Amherst, Northampton shelters open for season
By Scott Merzhach, Staff Writer
Despite losing its staff during the summer, and questions about whether it would be ready to welcome guests Nov. 1, the Craig’s Place emergency homeless shelter in Amherst was scheduled to open Friday night.
The opening of the shelter, which is expected to serve 28 individuals during the cold-weather months, came less than four hours after the Interfaith Winter Shelter in Northampton began serving up to 20 guests at its site.
Gerry Weiss, president of the Craig’s Doors: A Home Association Inc. board, said the Amherst shelter, which operates from the First Baptist Church at 434 North Pleasant St., was able to get new staff in place for the shelter and a resource center, with Kevin Noonan returning as its executive director.
Guests, who are welcome even if under the influence of drugs or alcohol, line up at the rear of the church at 9:15 p.m.
At 43 Center St. in Northampton, the Interfaith shelter is a project of ServiceNet and the Friends of Hampshire County Homeless. Guests can enter at 6 p.m. and will have both dinner and breakfast. All guests must be sober when admitted.
Both shelters are scheduled to remain open through April 30.