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February 16, 2024: Issue 4

Offering hope and help to those impacted by opioid misuse in

Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region.

UPCOMING EVENTS

See what's happening at OTF this month.

COVID-19 RESOURCES

Explore OTF's COVID-19 Resource Guide.

MASSACHUSETTS SUBSTANCE USE HELPLINE

Hope is here. Get help.

413Cares
Resources for Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region. Click here.

NQCC'S RESOURCES

Resources and upcoming events in the North Quabbin Region. Click here.

CONNECTIONS #76

Find local resources in this issue.

Emergency Services Resources for Unhoused Individuals

The PACES CONNECTION

Click here for resources.

Grayken Center for Addiction

Training & Technical Assistance

Click here to view and/or register for trainings.

GCC Community Engagement and Workshop Events

Click here to view and/or register for trainings.

"All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort - a sustained effort - to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings."

~President Barak Obama

Additional Photos from the 6th Annual Sober Housing Summit

Good morning,


On Friday, Feb. 9th, the Opioid Task Force held the 6th Annual Sober 

Housing Summit, ‘Providing Supportive Housing and Residential Recovery 

Services: A Primer’ at Greenfield Community College. The goal of this event was to educate participants on the variety of Sober Housing and Residential Recovery Services available in Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region and to highlight best practices and illuminate gaps in the continuum of care for individuals using these services. This event was 

designed to break down the differences between Sober Housing and Residential Recovery Services and to provide information about the various models of these programs. 

The event opened with a welcome from Judy Raper, Associate Dean of Community Engagement at GCC. This was followed by Shawn Hayden, Vice President of GAAMHA giving a brief discussion on the importance of 

providing Sober Housing and Residential Recovery Services in our area. I provided a presentation which broke down the variety of types of Sober Housing models as well as Residential Recovery Service models available. This included the Oxford House and MASH Style models of Sober Housing, as well as looking at Therapeutic Communities, Recovery Home, Social Models and Cooccurring Enhanced Residential Recovery Service Models. 

A highlight of the event was hearing from the panel of speakers representing the various Residential Recovery Service programs/models 

available throughout Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region. This included James Anello - Assistant Director and Kris Reed - Alum from Pathway House in Gardner, MA, Glenn Jackson - Clinical Supervisor and Chris Penna - Alum, Carl. E. Dahl House in Gardner, MA, Mickey Viveiros, Reentry Caseworker at Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Two Rivers 

Recovery Center Alum, Greenfield, MA, Justin Cascone - Program Director of Orange Recovery Home in Orange, MA and Patricia Smith - Program Director of Beacon House, Greenfield, MA.

The event was well attended and there was a robust and informative Q&A following the panelists sharing their unique experiences and informed perspectives. Some takeaways included highlighting the reality that not all 

individuals in recovery take the same path and what works for some may not work for others. This emphasizes the importance of having a tapestry of program models and services available to individuals in early recovery. 

Sober Housing and Residential Recovery Services can provide a crucial lifelong foundation for individuals beginning their lifelong journey of recovery.


Sincerely,


Kristen Cuddy-Pease, Program Associate & Project Manager/ARISE Initiative, Opioid Task Force

Visit SAMHSA's website for support and resources

OTF Members in the News

"DA Lands Grant to Combat Human Trafficking" ~ Greenfield Recorder (2/7/2024)

" Several state grants meant to improve public safety and combat human trafficking have been awarded to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, along with federal dollars appropriated by the state to several other organizations within the Pioneer Valley.


The Northwestern DA’s office received a combined $153,141 from two state grants, part of an overall $2.3 million given to law enforcement agencies across Massachusetts. The office received $60,141 from the state’s Human Trafficking Enforcement and Training Program, and another $93,000 from the Project Safe Neighborhoods program.


The money from the human trafficking grant will be used to train police officers and prosecutors in investigating suspected trafficking, and allow for several officers to attend conferences and seminars focused on how to conduct investigations via social media and the dark web.


“Human trafficking victims are often not in a position to be able to make a report to the police, for a variety of reasons,” said Jennifer Suhl, deputy district attorney with the Northwestern DA’s office. “So it’s important that when we start from there, we have to go out and seek the investigation. We have to find the victims and find the perpetrators by being proactive in investigating the crimes.”


