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May 17, 2024: Issue 10

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 #79

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.

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

~Mahatma Gandhi

Memorial Day - Monday, May 27


Greetings~


For many years, preventing addiction in our young people has been a focus for public health officials and educators. Our students and young people make excellent decisions about avoiding cigarettes, alcohol, and other substances based on data from the Communities That Care Coalition. The rates of use of nearly all substances in our rural region have declined substantially in the last 40 years, making a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine (January 2024) and a related press release so devastating to read.


The Overdose Crisis among U.S. Adolescents

 

Every week in 2022, the equivalent of a high school classroom’s worth of students — an average of 22 adolescents — died of drug overdoses in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drug overdoses and poisonings are now the third-leading cause of pediatric deaths in this country, after firearm-related injuries and motor vehicle crashes, despite a decline in adolescent drug use. “Fentanyl has rapidly become a leading cause of death in American teens” said one of the authors and senior researcher Dr. Scott Hadland, Chief of Adolescent Medicine at Mass General for Children.

 

Illicit fentanyl contained in counterfeit pills is one of the main drivers of this surge in deaths. A synthetic opioid roughly 50-100x more potent than heroin or morphine, fentanyl is now involved in at least 75% of adolescent overdose deaths, the majority of which are unintentional. These counterfeit tablets are often indistinguishable from the prescription medications and can only be identified by laboratory analysis. Today, seven out of ten DEA-tested pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose. Young people will purchase what they believe to be Percocet, Adderall, and Xanax through popular social media & messaging apps, such as TikTok, Snapchat, and WhatsApp, thinking it might help them with stress, anxiety, and other physical or psychological pain. They swallowed that one pill and were dead within minutes. As medical providers, we have taken care of students in Western Massachusetts who have been exposed to these pressed pills, one of whom died.

 

Please talk to the young people in your life about the importance of never taking or purchasing a pill from another person. Most parents don’t understand the social media world our kids interact with all day. Access to a poison pill masked as another drug is shockingly easy. The following pages contain some helpful tips. Here are several organizations where you can obtain more information and guidance for talking with young people: One Pill Can Kill, Drop the F* Bomb, and the Real Deal on Fentanyl. The bottom line is that any drug purchased illicitly off the street or from the internet should be assumed to contain fentanyl and could be deadly.

 

If you have questions, please contact your child’s medical provider, the school nurse, or your region’s youth education and harm prevention coalition, some of which include: North Quabbin Community Coalition, Communities That Care Coalition, and the Greenfield Safe Schools Safe Streets Coalition (4SC).

  

Sincerely,

 


Ruth A. Potee, MD

Medical Director

Opioid Task Force of Franklin County/North Quabbin and Pioneer Valley School District, Northfield, MA


Mark E. Klee, Pharm. D.

Clinical Pharmacist

Pain & Addiction

Baystate Health

OTF Members in the News

"Annual 'Food-a-Thon' Returns" ~ Athol Daily News (5/9/24)




North Quabbin residents can look forward to seeing pickle jar collectors on the street and hearing the 12-hour Food-A-Thon drive on the air to help combat a growing need.

The fundraiser and food collection drive, now in its 20th year, will be held on Tuesday, May 21, from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. and can be seen on AOTV, heard on WVAO-LP 105.9FM, and streamed online at www.aotv13.org. In addition, volunteers with pickle jars will be on the streets to seek donations. Contributions of food or money will both be accepted.

Food-A-Thon Steering Committee member Jay Deane said that even after all these years, the demand is higher, which can be frightening at times.


“Seeing the homeless encampments, there’s so many things we can do and a warm place and food is a basic need,” he said.The Food-A-Thon is a 12-hour series of interviews and discussions, with Deane, his brother Don, and Dean Collins on the interview panel. Deane credited Congressman Jim McGovern as being a strong supporter of the charity, along with state Sen. Jo Comerford (D-Northampton) and state Rep. Susannah Whipps (I-Athol). During the 12 hours, people from the benefitting food pantries and businesses that make donations will join the show.

“You get going with that, the adrenaline just pumps,” said Deane. “Like saying hello to an old friend and catching up on what is happening to their organization. It’s just great, it’s really great.”


Joe Goody is the manager of the Athol/Orange Hannaford’s, which has been a supporter of the event since its inception. Goody said that the store makes different donations each year, such as a cash donation of $7,500 or 1,400 pounds of food for the Food-A-Thon’s 14th year. He said that an event like this fits into the company’s mission of addressing food insecurities. 


