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March 15, 2024: Issue 6

Offering hope and help to those impacted by opioid misuse in

Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region.


See what's happening at OTF this month.


Explore OTF's COVID-19 Resource Guide.


Hope is here. Get help.

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


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


Find local resources in this issue.

Emergency Services Resources for Unhoused Individuals


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.

"People grow when they are loved well. If you want to help someone heal, love them without an agenda."

~Matt McHargue

March 17th

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Good morning,

The recently completed HEALing Communities Study (HCS) included a series of community-based health communication campaigns to help spread the word about:

  • the dangers of fentanyl, 
  • the importance of carrying naloxone,
  • addressing the stigma associated with medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and indeed, 
  • stigma related to the disease of addiction. 

Please see the box below for a brief description of the study, which is part of the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, and where to find more detailed information.

The communications team, in collaboration with our HCS coalition partners, created palm cards, posters, flyers, billboards, bus signage, a mailer, and more. We also utilized social media to interact with the community and engaged with the local media who covered both the study itself as well as the deployment of strategies developed by the HCS team (e.g., the Addiction Consult Service at Baystate Franklin Medical Center and the installation of naloxboxes). 

To create materials that resonate with the community, we worked together to develop messaging that reflects our specific region, such as a poster that addressed the issue of counterfeit pills. We also included pictures of local people in our naloxone posters and billboards and engaged with the ARISE Initiative to support local recovery-friendly employers. Examples of our work are displayed on the next page. You may have seen these around town as we were fortunate to have local businesses, organizations, healthcare offices and pharmacies put them up!

While the HCS has ended, many of the strategies and communications work are continuing and we welcome you to reach out if you’d like copies of the posters, flyers or palm cards. Please contact Karen Carmona at karen@opioidtaskforce.org to request copies.

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, March 18 - 24, 2024

While HCS was focused on the 18+ age group, next week is an opportunity to engage with teens through National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW). Launched in 2010 by NIDA, NDAFW is an annual health observance that inspires dialogue about the science of drug use and addiction among youth. It provides an opportunity to bring together scientists, students, educators, healthcare providers, and community partners to help advance the science and address youth drug and alcohol use in communities and nationwide.

Please go to this link to sign up for NDAFW news and find lots of great resources for planning and promoting your very own NDAFW event! 



Karen Carmona, Program Associate

Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region

If you would like copies of any of the palm cards, posters, and/or flyers seen below please contact Karen Carmona at karen@opioidtaskforce.org

Palm Cards

Posters and Flyers

Billboards, Buses,and Shelter Signage

OTF Members in the News

"Screenings Raise Awareness of Gambling Addiction" ~ Greenfield Recorder (3/13/2024)

"With the legalization of sports betting putting Massachusetts residents at an increased risk of problem gambling, Pioneer Valley volunteers did their part on Tuesday to help detect problem gambling habits and connect residents with the resources they need.

Volunteers with The RECOVER Project, an addiction treatment center, visited the Greenfield Public Library on Tuesday afternoon to screen visitors for gambling addiction in recognition of Gambling Disorder Screening Day. Established in 2014, Gambling Disorder Screening Day takes place in the second week of March each year, and is used to detect problem gambling, and possibly intervene.

Those who were screened walked out of the library with a $5 Dunkin’ gift card, courtesy of the state Department of Public Health, which funded screening events among peer recovery centers within the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium.

Participants were invited to fill out surveys with questions about their gambling habits and were provided resources to seek help for gambling addiction. Although The RECOVER Project on Federal Street typically specializes in substance abuse recovery, Program Director Abbi Cushing said the program ultimately aims to combat addiction, regardless of its form. “Typically, we do support people with substance use recovery, however, that’s a symptom of the disease of addiction, and it can manifest in many forms, and gambling is one of those forms that really can affect people’s lives adversely,” Cushing said. “The RECOVER Project is here to support

anyone that needs support so they come in, and we can make referrals to different organizations that can support the different types of addiction that they might be experiencing, gambling being one of them.”

Sarah Rashad, who works for The RECOVER Project, said the Greenfield event saw a “terrific turnout” with 42 survey respondents, some of whom expressed interest in seeking The RECOVER Project’s resources.

According to a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2018, approximately 2 million adults in the U.S., or 1% of the population, had a gambling problem. In Massachusetts, UMass reported, more than 139,600 people, or 2% of the state’s population, had a gambling problem.

Northampton Recovery Center, a peer-driven addiction treatment nonprofit, served as the lead organizer for the regional screening day. According to Outreach Coordinator Trevor Dayton, the legalization of sports betting during the summer of 2022 made gambling much more accessible for Massachusetts residents, putting the population at an increased risk of problem gambling.

“Sports betting is now endemic across the country,” Dayton said. “Pretty much everywhere you look, it’s being offered up and made extremely accessible. In a matter of 10 minutes, you can have an app on your phone and be actively gambling.”