The grant also provides for training in collaboration with the Children’s Advocacy Center, with education for police officers, medical personnel and school employees, all of whom are required by law to report child abuse if they have knowledge of it. The courses provide them more information and education about the complications that arise when investigating child trafficking and sexual abuse.


“The issue of child sexual exploitation can happen to the children within our community, ” Suhl said. “The idea is to raise awareness for those individuals that come into regular contact with children and families so that

they can identify when it starts early, and before something worse happens to them.”


All other district attorney ’s offices in Massachusetts also received grant funding through the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, as well as the Massachusetts State Police, whose barracks in Springfield and Holyoke received $160,000.


In addition to the two state grants, the Northwestern DA’s office also received $124,000 in federal dollars from the STOP program issued through the Violence Against Women Act.


The grant allows a continuation of the office’s Domestic Violence Intervention Project, which connects survivors of domestic violence with advocates from groups like Behavioral Health Network and the New England Learning Center for Women in Transition, giving access to resources such as safety planning, acquiring restraining orders and resource referrals.



“We’ve had the grant program for about 20 years now,” Suhl said. “We just have to constantly reapply for it to continue to fund this particular program.”


"155K To Expand Workplace Training for Inmates" ~Greenfield Recorder (2/10/2024)

"The Franklin County Community Development Corporation is expanding its work helping incarcerated and recently released individuals enter the workforce, thanks to a $155,000 grant from the state Executive Office of Economic Development’s Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant Program.


This is the second consecutive year the CDC has received this grant, having gotten $94,000 last year. However, Executive Director John Waite and Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center Director of Operations Liz Buxton said this money will be used a little differently as it is supporting the organization’s “After Incarceration: Ending the Cycle Through Workplace Training and Entrepreneurship” program.


“This year, we’re concentrating a lot more on going into the jails to do training and classes on entrepreneurship,” Buxton said. “We’ve been doing that for entrepreneurs and this round we’re hoping to include that population in this kind of training.”


The CDC has been working with former and currently incarcerated people, as well as local re-entry programs, in this way since 2015.


“We think it’s a good option for people coming out of there. … We want to show we can support and give them a place to start,” Waite said. “Some of our current staff are people who came through this program. The results are there.”


The grant will fund two additional staff members at the Wells Street food processing center through June, with a strong likelihood of full-time employment after that period; support the development and implementation of workshops at the Franklin and Hampshire county houses of correction; recruit formerly incarcerated individuals to participate in a twoday food safety and product development course with the University of Massachusetts Amherst; and allow the CDC to partner with local organizations to educate folks and businesses on the benefits of employing formerly incarcerated individuals.


In working with those who have been involved in the criminal justice system, Buxton said people who find steady employment coming out of jail are often more successful and the CDC can provide flexible opportunities for them.

The CDC, for example, is a “recovery-supported workplace” and can work around people’s schedules if they have appointments or other obligations. The agency also works with organizations such as Community Action Pioneer Valley and Working Fields to provide more resources to people working with the CDC.


“If they come through one of the programs, we’re giving them job skills and training,” Buxton said. “Housing and transportation are two of the biggest issues with a lot of these guys and a lot of them are in recovery. … We want them to succeed and support them in any way we can, and flexibility is important with that.”

“Liz talks about second chances and that’s what we’re about,” Waite added.


“Some of our current staff are people who came through this program. … We can’t hire everybody, but we can give them work experience and then we can give them references.”


(Staff File Photo/Paul Franz)

UPCOMING OTF COMMITTEE MEETINGS


Virtual: Building a Resilient Community Workgroup

February 21, 2024

11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Zoom details here.


Virtual: Treatment & Recovery Committee

March 1, 2024

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Zoom details here.


Virtual: Harm Reduction Workgroup

March 6, 2024

11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Zoom details here.


Hybrid: Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking Workgroup

March 11, 2024

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Franklin County Reentry Center

106 Main Street, Greenfield

Zoom details here.


Emergency Services for Unhoused Individuals Task Force

March 18, 2024

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Zoom details here.


Hybrid: Public Safety & Justice Committee

April 1, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 PM

Franklin County Reentry Center

106 Main Street, Greenfield

Zoom details here.


Virtual: CAM Workgroup

April 9, 2024

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Zoom details here.


Virtual: Methadone Workgroup

April 11, 2024

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Zoom details here.


Virtual: Housing & Workforce Development Committee

April 12, 2024

10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Zoom details here



Consult our website or Facebook Page for updates. Please email us with any questions!

