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May 3, 2024: Issue 9

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.

"The sun is a daily reminder that we too can rise again from the darkness, that we too can shine our own light."


The Opioid Task Force is hiring! Come work for the award-winning CONNECT Program, our post-opioid overdose outreach and follow-up effort, which deploys a multi-disciplinary approach to reduce fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses in rural Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region.

We are looking for a full-time CONNECT Outreach Manager. This position has excellent benefits and a competitive salary listed in the job description.

Applications are due on Friday, May 17, 2024, with an ideal start date of Monday, June 10, 2024. Please email a cover letter and resume to Cathi Emery at cathi@opioidtaskforce.org.

The job description can be found here. Any further revisions will be dated and posted.


In recent years, there have been incredible advancements in the landscape of supportive services, care, and treatment for those in our community and nationally who navigate substance-use disorder (SUD). Medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD), also commonly referred to as medicated supported recovery, remains highly regulated by federal and state agencies, creating barriers to accessing this life saving treatment. This impact is national and is most certainly felt in our rural region.

MOUD represents one several resources available to our community members to support well-being and recovery. In this week's newsletter, you will find the latest information about the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act (MOTAA) Bill, introduced to the Senate on March 23, 2023, sponsored by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA).

MOTAA is a bill that expands access to methadone for an individual's unsupervised use to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). Typically, methadone must be dispensed to individuals in person through opioid treatment programs. The bill (1) waives provisions of the Controlled Substances Act that require qualified practitioners to obtain a separate registration from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to prescribe and dispense methadone to treat OUD, and (2) requires the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the DEA to report on the waiver jointly.

Additionally, the bill directs the DEA to register certain practitioners to prescribe methadone that is dispensed through a pharmacy for an individual's unsupervised use. Further detailed information about MOTAA can be found in published updates by the U.S. Congress here and the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) here. The bill currently has 12 co-sponsors, and as of February 02, 2024, it has been forwarded to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for review and markup. (Source: U.S. Congress)

The proposed bill addresses concerns about access to MOUD treatment that communities, patients, and organizers alike have called attention to. STAT recently published a five-part investigation titled "The War on Recovery,” examining the barriers to this life-saving treatment. In Part Two Lev Facher details Rebecca’s story, a 65-year-old woman managing recovery and treatment—at a great cost to other aspects of wellbeing. The story depicts how current policies reinforce the challenges Rebecca and others face. Another recent STAT article reviews a panel that was held on April 29th discussing the expansion of access to methadone, “To Voyles [executive director, Indiana Recovery Alliance], increasing access to methadone outside of the clinic would mean granting thousands of people more power over their lives.”

Annual conferences and gatherings like the Liberating Methadone Conference have convened advocates, including persons with lived experience, clinicians, and others, to share knowledge and work towards influencing policy change. MOTAA has passed the Senate HELP Committee in a 16-5 vote but has a long way to go if it is to be passed and written into law.

The bottom line is to stay informed! To stay up to date on MOTAA and related legislation, join an upcoming Methadone Workgroup Meeting hosted by the Opioid Task Force and Co-chaired by Dr. Ruth Potee and Dr. Steve Jones (retired) and/or check out the information linked below. The Methadone Workgroup meets bi-monthly via Zoom on the second Thursday of the month at 3 PM. Please reach out for additional meeting details.

In our community, many have engaged in efforts to support MOTAA by contacting local legislators about co-sponsoring the bill. Recently, the American Pharmacists Association has adopted official policies in support of changes in laws, regulations, and policies permitting pharmacies to dispense MOUD. For more information about ongoing MOTAA support efforts, how to get involved, and additional information about treatment options or MOTAA, email info@opioidtaskforce.org and a member of our team will direct you to the appropriate resources.

In gratitude,

Tiarra Fisher,

Operations Coordinator,CONNECT

Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region

OTF Members in the News

"Healing Arts " ~ Greenfield Recorder (5/1/24)

"For many, the magic of participating in theater lies within an opportunity to step outside of the ordinary. For some in the Hilltown Youth Recovery Theatre, however, theater and circus can manifest as the opposite: an invaluable space to feel like oneself.

