. Anyone can call for information, support and resources at 1-877-785-2020. For more resources, visit here.

The Northern Berkshire COVID-19 Operations Center serves as a centralized hub for the communities of North Adams, Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Savoy, New Ashford, Florida, and Williamstown; Stamford, Vermont; as well as for MCLA and Williams College. The purpose of this Center is to coordinate efforts, resources, and information within the region. If individuals become aware of resources, needs or there are individuals who would like to volunteer, please call the Command Center at 413-662-3614 or email at nbcovid@gmail.com to share information. 

Al-ANON meetings will be held via Phone-In Meetings, Thursdays & Sundays at 7:00pm. The call-in information is 1-401-379-0339 PIN# 159328.

Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority's (BCRHA) Although BCRHA's physical office space will be closed to the public, BCRHA staff will continue to work with households in need of assistance through telephone and video conferences, when possible. You may leave a message at the following number (413) 443-7138. This number will be checked periodically throughout each weekday. You can also go to BCRHA's website www.bcrha.com to access the staff directory as well.

Adams Town Office Hours - Town offices will operate with essential staff on premises only from 9 to 1 Monday through Thursday via phone or email; the Community Development Office will operate remotely only through voicemail and email. The Adams Free Library is closed completely; parks are open but people are urged to remain at least 6 feet apart and be in groups of less than 10. 

The Department of Unemployment Assistance can be reached at (877) 626-6800. Please reach out if you need assistance. You should apply for unemployment benefits during your first week of total or partial unemployment. Most claims are processed within 21-28 days after filing.

People should be mindful of potential fraud. Massachusetts residents who believe they are victims of fraud or other criminal activity related to the pandemic should contact the United States Attorney's Office at USAMA.victimassistance@usdoj.gov or 888-221-6023. Members of the public can also contact the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) by visiting www.IC3.gov. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, please call 911. The Consumer Protection Hotline is also available at (617) 727-8400 to address questions or concerns. 

Elizabeth Freeman Domestic Violence Prevention Center: (866) 401-2425
Department of Children and Families: (413) 236-1800
Berkshire Immigrant Center: (413) 445-4881

MassHealth has expanded eligibility and coverage in response to COVID19. See the MassHealth website for more information. 

Elder Services (413) 499-0524
Solider On: (413) 236-5644; info@wesoldieron.org
Financial Resources:
  • DTA Assistance Line: (877) 382-2363
  • Berkshire Community Action Council: (413) 445-4503; (413) 663-3014
  • Department of Unemployment Assistance: (877) 626-6800, (617) 626-6338
  • Unemployment has waived the waiting period. Click here.
  • MA Consumer Protection Hotline: (617) 727-8400
Food Access and Distribution Sites
The Baker-Polito Administration announced that it received federal approval to issue additional Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT, benefits in September to promote increased food security for families who participate in the United States Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP). These funds will help cover the cost of missed school meals from the month of September due to delayed school opening or remote learning, for over 470,000 students and their families. Benefits will start being available (being distributed) September 30, 2020. Please see MAp-ebt.org.

The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) is issuing emergency SNAP (food stamp) supplements to many SNAP households to help buy food during the pandemic crisis. Congress approved special SNAP supplement benefits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to see if you will get extra SNAP benefits.

If you are in need of or would like to check on your eligibility for SNAP, please call the Foodbank of Western MA to apply or ask questions over the phone. The number is 413-992-6204. Visit the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts website for more information.

WIC Services - The 510 North Street & North Adams WIC sites are currently closed until further notice, but we are serving our participants over the phone. If you already have an upcoming appointment, we will call you in the near future to help you and to load your benefits onto your WIC Card. If you do not have a scheduled appointment or if you have questions, please call our Pittsfield office at (413) 447-3495 - if we are unable to answer, please leave a voicemail. We will call you back as soon as possible and apologize for the delay.

Food Pantries:

Al Nelson Friendship Center, 45 Eagle Street, North Adams, 413-664-0123
Wednesdays 10:00am – 2:00pm. Clients physically unable to get to food pantry, call on Wednesday to set-up a delivery, which will take place on Thursdays, 10:00am – 12:00pm. Assistance to residents of Clarksburg, Florida, and North Adams every other week.

Berkshire Dream Center Mobile Food Pantry, 413-522-3495
North Adams Locations: 1st Wednesday of the month, Mohawk Forest at 5:00pm, Brayton Hill at 5:45pm, Greylock at 6:45pm. No requirements.

Cheshire Food Pantry at the Cheshire Community Center, 119 School Street,
Cheshire 413-743-9719, 1st Saturday of each month 11:00am – 12:00noon
Available to all Cheshire residents with proof of residency. Emergency food is also available.

Community Bible Church, 160 Bridges Road, Williamstown, 413-458-5556
3rd Wednesday of each month, noon – 2:00pm. Must be a Mass. resident.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Mobile Food Bank, Adams: Held at the Adams Council on Aging/Adams Visitors’ Center, 3 Hoosac Street, Adams 413-247-9738, ext. 121; 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month; 10:00am – 11:00am. No proof of eligibility required. Must be Berkshire County resident. One distribution per household.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Mobile Food Bank North Adams: American Legion 124 American Legion Drive, North Adams 413-247-9738, ext. 121; 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month; 10:00am – 11:00am; No proof of eligibility required.

