After 28 Years, ServiceNet to Transition from Emergency Shelter Work in Northampton and Greenfield
ServiceNet, a Northampton-based non-profit mental health and human services agency that provides essential services throughout western Massachusetts, has announced it will not seek to renew its contracts for emergency homeless shelters in Northampton and Greenfield.
The Wells Street Shelter in Greenfield and the Grove Street Inn and Interfaith Shelter in Northampton will continue to operate as usual until March 31, 2023, at which time they will be turned over to whichever agency the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) selects to succeed ServiceNet.
While the decision not to bid on these contracts marks a transition away from emergency shelter work in Northampton and Greenfield, ServiceNet CEO Sue Stubbs is clear that the organization’s commitment to the homeless population in these areas remains firm.
“Homelessness is an issue where many of the challenges we face in our community come together,” says Stubbs. “As an organization, we remain committed to serving the individual homeless population through our outpatient clinics, substance use recovery programs, mental health recovery programs, family shelters, supportive housing, and much more.”
ServiceNet also remains committed to its emergency shelter staff, who like many human services workers across the country, have grappled with deep challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Jay Sacchetti, Vice President of Sheltering and Housing at ServiceNet noted, “We have amazing, dedicated, and passionate staff in these emergency shelters. We will be working closely with them to find a program to transition to within ServiceNet or assist them should they choose to continue with the successor agency.”
For Stubbs, the timing to transition away from emergency shelter work in Greenfield and Northampton aligns with the changing landscape of resources available.
“There are now a few other area agencies that are also dedicated to providing services for individuals who are homeless,” says Stubbs. “And we believe it is a timely moment to share this work, and ultimately, strengthen the resources available to all.”
ServiceNet will continue to operate the Florence Inn permanent supportive housing program in Florence, both the School Street permanent supportive housing program and Greenfield Family Inn in Greenfield, and Our Friends’ House, a family shelter, in Pittsfield. ServiceNet will also seek to continue its emergency shelter work in Pittsfield, where it has long-standing relationships with, and ongoing commitments to, several community partners and the city.
ServiceNet began operating emergency shelters in 1994 and currently have shelters in Greenfield, Pittsfield, and Northampton, funded primarily (65-70%) by the DHCD, with supplemental funds coming from United Way, private foundations, community donors, municipalities’ CDBG allocations, and ServiceNet itself.