Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  

January 19, 2024: Issue 2

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.

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.”

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Good morning ~

Please join me in saying farewell to Randy Herk.

Since September 26, 2022, Randy has been a part of the Opioid Task Force team working on CONNECT in differing roles. Effective today, Randy will leave his position as the CONNECT Program Manager.

In the nearly 16 months that Randy has been with us, his thoughtful contributions have had a meaningful impact on our work to prevent fatal and non-fatal overdoses in our rural region. This has included helping to design the CONNECT mobile outreach van, distributing Narcan to our law enforcement and other community partners, monitoring CIMS database entries, representing CONNECT at community events, and more.

He has also been a liaison to efforts to vigorously support unhoused individuals in our rural area, which have been appreciated by our partners as well.

We also want to give a shout-out to the North Quabbin Community Coalition for providing Randy with a dedicated workspace during his tenure.

We all wish Randy well in his future endeavors!

~ Debra McLaughlin, Coordinator,

Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region

Honoring Justin McNary

The recovery community lost a friend and supporter on December 31st with the passing of Justin McNary, five years after being diagnosed with glioblastoma.

Justin was a compassionate, caring, brave, and bold person who was always there to advocate for those less fortunate. He worked as a Union Organizer for The New England Carpenter’s Union in Boston, where he advocated for workers' rights.

Justin was widely known in the Western Mass recovery community. As an outreach specialist at the Recover Project and CHD, he helped hundreds of people find a path to recovery. As a friend said about him, he didn’t give up on people. He believed that even when things seem tragically dark or messy and a person is on the verge of becoming another overdose statistic, there is always a modicum of hope – and that may be all that’s needed.

He had a keen intellect and a great sense of humor. He was passionate about art and literature, and in the last year of his life, he read hundreds of books and went to as many museums as he could.

A memorial service was held on January 13, 2024. Memorial gifts may be made to the Hospice of the Fisher Home, 1165 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002.

~ Cathi Emery, Office & Data Manager, Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region

"I hope to live my life being deserving of the Grace I've been given"

~Justin McNary

May 17, 1962 - December 31, 2023

Visit SAMHSA's website for support and resources

OTF Members in the News

"Temporary Shelter Plan Approved" ~ Greenfield Recorder (1/6/2024)

"The Planning Board has approved the site plan for a temporary shelter on Arch Street, where Clinical & Support Options (CSO) plans to relocate beds from the Wells Street shelter while construction on that building gets underway.

Approval for the plan — which includes converting a portion of the second-floor office space at 6 Arch St., owned by CSO, to accommodate up to 45 shelter beds — was granted by the board on the condition it is limited to 18 months. The property is currently zoned Central Commercial.

“We’ve been in support of the total development of this project, which includes the fact that 60 Wells St. has to be vacated this spring in order for it to be redone,” said resident Susan Worgaftik, speaking on behalf of Housing Greenfield. “I think when it’s redone the city is going to be pretty pleased with the results. … Right now, the best way to do that is to build this new site, and we have to get the folks presently in that site out of that site in order to do that.”

One neighbor to the project, however, stated in an email to city officials Thursday night her intent to appeal the decision. Stephanie Duclos argued the project represents “a big change of use.”

The $23 million transformation of the existing shelter at 60 Wells St. includes a renovation of the existing building, expanding shelter capacity from 30 to 40, and construction of a new three-story building that will hold 36 studio apartments geared toward very low-income, formerly homeless individuals. In April, the Zoning Board of Appeals granted the agency a special permit for the studio apartment portion of the project.

Worgaftik said Housing Greenfield worked with CSO to consider various options for temporary shelter during the renovations, including churches, for example, and found the Arch Street site to be the best possible solution. “We believe that is the best way to be able to serve a large number of people who, right now, are unhoused in the area,” she said.

According to George Dole of Jones Whitsett Architects, which is working with CSO, the 10,000-square-foot space on Arch Street will require “limited” remodeling.

“It has meeting space, it has open space, it has some accessible restrooms … but we are going to be putting in code-required restrooms for the number of clients that this takes,” Dole said, “We’ll be putting in new restrooms with handicap- accessible toilets, stalls and showers, as well as renovating the space throughout.” Dole added that CSO has been replacing the building’s sprinkler system.

The approval on Thursday evening came despite pushback from two residents who live in the neighborhood and argued the plan constituted a use change, and as a result, should require a public hearing process. Duclos told Planning Board members that in addition to increasing traffic at an already dangerous intersection, the proposal could negatively impact property values. She also expressed concerns about the impact on the waterlines in the area.

The board ultimately approved the site plan with three votes in favor. Chair George Touloumtzis, who is employed by CSO, recused himself from the conversation as well as the deliberation. "

(Staff Photo/Mary Byrne)

"Social Services to Tally Homeless Population" ~Greenfield Recorder (1/11/2024)

"Social service agencies across the region will team up this month to get a headcount of people sleeping in shelters and, in some cases, outside.

The annual Point-in-Time count is a national initiative set up by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to determine the greatest needs for homeless people with and without shelter.

Nationally, regions within each state are broken up into a Continuum of Care (CoC), where organizations work together to survey homeless populations and offer them resources, such as sleeping bags, backpacks or warm clothing. Western Massachusetts is broken up into the Berkshire-Franklin-Hampshire Three County CoC — the largest geographic CoC in the state — and the Hampden County CoC.

The count is scheduled to take place on Jan. 31, according to Community Action Pioneer Valley Associate Director of Programs Janna Tetreault.