St. John Paul II Charity Center, Rte. 8 across from Walgreens, Adams, 413-743-0577. Wednesdays 11:00am – 1:00pm. Assistance to residents of Adams, Cheshire, and Savoy.

The Salvation Army Gateway New Life Center, 393 River Street, North Adams, 413-663-7987. Tuesdays 12Noon – 3:00pm. For Emergency Pantry please call 413-663-7987. For North County residents only.
Williamstown Food Pantry at St. Patrick & St. Raphael Parish: 53 Southworth Street, Williamstown, 413-458-4946, x11 or 413-458-3149. 1st and 3rd Wednesdays 9:00am – Noon. Drive or walk-thru. Assistance to residents of Hancock, New Ashford, Williamstown, and Pownal, VT.
Meal Sites:

Adams COA: 3 Hoosac Street, Adams 413-743-8333. Mondays thru Fridays 
Congregate meals available for grab & go Must call Adams COA 24 hours prior.

Berkshire Food Project: First Congregational Church of N. Adams 134 Main Street, North Adams 413-664-7378. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 11:30am – 1:00pm

Cheshire COA Held at Cheshire Community Center, 119 School Street, Cheshire 413-743-9719. Mondays thru Fridays,10:15am – Noon. Congregate meals available for grab & go. Must call Cheshire COA.

First Baptist Church Community Soup Kitchen Eagle Street Entrance, 131 Main Street, North Adams, 413-652-7619. Saturdays 11:00am – 12:30pm.

North Adams COA, Mary Spitzer Center, 116 Ashland Street North Adams 413-662-3125, Mondays thru Fridays 11:30am – Noon, Congregate meals available for 60+ for pick-up only – Must call one day in advance to reserve meal. Please call 413-664-9826.

School Food Distribution Sites:
McCann Technical School, 70 Hodges Cross Road, North Adams, 413-663-5383. 
Grab & Go meals at no cost for any student ages 18 and under from around the area. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 3:00pm – 3:45pm. On the pick-up days there will be one hot meal , one cold meal, and two breakfasts. Pick-ups every week unless there is a holiday.

Lunch, and breakfast for the next day, are distributed at these locations. On Fridays, lunch for the weekend is also distributed. Parents and guardians can pick-up meals on behalf of their children.
Greylock Valley Apts. 11:45am – 12:15pm Mohawk Forest Apts. 11:00am – 11:30am Tuesdays 
Brayton Elementary School 11:00am – 12NN Colegrove Park Elementary School 11:00am-12NN Greylock Valley Apts. 11:45am – 12:15pm Mohawk Forest Apts. 11:00am – 11:30am
School Bus Stop Meal Delivery Program-see bus route schedule at www.napsk12.org for details 
Greylock Valley Apts. 11:45am – 12:15pm Mohawk Forest Apts. 11:00am – 11:30am Fridays 
Brayton Elementary School 11:00am – 12NN Colegrove Park Elementary School 11:00am-12NN Greylock Valley Apts. 11:45am -12:15pm 
Mohawk Forest Apts. 11:00am – 11:30am
North Adams Public Schools Dinners 
Free curbside grab & go dinners to all North Adams children under the age of 18 
Brayton Elementary School 
Mondays thru Fridays 
4:30pm – 5:00pm 
Visit the NAPS website for more information.

Food Delivery:
Meals on Wheels (Elder Services), Berkshire County Wide - Monday-Friday around Lunch Time. Call (413) 499-0524.   

Food Establishments Berkshire County Wide: Click here for more info. This information is subject to change

Senior-Only Supermarket Hours:
Big Y: 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for customers who are 60 and older or have compromised immune systems. Regular store hours are now 8 AM to 8 PM until further notice. 

WildOats: The 9-10am hour is now reserved exclusively for senior shoppers. Anyone under the age of 60 is asked to please wait to shop with us until after 10am. The store at 9am and close at 8pm every day of the week until further notice. This change will provide the staff with additional time and social distance to restock our shelves and sanitize the store for our most-at-risk shoppers coming in during that first hour.

Stop and Shop: 6:00 to 7:30 AM daily. 

Walmart: 6:00 to 7:00 am on Tuesdays.

Adams Hometown Market: Daily from 7:00 to 8:00am. For 60+, immunocompromised, first responders.

Food Transportation: 
Adams COA Van: Brown Bag Delivery, Grocery Shopping during senior-friendly hours if they choose. Call COA. 

Williamstown COA Van: Brown Bag Delivery, Van Transportation. Call COA. 
Family Support
The Support Network is hosting virtual support groups. Click here for schedule.

New England Farmworkers Council (childcare vouchers) 413-236-5890; (866) 573-4684

Department of Early Education and Care: (413) 788-8401
Berkshire Nursing Families: (413) 743-5338, www.berkshirenursingfamilies.org

WIC: 510 North Street & North Adams WIC sites are currently closed until further notice, but we are serving our Participants over the phone. If you already have an upcoming appointment, we will call you in the near future to help you and to load your benefits onto your WIC Card. If you do not have a scheduled appointment or if you have questions, please call our Pittsfield office at (413) 447-3495 - if we are unable to answer, please leave a voicemail. We will call you back as soon as possible and apologize for the delay.

