Emergency Shelter Plan for Winter 2014/2015

As winter approaches, the City of Pittsfield has worked proactively with the Berkshire County legislative delegation and area homeless shelters and human service providers, including ServiceNet, Inc., Solider On, Inc., Family Life, Inc. (Louison House) , Construct, Inc. and the Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority (BCRHA), to provide a regional response to homelessness by increasing homeless shelter and related supportive services capacity during the higher demand cold weather months, which includes the period from November through April.

ServiceNet will increase the emergency shelter capacity for individuals at the Barton’s Crossing homeless shelter during the winter months. This program will provide nightly shelter to eligible homeless persons during the months of November through April. This program is designed to ensure the immediate safety of all homeless persons by providing temporary nightly shelter to individuals during the winter months (November- April). ServiceNet shall provide 10 additional cot beds for both men and women\, 7 days a week, from November 1, 2014- April 30, 2015. In general, intakes will take place after 4 pm and these guests will leave the shelter no later than 8am. 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 8am-4pm. 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.

In conjunction with ServiceNet’s operations at Barton’s Crossing, Solider On will once again provide an additional 10 beds for homeless individuals and related supports during the high demand period. Access to these beds will be through Barton’s Crossing.

Both Construct, Inc. and Family Life Support, Inc. will have increases emergency sheltering and supportive services capacity in the Southern and Northern sub-regions of the County. The specific resources and services that will be available 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 Berkshire County, This program is also designed to ensure the immediate safety of homeless individuals. The voucher program will target homeless individuals living in these sub-regions who need emergency sheltering from 1-3 nights before accessing more permanent alternative sheltering (Barton’s Crossing) or accessing other appropriate temporary or permanent housing options.

In an effort to take some of the strain off the sheltering system, BCRHA will provide homelessness diversion and prevention services for homeless and imminently at- risk individuals primarily residing in Central Berkshire County, although as a regional agency, services will be made available to Berkshire County residents. Specific diversion/prevention services will include the following: Court-Connected and Community-Based Mediation and Conciliation Services, Housing Counseling, Housing Search assistance, and Representative Payee and Financial Literacy Assistance.

The following is a list of contact information for each program:

Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority                          413-443-7138

ServiceNet                                                                                          413-442-4003

Soldier On                                                                                           413-236-5644

Louison House                                                                                   413-743-7957

Construct                                                                                            413-528-1985