Goody added that many of the food pantries that benefit from the Food-A-Thon have been in the store to pick up food to stock their shelves. 


“Amy said it would be great to get a trunk of food,” Deane said. “We filled two 18-foot box trucks and raised $13,000 in 12 hours.” When COVID hit, the food donations slowed down, but monetary contributions increased to between $38,000 and $50,000 annually.


The Food-A-Thon will benefit the Franklin County Community Meals Program, The Athol Salvation Army, Our Lady Immaculate Church Food Pantry, Community Pantry at Athol High School, St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry at Saint Mary’s Church and the fiscal sponsor, Wendell Good Neighbors Food Pantry. The money raised is evenly split between the six beneficiaries, said Deane.


The annual drive is staffed by over 100 volunteers, and members of the pantries also send people to help. Area grocery stores such as Market Basket and Hannaford’s also make contributions.

For more information or to make a donation, visit www.nqfoodathon.com. Contributions can be made any time of year through PayPal and Venmo. Checks can also be made out and sent to: Wendell Good Neighbors, P-O Box 222, Wendell, Mass. 01379, with “Food-A-Thon 2024” in the memo line.

(Staff File Photo/Dan Little)

Free Community Screening of

'Sex Trafficking in America'























A free community screening of the Frontline documentary “Sex Trafficking in America” will be offered at Greenfield Garden Cinema as part of a community education initiative undertaken by the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office in collaboration with the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Hampshire County and Franklin County/North Quabbin.


The documentary follows investigations into cases of human trafficking and features interviews with survivors of human trafficking as well as members of law enforcement.


The film screening will be followed by a live panel discussion including a survivor of human trafficking, staff members of the two Children’s Advocacy Centers and Northampton Police Captain of Operations Victor Caputo.



The event is set for Wednesday, May 29, from 6-8 p.m. at the Greenfield Garden Cinema, 361 Main St., Greenfield.

The OTF is Hiring!



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 Friday, May 31, 2024, with an ideal start date of Monday, July 8, 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. (Note: The deadline was extended.)

UPCOMING OTF COMMITTEE & WORKGROUP MEETINGS


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: Treatment & Recovery Committee

June 7, 2024

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Zoom details here.


Virtual: Emergency Services for Unhoused Individuals Task Force

June 10, 2024

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Zoom details here.


Hybrid: Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking Workgroup

June 10, 2024

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Franklin County Reentry Center

106 Main Street, Greenfield

Zoom details here.


Virtual: Education & Prevention Committee

June 11, 2024

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

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.


Virtual: Healthcare Solutions Committee

July 12, 2024

10:00 AM - 11:30 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

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 18 Stone Soup Cafe

May 18 Just Roots Annual Spring Festival & Seedling Sale

May 18 Japanese Folktales & Origami with Motoko!

May 18 Paint a Kindness Rock

May 18 Provider Open House

May 18 Leyden Running Festival

May 18 Book, Bake and Plant Sale

May 18 North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy Walk-a-Thon

May 18 Day of Remembrance

May 19 Mutts and Mayhem

May 19 Sensory StoryTime with Tierney Sodders

May 19 Car Seat Installation & Safety Check

May 19 Sculpture Fest

May 19 Monadnock Falconry Bird-of-Prey Demonstration

May 20 Maker Space Monday

May 20 & May 21 All-Abilities Social Prom

May 20 & May 29 Virtual Housing Plan Listening Sessions

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

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

May 21 North Quabbin Foodathon

May 21 Button Art

May 28 Suncatchers

May 22 Overdose Prevention & Narcan Training

Register Here!

May 22 Franklin County Reentry Center Spring BBQ

May 22 Game Night

May 23 - 2024 Opioid Settlement Funding Updates

Register here


May 24 Academy at Charlemont Trivia Night

May 24 Queer Family Night

May 25 Wendell Free Library StoryCraft

May 29 Community Screening - Sex Trafficking in America

May 29 - June 29 Free College Success Course

May 31 West County People Who Support People Meeting

June 1 Freedom Songwriting

June 2 Montague Soap Box Races

June 3, 10, 17 & 23 Welcoming Wellness Workshop

June 6 Western Mass Elder Care Conference

June 7 Puerto Rico Day Celebration

June 7 6th Annual DMH Trauma Symposium

June 8 Book Sale

MONTHLY/WORKSHOP CALENDERS AND WEEKLY STANDING MEETINGS/EVENTS

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

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 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
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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