WIC: Nuestras oficinas de 510 North Street & North Adams WIC esta'n actualmente cerrados, pero estamos atendiendo a nuestros participants por tele'fono. Si ya tienes una pro'xima cita programada, lo llamaremos en un future cercano para ayudarlo y cargar sus beneficios en si tarjeta de WIC. Si no tiene una cita programada o si tiene preguntas, por favor llame a (413) 447-3495 deje una mensage de voz. Le devolveremos a llamada lo mas antes possible y le pedimos disculpas por cualquier retraso.

Need Diapers? The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition has teamed up with The Family Center at Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc., so that families can have access to diapers. If you need diapers, call the Coalition at 413-663-7588 to arrange a time for pick up.

Berkshire Community Diaper Project: We would be willing to bring diapers to sites for families who need them. The best way to do this is to have a person at the site be in touch with us directly so we know what size diapers and how many of each are needed. We can then deliver diapers to these sites. Please contact us by email (daltreyt@gmail.com) or call me at 413-446-5038 to let me know if we can be of help. 

Parents Helping Parents Massachusetts is offering online support groups for parents. Visit the Parents Helping Parents website for more information.

Parental Stress Line. The current national health emergency is causing many parents anxiety. How do I protect my children? What do I tell them? Or simply, how do I keep them busy when there is no school? The Parental stress line counselors are still there to listen to your concerns and problem-solve with you, 24-7, free and confidential. CALL: 800-632-8188.

Compared to adults, children are more vulnerable to the emotional impact of traumatic events that disrupt their daily lives. Dr. Griffin, along with colleagues at Child Trends, developed a resource regarding how to safeguard the emotional and psychological health of children and families in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.   

If you are working remotely during COVID-19here are some tips for your mental health and well-being.

Stuck home with the kids? Berkshires Macaroni Kid has a Survival Guide for you! Click here.

Check out Kids2college 2.0- Are you looking for simple yet exciting activities and experiments to do with your child(ren)? They can follow along with me weekly to do fun science experiments using minimal and affordable materials!! Four new videos every week! Calendar attached with needed materials for each week attached. Click here.
Housing and Homeless Updates
Although Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority's (BCRHA) physical office space will be closed to the public, BCRHA staff will continue to work with households in need of assistance through telephone and video conferences, when possible. You may leave a message at the following number (413) 443-7138. This number will be checked periodically throughout each weekday. You can also go to BCRHA's website www.bcrha.com to access the staff directory as well.

Louison House, Inc. remains OPEN for services. For all Housing needs contact Louison House at 413-663-6323. Ext 4 has staff on duty 24/7. Louison House provides assistance for individuals for their immediate housing needs in order to support them in obtaining and/or maintaining safe affordable housing.   

Our transitional housing provides congregate shelter for homeless in our recently rebuilt building, known as Terry's Place, at 395 Old Columbia Street, Adams. Affordable housing is provided long term to chronic homeless individuals and families in apartments in North Adams. Additional affordable housing will soon be available through rental units in Adams at Columbia Street and later this summer in North Adams. 

The North Adams building, the Flood House, at 149 Church Street in North Adams remains open for services for housing assistance and Representative Payee services by appointment. Email kkeeser@louisonhouse.org to be added to our newsletter list.  
Barton's Crossing (Shelter for Individuals, 18 yrs and older): 1307 North St, Pittsfield (413) 442-1445. On a first-come, first-serve basis a person starts out ISB (immediate shelter bed). In at 4 p.m., out at 7:00 a.m., they repeat this process until there are openings in the house. They get meals, a bed, shower and laundry. When a regular bed opens, they gain intensive case management to end their homelessness.

Our Friend's House (Shelter for Families): 292 West Street, Pittsfield (413) 499-2877. A homeless family is first triaged through Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority to see if they qualify for Emergency Assistance. While this could lead to their having to leave town, it also qualifies them for benefits they wouldn't ordinarily receive. If not qualifying, they are added to OFH's waitlist until an opening becomes available. Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority: (413) 443-7138.
The HomeBase Program is a new program designed to provide a housing solution to families who are at serious risk of homelessness, and provide an alternative to going to a family shelter or motel. The type of assistance is based on the individual needs of a family, and will be determined through an assessment. Families who are determined to be Emergency Assistance (EA) eligible by a DHCD Homeless Coordinator may be eligible for the HomeBase Program if the reason for homelessness relates to health and safety, overcrowding, asked to leave or evicted from housing, among other reasons. IF YOU KNOW OF A FAMILY IN A HOUSING CRISIS WHO NEEDS HELP, TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE HOMEBASE PROGRAM, YOU CAN CONTACT BCRHA: 1-800-248-9002.

Dial 211 for general information about programs that may be available, or visit www.mass211help.org.
61 Main Street, Suite 218
North Adams. MA 01247
Tel: (413) 663-7588 | Fax: (413) 663-9877