FEATURED EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

CONNECT: Post-Opioid Overdose Outreach Services

Support & Resources After the HEALing Communities Study

Learn more at HealTogetherMA.org

Updated Emergency Resources for
Unhoused Individuals
Time Sensitive Announcements

February 1 - March 28 Thursdays Bilingual Music & Movement


February 16 Exploring Visual Identity Inspired by Street Art

February 17 Sone Soup Cafe Menu

February 17 Winter Farmers Market

February 17 Annual St. Jude's Spaghetti Supper Fundraiser

February 17 6th Annual Loving Your Recovery Event

February 17 Winter HooPla!

February 17 Arc-a-Palooza

February 19 - February 23 Free Lunch Program

February 19 - February 24 School Vacation Programs

February 21 Free Food

February 21 - 24 HYRT 2024 Winter Intensive

February 22 (Every Thursday) Free! Children's Closet

February 22 Graphic Novel Book Club!

February 22 Sewing Makerspace

February 24 Owl Music For Families

February 24 Make Your Own Creative Bookmark

February 26 & 27 Make-A-Stuffie

February 27 Prevention Starts With All - Chris Herren

February 29 Virtual Overdose Prevention & Narcan Training

Register Here

February 29 Building Bridges and Belonging

March 1 North Quabbin Seasonal Gathering Winter Edition

March 1 Open Mic Night

March 9 Old School Dodgeball Tournament

March 14 PJ Storytime

March 18 Positive Solutions for Families

March 18 Financial Literacy Workshop

(8 Week Course on Mondays)

March 22 Rooted in Resilience

April 2 Greenfield Public Library Presents Jarrett Krosoczka

MONTHLY/WORKSHOP CALENDERS AND WEEKLY STANDING MEETINGS/EVENTS

Improving Housing to Improve Health News

Re-Entry Foundational Manufacturing Program

February Franklin County Reentry Center Calendar

February at Community Action Family Center

February Programs - Great Falls Discovery Center

February Brick House Programs

February Montague Public Libraries Programs

February Children's Programs at Greenfield Public Library

February at the RECOVER Project

February Events at the Sunderland Public Library

February - March LifePath Healthy Living 2024 Winter Workshops

February - March Union 28 Community Network for Children Program Calendar

SNAP Application Assistance
Always Open! Community Labyrinth in Greenfield
RECOVER Project Groups At a Glance
Weekdays All Recovery Meeting at
The RECOVER Project

Monday/Wednesday/Friday

The Community Closet at The Franklin County Reentry Center

Monday - Friday
Movement Group with North Quabbin Recovery Center Peer Leaders
Mondays North Quabbin Patch Parents' Council
Mondays Art Guild Meetings
Mondays Advanced Manufacturing Info Sessions
Monday Drug Court Alumni Group - North Quabbin
Second Mondays of the Month - North Quabbin B.R.A.V.E. Task Force Meetings
Mondays Alternatives to Suicide Group

2nd Mondays

Greenfield Healing Clinic

2nd and 4th Mondays
Parenting Together at the Brick House
Mondays and Wednesdays
Restless, Irritable, and Discontent: Your Brain in Recovery

Tuesdays
Peer-Led Grief and Loss Circle
First Tuesday - Dads' Group at Valuing Our Children
Tuesday Tea Time & Community Resource Drop-In
Tuesdays North Quabbin Recovery Center Coffee Hour
Tuesdays Greenfield Suicide Loss Group

First Tuesday - P.A.R.T. Task Force

Tuesdays Drop-In Knitting & Sewing Sessions
2nd Tuesdays New Member Orientation at the RECOVER Project

Tuesday Men's Anger Management Group

Wednesday Women's Anger Management Group

Wednesdays - Wendell Library Playgroup with Sylvia

Wednesdays - Playgroup at the Leverett Library with Gillian

Wednesdays - Housing Navigator Sessions at the Franklin County Reentry Center
Wednesdays HEROES Study Hub at GCC
Wednesdays Men's Support Group:
Keep Moving Forward

Last Wednesday of the Month Office Hours With An Att

First & Third Thursdays Parent Support Group
Thursdays Recovery Support Group Meetings at the Franklin County Reentry Center
Thursdays Coffee Hour at the Brick House
Thursdays Beyond Trauma Group in Spanish
Second Thursdays Every Month, Peer Grief Support