The Recovery Theatre and Circus, founded in summer 2015, is “the best nonprofit in the Hilltowns that people had never heard of,” opined Jonathan Diamond, the initiative’s cofounder and executive director. Partnered with area schools, the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County, state Department Of Public Health Bureau Of Substance Abuse Services, Northwestern District Attorney's Office, Massachusetts Cultural Council and others, the afterschool program provides performing arts training for young people struggling with trauma, addiction, anxiety, depression and other behavioral health challenges.

'What the Hilltown Youth Recovery Theatre is doing is taking the youngest, most stigmatized and marginalized members of our community and transforming them into artists, activists and activators …” Matthew Glassman, former co-artistic director at Ashfield ’s Double Edge Theatre, said of the Recovery Theatre in a statement provided by Oliver Diamond, Jonathan’s son. “It’s clinical. It’s political, it’s economic and I would even say spiritual.'

“Part of its strength lies in the fact that it is not a clinic, agency or hospital,” John Merrigan, former state representative and the founding co-chair of the Opioid Task Force, said in Oliver Diamond’s statement. “Nothing else exists like this in our underserved 30town rural region. And, frankly, we haven’t seen anything else like it in New England and, I’m tempted to say, the country.”

Intensives typically range from $200 to $300, but all are pay-what-you-can.

Those interested can also inquire about scholarships by emailing Diamond at jonathan@crocker.com. For more information regarding the Recovery Intensives, visit http://www.hilltownyouth.org/recovery-theatre.

(Photo Courtesy of Hilltown Youth Recovery Theatre and The Creative Counter)

"Salvation Army Raises Over $5K for Meals Program " ~Greenfield Recorder (5/2/2024)

"The Salvation Army of Greenfield raised more than $5,000 on Friday during its “Fill the Plate” fundraising dinner.

On a monthly basis, The Salvation Army of Greenfield distributes more than 800 meals to residents who struggle with food insecurity.

“Our hardworking neighbors continue to struggle with food costs,” Lt. Paul Leslie, who oversees operations at The Salvation Army’s Greenfield location, said in a statement. “We’re seeing a growing number of people who rely on our Community Feeding Program’s breakfast and lunch programs every Monday through Friday, as well as our food pantry.”

In addition to raising money for the Community Feeding Program, Friday’s event at Terrazza Ristorante also honored Greenfield Cooperative Bank and its Northampton Cooperative Bank division.

The bank has supported The Salvation Army for the past 15 years, namely through its holiday Angel Tree Program, where customers and employees can donate toys and clothing to fulfill gift requests by local children.

The bank’s support of the Angel Tree Program accounts for approximately 60% of all seasonal donations to The Salvation Army in Greenfield.

“Food is only one of many human needs,” Leslie said in a statement. “That is why The Salvation Army employs a whole-of-person approach, and attempts

to address the mental, spiritual and emotional needs of our residents. We encourage anyone who needs a hand to reach out.”

Apart from the Community Feeding Program, the Greenfield Corps also offers numerous other services and programs, including rent and utility assistance, social and pastoral services, and a daytime shelter with shower and laundry facilities.

Residents can find out more about The Salvation Army of Greenfield at https://easternusa.salvationarmy.org/massachusetts/greenfield/

(Contributed Photo/The Salvation Arm of Greenfield)


Hybrid: Treatment & Recovery Committee

May 3, 2024

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Greenfield Community College,

One College Drive, Room C201

Zoom details here.

Virtual: Healthcare Solutions Committee

May 10, 2024

10:00 AM - 11:30 Noon

Zoom details here.

Virtual: Emergency Services for Unhoused Individuals Task Force

May 13, 2024

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Zoom details here.

Hybrid: Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking Workgroup

May 13, 2024

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Franklin County Reentry Center

106 Main Street, Greenfield

Zoom details here.

Virtual: Education & Prevention Committee

May 14, 2024

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Zoom details here.

Hybrid: Public Safety & Justice Committee

June 3, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 PM

Franklin County Reentry Center

106 Main Street, Greenfield

Zoom details here.

Virtual: Harm Reduction Workgroup

June 5, 2024

11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Zoom details here.

Virtual: CAM Workgroup

June 11, 2024

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Zoom details here.