Like most addictive activities, Dayton said, the act of gambling is not the sole indicator of gambling addiction. Continuing to gamble at the expense of other aspects of one’s life and neglecting to stop, Dayton said, is a common indicator of problem gambling. The negative consequences of gambling addiction, Dayton added, can even manifest physically, as the practice often goes hand-in-hand with physically harmful activities such as smoking, excessive caffeine consumption and drinking.

The screening process for gambling addiction, Dayton said, consists of only three basic questions. Those who are screened are asked if they have, in the past 12 months, become irritable, restless, or anxious while trying to quit or cut down on gambling, if they have tried to hide the amount they gambled from their friends or family, and if gambling has caused them such significant financial losses that they had to seek help from friends, family or social welfare agencies.

In Northampton, Health and Human Services Commissioner Merridith O’Leary said her department is dedicated to addressing addiction in its many forms. Gambling addiction screenings were also offered at Forbes Library on Tuesday after noon. “While gambling disorder may not be the most prevalent, it is part of our larger mission for Northampton residents to reach their fullest potential of wellness. Early detection and community awareness are key to our public health efforts,” O’Leary wrote in a statement for Gambling Disorder Screening Day.

Dayton, of the Northampton Recovery Center, encouraged those who did not attend Tuesday ’s screening events to evaluate their gambling habits and seek help if needed. “Answering ‘yes’ to any one of those questions d o e s n’t indicate that you have a problem with gambling,” he noted. “It just suggests that you might want to consider your behavior in light of the consequences and possibly seek support in recovery.”

(Staff Photo/Paul Franz)

"Shelter Leaders Ponder Bill's Impacts" ~Greenfield Recorder (3/13/2024)

" Less than a week after the House voted to pass a spending bill allocating $245 million to the state’s emergency shelters and impose a stay limit, Greenfield shelter operators are unsure how the legislation could impact their residents.

The House voted 121-33 to approve the spending bill, which, if passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, would establish a nine-month stay limit for most emergency shelter residents — a drop from the current average stay time of 13 to 14 months. However, the bill allows 12 continuous months of shelter for pregnant women, people with certain disabilities, veterans and people at imminent risk of domestic violence.

Greenfield has two emergency shelters — one at the Days Inn on Colrain Road, which houses 45 families, and another at the Greenfield Family Inn on Federal Street, which houses 16 families. Both sites are operated by ServiceNet, a nonprofit human services agency that provides for those facing homelessness, mental illness, developmental disability and substance


The Days Inn shelter opened last summer, after Gov. Maura Healey declared a state of emergency following a roughly 80% increase in migrant families seeking shelter in Massachusetts. Marisa Perez, who is overseeing the emergency shelter at the hotel, previously said that the majority of the families living at the Days Inn are Haitian refugees. Others were stationed for a few years in other countries, including Chile and Mexico, before finding their way to the United States. Still other families immigrated from Colombia, Jamaica and Africa, and some are Massachusetts residents.

According to ServiceNet Vice President of Community Relations Amy Timmins, the emergency shelter has not been around long enough to infer whether the bill’s ninemonth stay limit would negatively impact its residents.

Still, Timmins said the city’s shelter system would benefit greatly from state-subsidized affordable housing.

“We’re simply waiting to see what the impact of this bill might be if it’s passed,” Timmins said. “We look forward to learning more about strategies the state may have for affordable housing, because that’s the challenge on the other end — finding affordable homes for people to move into when they leave the shelter.”

The bill also permits shelters to extend stays by three months for residents who are employed or enrolled in a job training program and allows the Healey administration to create a re-application process for residents after they have exceeded the limits of their stays.

A change the House embraced during debate sets parameters on how families could lose access to shelter. The amendment, filed by Second Assistant Majority Leader Frank Moran, would require each resident to receive at least 90 days notice before termination of their benefits and bars the state from pushing more than 150 families out of the program per week.

Timmins said that while the needs of emergency shelter residents vary from family to family, ServiceNet aims to helps them to obtain the skills and credentials so they can move out of shelter housing.

“The needs are so varied, it’s not a one-size-fits-all in this. Sometimes people need to get into a particular job training program, but other times they may need to be enrolled in language classes. Other times, it may be finding child care. There can be any number of different supports that residents need to really get to work and get into permanent housing,” Timmins said. “The focus of our work from the start, when people first come in, is to help families secure the support and the documents and the resources that they need to move out of shelter. … That may mean getting a driver’s license or ID or a Social Security number card.”

Massachusetts — the only state in the country that guarantees emergency shelter services to some families and pregnant women — hit a record number of families in the shelter system months ago. The spike prompted Healey to impose a capacity limit of 7,500 families in the fall, leaving 783 eligible families on a wait list as of last week.

If the Senate and Healey agree with the House’s proposed $245 million, the year-to-date total appropriation for emergency family shelters would rise to $820 million, more than four times as much as the state made available for the system in fiscal year 2021. In the Senate, top Democrats have yet to give a clear indication of whether they support limiting how long families can stay in the shelters.

