The City of Pittsfield is pleased to announce that Berkshire Children and Families (BCF), a longstanding human service organization in the community, will serve as the new lead agency for Pittsfield Community Connection (PCC).
BCF assumes the role formerly held by Fenn Street Community Development Corp. based in the city. The transition was approved by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services which oversees funding for the Safe & Successful Youth Initiative and Charles E. Shannon grants, both instrumental in reducing youth violence and gang activity in the city. Earlier this month, the city was awarded $73,000 in Shannon grant funding.
Mayor Linda Tyer said the transition marked an opportunity to enrich the support and resources offered to vulnerable youth in the community.
“I am thrilled to know that Berkshire Children and Families, a beacon of hope and stability for many in our city, will extend this dedicated care and attention to our young people through its work with Pittsfield Community Connection. I remain committed to the well-being of our city’s most at-risk young people and I am deeply confident that this partnership will continue to build and strengthen the important youth violence intervention work in our community,” said Mayor Tyer.
BCF Acting Executive Director Diane Robie said her organization looked forward to the exciting work ahead.
“We are pleased to join the city in this important initiative to build strong and safe communities in our city. Pittsfield Community Connection has made great strides in working with youth who are impacted by violence and crime. By bringing together the resources of Berkshire Children and Families, with the expertise of PCC, we look to expand opportunities for youth and their families. Our goal is to inspire a sense of hope, tap into potential, and address the serious social stressors pervading our city. This is a community effort,” Robie said.
Through the Shannon grant, youth ages 10-20 are supported and partnered with a mentor. The city was first awarded the SSYI grant in 2015, which is earmarked over a 10-year span. It incorporates multifaceted strategies to address and eliminate violence among high risk youth ages 17-24.People who want to learn more or who are interested in becoming mentors should call 413-448-8281 for more information.