First Friday of Every Month: Open Mic at the RP

Every First & Third Friday - Grandparents & Kinship Support Group
Every Third Friday: Karaoke at The RECOVER Project
Last Friday of the Month: Gardening in Recovery
Homeshare Program with LifePath
Act Now to Stay Covered with MassHealth
DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps Opportunity at
Montague Catholic Social Ministries
CHCFC OBAT Same Day & Tele-Health Appointment Information
Free English Classes
Free Meals and Essentials
Saints James and Andrews Parish Hall
Come Cook with Franklin County
Community Meals Program
CONNECTIONS -
A Residential Program of Behavioral Health Network
Orange Food Pantry Seeking Non-Food Donations
The Franklin County Community Meals Program seeking non-food donations for its Orange Food Pantry

When people think of donating to our agency and food pantry, they often think of food- however, that's easier for us to obtain with local partnerships with farms and retailers. What we struggle to keep stocked are hygienic & household products, such as:

  • Adult pull-ups size Medium, Large, & XL
  • Menstrual products
  • Bath products- bath wash or bar soap, shampoo, conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Toothpaste (we have plenty of toothbrushes currently!)
  • Paper Towels
  • Toilet Paper
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Dish Soap
  • Household cleaners- Windex, multi-surface, floor cleaner, etc.

Dozen-sized egg cartons for repackaging the hundreds of eggs we receive weekly from retailers are also needed.

Please share this list amongst your networks! Donations can be dropped off at 324 Wells Street (the Franklin County Community Distribution Center) at our office, or if donating a large amount, drop-off can be coordinated via donate@fccmp.org. (Image credit: Pixabay)
Family Self-Sufficiency Program Available
Eviction Self-Help Booklets Available in Multiple Languages

MLRI has recently updated and translated some of our self-help booklets for unrepresented tenants facing eviction. While we still recommend tenants facing eviction seek legal help, we know resources are limited and many tenants have to represent themselves. We hope these booklets can be helpful to pro se tenants and their advocates.

You can see the full list of booklets below, or at MassLegalHelp. The booklets can help tenants prepare for court, outline their legal claims, and file court forms. There is also a booklet to help public housing tenants navigate the Grievance process.

Please reach out if you have any questions about the booklets and how they can be used.

What steps to take before going to court and what to bring to court.

An easy-to-use checklist that tells you what conditions violate the State Sanitary Code. You can also use the free self-help guided interview, MADE: Up To Code.

The Answer is a court form that tenants facing evictions can file with the court to outline your legal claims and tell the court your side of the story. You can also use Greater Boston Legal Services’ free self-help guided interview, MADE

How to ask the court to accept your Answer and Discovery forms late.  You can also use Greater Boston Legal Services’ free self-help guided interview, MADE.

A form with instructions for tenants facing eviction to get information to prepare for their trial.

A form with instructions for tenants in foreclosed properties to get information to prepare their case. 

A form you can file to transfer your eviction case from a District Court to a Housing Court.

How to get a new court date if you missed your court date.

If you lost your eviction trial and think you have a good case, you may appeal. This document tells you which Appeal form to use.

How to file an appeal from a case in Housing Court.

How to file an appeal from a case in District Court.

How to get time to stay in your home if you lost your case.

How to ask the court to pay for court costs. 

How to think through the terms you want in an agreement. Includes a worksheet and stipulation forms to use when you go to court. Read this booklet as webpages and watch the videos!

How to correct errors on your online court records. The Booklet includes the court form you can save to your computer, fill out, save again and print when ready.

A booklet for tenants in Mass. about the grievance process, including worksheets to help you prepare for a grievance hearing.

Update! Greenfield CSC New Hybrid Operations Change
The Greenfield Court Service Center is located at 43 Hope St., 1st Floor, Greenfield, MA.

They offer in-person services on Tuesdays & Thursdays, ONLY, from 8:30 am-1 pm, and 2 pm-4 pm. Remote services (email, phone, Zoom) are available on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays.

For an intake, contact the Virtual Court Service Center, Mon. thru Fri. 9 am-12 pm by telephone: 1-646-828-7666, press #, #, then enter meeting ID: 161 526 1140 or by video: www.zoomgov.com/j/1615261140.

COMMUNITY JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region www.opioidtaskforce.org
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