ServiceNet currently receives funding from the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities. Timmins said she does not know how the $245 million in funding will affect the city’s shelters if passed, but she plans to “keep on keeping on” with the city’s regular shelter services. 

Staff File Photo/Paul Franz)


Virtual: 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: Harm Reduction Workgroup

April 3, 2024

11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Zoom details here.

Hybrid: Treatment & Recovery Committee

April 5, 2024

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Location: To Be Announced

Zoom details here.

Hybrid: Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking Workgroup

April 8, 2024

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Franklin County Reentry Center

106 Main Street, Greenfield

Zoom details here.

Virtual: Education & Prevention Committee

April 9, 2024

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

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 - 11:30 AM

Zoom details here.

Virtual: Healthcare Solutions Committee

May 10, 2024

10:00 AM - 11:30 Noon

Zoom details here.

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


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

March 18 - 24, 2024

"Participate in National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) and help share facts about drugs, alcohol, and addiction in your community. NDAFW is an annual health observance that inspires dialogue about the science of drug use and addiction among youth. NDAFW provides an opportunity to bring together scientists, students, educators, healthcare providers, and community partners to help advance the science and address youth drug and alcohol use in communities and nationwide. Sign up for NDAFW email updates below, and find lots of great resources for planning and promoting your very own NDAFW event.

Register now

24th Annual Peacemaker Nominations

February 1 - March 28 Thursdays Bilingual Music & Movement

March 15 Kidleidoscope Story Hour Collaboration

March 15 Rec the Night Building Big

March 15 Pi Day Pie Social!

March 15 - 16 Rossum's Universal Robots

March 16 Greenfield Winter Farmers Market

March 16 Dancing With Joy & Sorrow

March 16 Stone Soup Cafe Menu

March 16 St. Paddy's Day 5K

March 16 StoryCraft at Wendell Free Library

March 17 Getting Started with Native Plants

March 18 Stuffie Sleepover

March 18 Positive Solutions for Families

March 18 Financial Literacy Workshop

(8 Week Course on Mondays)

March 18 - June 13 Free Training in Carpentry

March 19 De-Escalation Workshop

March 19 Visit With Judge Laurie Macleod

March 19 What's Wrong with My Houseplant? at New Salem Public Library Community Room

March 19 & 20 Massachusetts Municipal Opioid Abatement Virtual Conference

March 19 & 21 Franklin County Police Cadet Program

March 21 Heart Health Screenings

March 21 Family Game Night

March 22 Drop In and Draw!

March 22 Rooted in Resilience

March 23 MPL Artists' Reception

March 23 PV Habitat for Humanity Information Session

March 25 Registration Deadline: Greenfield YMCA Lifeguard Classes

March 26 Origami Earring Making with Jenna

March 27 - June 20 Weekly Wednesday Nurturing Father's Program

March 28 Virtual Overdose Prevention & Narcan Training

Register Here

March 28 Montague Center Library Book Club

March 30 Erving Recreation's Annual Egg Hunt

March 30 Sun on the Muddy Poems & Photographs

April 1 - June 22 Free English Class for Immigrants and Refugees

April 2 Greenfield Public Library Presents Jarrett Krosoczka

April 2 Wednesdays for 8 Weeks: A Girl's Group - My Life My Choice Exploitation Prevention

April 3 - May 29 Wednesdays Functional Training Fitness Class for Adults

April 4 FCSO Spaghetti Dinner

April 5 Flag Raising Ceremony in Recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April 5 I See You: Stories From Wetlands and Woods

April 5 YA Art Journaling Series!

April 5-6 Indoor Mini Golf

April 6 - May 25 *Saturdays* Postpartum Therapeutic Support Group

April 8 The Great North American Solar Eclipse Collaboration

April 9 Healthy Relationships Workshop

April 12 Economic Forecast

April 16 Musical Story Time with Julie Stepanek

April 16-18 Porter Family Farm April Vacation 2024

April 17 Queen Elizabeth II - "Her Majesty"

April 20 Exploring Vernal Pools

April 26 Dress for Success

May 18 Heart of Leyden Running Fest


Improving Housing to Improve Health News

Re-Entry Foundational Manufacturing Program

March at The Art Garden

March Brick House Event

March Community Action Family Center Calendar

March Franklin County Reentry Center Calendar

March Programs - Great Falls Discovery Center

March Children's Programs at Greenfield Public Library

March Montague Public Library Programs

March Events at the Sunderland Public Library

March LifePath Healthy Living 2024 Winter Workshops

March Union 28 Community Network for Children Program Calendar

Summer at The Art Garden

2024 Seeds of Solidarity Calendar of Events

SNAP Application Assistance
Always Open! Community Labyrinth in Greenfield

NQRC Weekly Schedule

RECOVER Project Groups At a Glance
Weekdays All Recovery Meeting at
The RECOVER Project


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

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 Second Friday Chosen Family Night

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
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.

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