Virtual: Methadone Workgroup

June 13, 2024

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Zoom details here.

Virtual: Housing & Workforce Development Committee

June 14, 2024

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

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

Wednesday Nurturing Father's Program - Through June 20

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

April 6 - May 25 *Saturdays* Postpartum Therapeutic

Support Group

May 3 Perinatal Mental Health Awareness Day 2024 CONNECTIONS

May 3 Garden Path Group Field Trip

May 4 Stone Soup Cafe

May 4 AAPI Heritage Month Celebration

May 4 Cornhole Tournament

May 4 Hawley Woods Walk

May 4 Free Comic Book Day

May 4 Seed Scenes

May 5 & May 19 Sensory StoryTimes with Tierney Sodders

May 6 Finding The Mother Tree - May Book Discussion

May 6 Basic Rights: Evaluation and Eligibility

May 6 STEM - Tornado in a Bottle Workshop

May 7 Wild Flower Walks

May 7 Mapping The Wilds of Grief

May 8 Conversaciones Sobre Sexualidad (en espanol)

May 8 Teen Media Club

May 8 Author Event with Rebecca Caprara

May 10 Pop-Up Playgroup

May 11 Meet the Authors at Shutesbury Town Hall

May 11 Athol/Royalston Early Education Fair

May 11 Sashiko-Inspired Visible Mending

May 11 Story Time

May 11 Spring in the Falls

May 11 Sensual and Nourishing Herbs

May 11 - June 22 Saturday Morning Buddy Baseball

May 13 - May 17 5 Day Core Intentional Peer Support Training

May 14 Pop-Up Library

May 14 & May 16 The "Talk" Community Presentation

May 15 Exploring Inner & Outer Wilds: Embodied Nature Writing

May 15 22nd Annual Mental Health & Wellness Fair

May 15 Free Food

May 16 Family Game Night

May 16 Housing Plan Listening Session at GCC

Register Here: EOHLC Statewide Housing Plan Listening Session: Franklin County Region (office.com)

There are also 2 virtual options:

Monday, May 20th 5:30 – 7:30 PM    Register here

Wednesday, May 29th 5:30 – 7:30 PM Register here

May 18 Paint a Kindness Rock

May 18 Provider Open House

May 18 Heart of Leyden Running Fest

May 18 Book, Bake and Plant Sale

May 19 Mutts and Mayhem

May 21 North Quabbin Foodathon

May 22 Overdose Prevention & Narcan Training

Register Here!

May 22 Franklin County Reentry Center Spring BBQ

May 23 - 2024 Opioid Settlement Funding Updates

Register here

May 24 Academy at Charlemont Trivia Night

May 29 - June 29 Free College Success Course

May 31 West County People Who Support People Meeting

June 7 6th Annual DMH Trauma Symposium


Improving Housing to Improve Health News

Re-Entry Foundational Manufacturing Program

May at The Art Garden

May Brick House Events

May Community Action Family Center Calendar

May Programs at Franklin County Reentry Center

May Programs - Great Falls Discovery Center

May Greenfield Public Library Programs

May Montague Public Library Programs

May at the RECOVER Project

May Union 28 Community Network for Children Program Calendar

July - August at Hilltown Youth Recovery Theatre

LifePath's FREE Healthy Living Summer Workshops

Spring & Summer Pothole Pictures

Youth Works Summer 2024

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 Breaking Barriers at the Franklin County

Reentry Center

Mondays Art Guild Meetings
Mondays Advanced Manufacturing Info Sessions
Monday Drug Court Alumni Group - North Quabbin

Mondays at FCSO Reentry Center - Recovery Through Creativity

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

Third Monday Alphabet & Allies

Third Monday Parenting With Pride

Mondays and Wednesdays
Restless, Irritable, and Discontent: Your Brain in Recovery

Tuesdays Peer-Led Grief and Loss Circle

Every Other Tuesday - Housing Support Drop In Hours

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 & Thursdays Weekly Reentry Groups

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 HEROES Study Hub at GCC
First & Third Thursdays Parent Support Group

Thursdays Mens Group in the RPX

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

Fridays FreeWrite of Franklin County

First Friday of Every Month: Open Mic at the RP

Every Friday - The Garden Path

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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