On behalf of Mayor Bianchi, the Pittsfield Housing Authority and the City of Pittsfield we would like to cordially invite you to the ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off the opening of two community centers. We hope to celebrate this stepping stone in the right direction towards developing a safer, friendlier, more welcoming community atmosphere, here, with you in our City of Pittsfield. The location for the ribbon cutting will be at Dower Square, Apartment #1, 253 Wahconah Street, Pittsfield. The time is at 2pm on Friday, June 21st.
Hope to see you!
Mary McGinnis, Director of Administrative Services / Mayor Bianchi’s Office
Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi is pleased to announce a new collaboration between the City of Pittsfield and the Pittsfield Housing Authority to establish community centers at two public housing locations with the possibility of one more to follow. The Community Centers will make a broad range of city services accessible to residents in housing authority managed developments.
Each location features a living room style meeting space for a variety of educational programs and services available to City residents. A host of programs have been planned for the Community Centers including, but not limited to, childhood literacy programs, meeting rooms for neighborhood initiatives and committees, sports mentoring and instruction programs, tax filing assistance, wellness clinics, nutrition counseling and healthy eating cooking demonstrations, voter registration drives, Neighborhood Crime Watch meeting space, helmet and biking safety instruction and fire safety awareness.
Two Community Centers are ready to open immediately. The first is located at 15 Francis Plaza, 44 units of elderly and disabled units in the Westside Neighborhood. The second Community Center is located at 1 Dower Square, 50 units of family housing located on Wahconah Street. A future location is planned for Wilson Park, another large family development operated and managed by the Pittsfield Housing Authority. Currently Wilson Park is undergoing a renovation project. When the project is complete a third Community Center in Wilson Park is planned.
Programs to be offered immediately include health screening and informational workshops provided by Berkshire Health Systems and the City’s Public Health Department, financial literacy and energy saving workshops run by Berkshire Community Action Council and Habitat for Humanity, childhood literacy programs through Berkshire United Way and Pittsfield Promise. The Sheriff’s Department is planning on running TRIAD programs that help protect and educate seniors from crimes that target the elderly and youth sports programs. Preservation Housing Management, which operates and manages Central Annex and Union Court, have also scheduled craft workshops at Dower Square to engage their senior residents with the youth at Dower Square.
“Our goal with the Community Centers is to connect Pittsfield residents with opportunity, to link them to community programs and services that can enhance their quality of life, and to provide exposure to the variety of community based programs and resources that are available to all. “ The City’s Department of Community Development will coordinate a booking calendar that will be available online at the City’s website , www.cityofpittsfield.org. Once a program or activity has been deemed suitable for the location and a letter of intent submitted, agencies or interested parties can contact Justine Dodds, the City’s Housing Specialist to book time at the centers, either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to 499-9367. The Centers will be available for use between 9 am and 9 pm. The Pittsfield Police Department will also have informal drop in hours, as needed, to foster communication between the police and the residents and for residents to express any public safety concerns they may have.
Charlie Smith, the Executive Director of the Pittsfield Housing Authority said “We are an active partner in promoting these programs. We know that our tenants will benefit if we make city services more accessible. For the PHA, this will be a very low cost program with the potential to see some significant impact for our residents and the community.”
The furnishings were donated by several local businesses, including BBE Office Interiors, Greylock Federal Credit Union, General Dynamics and the Crowne Plaza. First Fridays Artswalk has provided art pieces for the location. Two informal tenant meetings have been held with the residents to solicit input about the types of programs and services that would be most beneficial to them.
On behalf of Mayor Bianchi, the Pittsfield Housing Authority and the City of Pittsfield we would like to cordially invite you to the ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off the opening of two community centers. We hope to celebrate this stepping stone in the right direction towards developing a safer, friendlier, more welcoming community atmosphere, here, with you in our City of Pittsfield.
A formal ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Friday June 21, at 2 p.m. at the Dower Square Community Center.
For more information on the ceremony or program contact Mary McGinnis, Director of Administrative Services for the City at 499-9322.