Pierre Abellie, new Site Manager of St. Joe’s Emergency Shelter, brings Enthusiasm and Energy to the Role
Pierre Abellie is the new Site Manager of St. Joseph’s Emergency Shelter in Pittsfield. This year-round shelter provides housing, meals, showers, toiletries, and clothing for adult individuals experiencing homelessness, and Pierre is the go-to person for the program’s day-to-day operations.
Pierre began working for ServiceNet six years ago as a residential counselor and has always taken deep satisfaction in his interactions with participants and staff. These daily moments fuel Pierre’s positive attitude and the deep fulfillment he finds in the work.
“I get joy from being able to help someone get over certain obstacles,” Pierre says. “To be able to just put a smile on someone’s face one day is an enormous moment.”
Despite how much he naturally loves the work, a career in human services was not what Pierre set out to do professionally. Pierre studied astrophysics in college and considers himself a scientist at heart. While still in college, he began working in youth programs and found the work a great fit. He’s followed that trajectory ever since with no regrets.
“My life right now, both professionally and personally, is genuinely fantastic,” Pierre says.” I want to do this work as long as possible. If the time ever comes when I feel like I’ve done enough and I’ve given enough, then I will go and follow the scientific path. But right now, there is nowhere else I would rather be.”
Part of what makes Pierre especially excited in his new role as the site manager is the shelter’s upcoming move to a new location on Fenn Street, partly made possible by substantial ARPA funding from the city of Pittsfield.
Located at the First United Methodist Church, the Fenn Street Shelter will replace the temporary shelter located at the former St. Joseph’s High School. Upon its completion, the new shelter will represent a major step toward a more livable, welcoming, and engaging space for the city’s most vulnerable neighbors who are experiencing homelessness. It will have 6,000 square feet of sleeping space, meeting rooms, and common areas for relaxation. It will include up to 45 overnight and emergency beds, bathrooms with showers, and access to a fully upgraded commercial kitchen and dining area of approximately 3,000 square feet.
“We can implement some of the ideas we may have had in the past and bring new ideas in because it is our own space,” Pierre says. “It will give us more freedom to expand in ways that we cannot do right now. It’s exhilarating to be able to move to a new environment and create more activities geared toward making people more engaged. It’s a very exciting time!”
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