“We use a couple of different methods,” said Tetreault. “We get a count from all of the shelter providers directly of people who are in the shelter on that night. Then, we also send out volunteers to count people who are unsheltered. People break into groups and they cover specific areas. … It’s not a perfect process. We don’t think that we count everyone. There are a lot of folks we may not reach, particularly if they’re unsheltered on that particular night.”

Surveys will also be distributed to those who are willing to take them, she said. Tetreault added that HUD has a “very specific definition” of who to count, which doesn't include people who are couch surfing or temporarily living with another family.

“At this time of the year, particularly in New England, we think there is probably a high percentage of folks who are doing that and are not outside,” she said.

Conducting the count is a requirement for any community that receives federal funding from HUD. Tetreault said the CoC receives about $3.5 million a year for the three-county region, though it’s unclear how much the count impacts the funding the region receives. Those funds are distributed by Community Action Pioneer Valley to area providers, who do the work of housing and supporting the region’s most vulnerable populations.

Beyond that, the information gathered during the count helps agencies to analyze trends over time and determine where more funding might be needed to address increases in people experiencing homelessness.

“Since the pandemic, we’ve seen a rise,” Tetreault said. “It went up 15% from 2022 to 2023.”

On Jan. 25, 2023, there were at least 661 people across Berkshire, Franklin

and Hampshire counties included in the Point-in-Time count. The largest number of individuals were located in Pittsfield (221), followed by Northampton (115) and Greenfield (104).

Anyone who is interested in donating items to be distributed to the homeless during the Point-in-Time count should contact Michele LaFleur at Community Action Pioneer Valley at mlafleur@communityaction. us.

Donations are due before Friday."

(Staff Photo/Paul Franz)


Virtual: Treatment & Recovery Committee

February 2, 2024

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Zoom details here.

Hybrid: Public Safety & Justice Committee

February 5, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 PM

Franklin County Reentry Center

106 Main Street, Greenfield

Zoom details here.

Virtual: Harm Reduction Workgroup

February 7, 2024

11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Zoom details here.

Virtual: Methadone Workgroup

February 8, 2024

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Zoom details here.

In-Person: 6th Annual Sober Housing Summit sponsored by the Housing & Workforce Development Committee

February 9, 2024

10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Greenfield Community College

Dining Commons

One College Drive

Greenfield, MA

Invite here.

Emergency Services for Unhoused Individuals Task Force

February 12, 2024

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Zoom details here.

Hybrid: Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking Workgroup

February 12, 2024

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Franklin County Reentry Center

106 Main Street, Greenfield

Zoom details here.

Virtual: CAM Workgroup

February 13, 2024

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Zoom details here.

Virtual: Building a Resilient Community Workgroup

February 21, 2024

11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Zoom details here.

Virtual: Healthcare Solutions Committee

March 8, 2024

10:00 AM -12:00 Noon

Zoom details here

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


CONNECT: Post-Opioid Overdose Outreach Services

Although the HEALing Communities Study has officially ended, many strategies and programs will continue.

Please see the following for information regarding the study highlights and strategies.

Learn more at HealTogetherMA.org

Updated Emergency Resources for
Unhoused Individuals
Time Sensitive Announcements

January 10 - February 14 Wednesdays - Active Parenting of Teens

January 11 - February 15 Thursdays Positive Discipline

January 20 Stone Soup Cafe Menu

January 20 Winter Farmers Market

January 20 Winter Ecology Walk

January 21 Craft Day with the Friends - 1pm

Erving Public Library

January 25 Virtual Overdose Prevention and Narcan Training: Register here.

January 26 Moms' Connection Support Group

January 25 & February 1 (Every Thursday) Free! Children's Closet

February 1 - March 28 Thursdays Bilingual Music & Movement

February 1 Ski United '24: Registration Deadline January 29th

February 2 - 4 Greenfield's 102nd Winter Carnival

February 2 Parade of Lights!!


February 5 - May 6 Mondays Young Business People

February 3 Winter Carnival Cribbage Tournament

February 3 Valentine Card Making

February 5 Board of Health Opioid Listening Session

February 7 Hands-Only CPR Course

February 8 Together We Can Be The Dream

February 9 & 10 Resilience Rising

Tickets can be purchased here

Resilience Rising: A Fundraiser For Nelcwit

Join us for a night of community and live theater! This review show is sure to be a night to remember. We will make our way through Broadway favorites as we raise money for NELCWIT. This event will feature many special guests from our beautiful community and is underwritten by Greenfield Savings Bank.

Ticket Prices: General Admission (Adult) - $15 Children (12 and under) - $12 Senior Citizen (65 and over) - $12 All Star (General + Donation) - $25

Rated: G Running time: 90 minutes (one intermission) Note: Strobe and Special Lighting Effects will be used throughout the show.

Venue: Ja'Duke Theater, 110 Industrial Blvd Turners Falls MA 01376

February 13 Prevention Starts With All:

The Chris Herren Story

February 17 Annual St. Jude's Spaghetti Supper Fundraiser

February 17 6th Annual Loving Your Recovery Event

February 23 Snow Tubing Community Day

March 22 Rooted in Resilience

Additional Information & Registration Information Can Be Found Here.


Improving Housing to Improve Health News

Re-Entry Foundational Manufacturing Program

January Franklin County Reentry Center Calendar

January Programs - Great Falls Discovery Center

January Brick House Programs

January at Community Action Family Center

January - March LifePath Healthy Living 2024 Winter Workshops

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