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February 2, 2024: Issue 3

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 #75

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.

"In the coldest February, as in every other month in every other year, the best thing to hold on to in this world is each other."

~Linda Ellerbee

Good morning,


February celebrates Black History Month.


According to the National Museum of African American History & Culture, Dr. Carter G. Woodson is credited for the origins of Black History Month by creating the first Negro History Week in 1926. President Gerald Ford announced the first Black History Month in 1976 and has been recognized by each American president since then.

Image: Kevin Smith, Creative Commons


It is more important than ever to embrace Black Americans' vast and life-changing contributions 

throughout our history as we strive to become a more just and inclusive society.


Here are local and national resources we recommend you check out to join us in commemorating Black History Month.


Art as a Platform for Social Justice


6 Teaching Tools for Black History Month


The Black History That Moves Us: A Resource List for Educators


Celebrating Black Leaders


Black History Month Resource Guide for Educators and Families


Celebrating Black History Month


How to be An Ally During Black History Month



We also want to join others in congratulating Dr. Frank Robinson

on his well-deserved retirement as Vice-President of Public Health at Baystate Health. Dr. Robinson spent nearly 30 years as a change agent in Western Massachusetts, shepherding numerous initiatives to increase the quality of life, especially for vulnerable populations.


Sincerely,


Debra McLaughlin, Coordinator, Opioid Task Force

Visit SAMHSA's website for support and resources

OTF Members in the News

"Families of OD Victims Press For Safe Sites" ~ Greenfield Recorder (1/26/2024)

"On her 26th birthday on Nov. 30, 2018, Eliza Harper died from an accidental opioid overdose on the living room couch in her South Deerfield home, despite being in recovery for 10 months. Her then 14-year-old brother, Jackson, was the first to come upon his sister that day.


“ Jackson tried desperately to breathe life into her, but she was already gone,” said Cara Moser of Northampton, speaking Thursday at a press conference at the State House organized by the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery, where large banners with photos of those who have died from overdoses were displayed.

The event showed support for legislation that would create overdose prevention centers across the state to reduce the growing number of fatalities, which reached 2,357 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths reported to the state Department of Public Health in 2022.

More than five years after her daughter’s death, Moser said there is a continued toll from her addiction. For Jackson, now in college, there is an ongoing struggle with the trauma of that day, while grief remains for Moser. “Losing a child is the hardest, worst pain you can endure,”

Moser said as she held back tears.


Last fall, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery took testimony on the legislation filed by Sen. Julian Cyr and Reps. Marjorie Decker and Dylan Fernandez and supported by 60 other legislators.


As written, the legislation calls for a 10-year pilot program in which communities could open supervised overdose prevention centers, also known as injection sites. People with substance use addictions could then take pre-obtained drugs at the centers under the supervision of trained staff who could help prevent the spread of infectious diseases like HIV, respond to potential overdoses, provide access to naloxone, known by its brand name Narcan, and connect participants to treatment or other services.


Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan was among those in October who called the placement of safe consumption sites “urgent and necessary” to address the fentanyl epidemic. But such centers are illegal under federal law, though two are operating in New York City, and some states have moved to legalize them. According to the advocacy group Drug Policy Alliance, there are more than 200 such sites operating in more than a dozen countries, many of them in Europe.


At Thursday’s event, Moser said that more than 10,000 lives have been lost to opioid overdoses, most involving fentanyl, in Massachusetts over the past five years. “To me these are crazy numbers, I can’t understand why we’re not moving on his legislation,” Moser said.


Overdose prevention centers are critical, Moser said, and she would welcome one in Northampton. “These centers have consistently demonstrated ability to prevent death from overdoses, and provide other vital services, spaces where people can feel safe and cared about,” Moser said.

Her daughter would have benefited, even after nearly a year of sobriety. “We thought we were all set, ready to go,” Moser said. But she said her daughter kept her trauma demons to herself.


The state legislation has support from 40 organizations, including the American Medical Association, the ACLU, the Boston Medical Center and Fenway Health.


...Cheryl Juaire, a founder of Team Sharing, has lost two sons, Corey and Sean, to overdoses. Overdose prevention centers can test drugs and allow people to use in a clean environment with trained health care workers, she said, and often food, showers, clothing and haircuts for dignity are offered, along with counseling and treatment recovery.

“Had there been someplace to go, maybe he would be alive today,” Juaire said. “Maybe both my children would be.” (Staff File Photo)

"Input Sought on Opoid Settlement Uses" ~Greenfield Recorder (1/30/2024)

"As money from the nationwide opioid settlement continues to be disbursed to Franklin County towns, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG), in partnership with local boards of health, is inviting residents to share their input on how this funding should be spent to support public health.


On Monday, Feb. 5, at 6:30 p.m., FRCOG and local boards of health from around the county will hold a listening session via Zoom to provide residents with a chance to share their ideas on how settlement funds should be spent in the region. Registration is required — anonymous registrations are allowed, but an email is needed — and can be done here.


“What we’re hoping for is people impacted by the opioid crisis in one way or another … can come and share what they think priorities should be for reducing the harm of the opioid crisis in our community,” said FRCOG’s Director of Community Health Phoebe Walker.


The nationwide opioid settlement agreement, first announced in July 2021 and expanded in subsequent years, set Massachusetts up to receive hundreds of millions of dollars from opioid manufacturers and pharmacies following investigations and litigation over their roles in fueling the opioid epidemic, according to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. To begin receiving payments, municipalities were required to sign and return a participation form. As a participating municipality, Greenfield will receive $1.7 million over the span of about 15 to 18 years, in multiple payments each year. As of September 2023, the city has received approximately $234,000, according to the AG’s office.


Other communities receiving significant amounts of funding include $521,000 for Orange, $330,500 for Deerfield, $194,562 for Erving, $149,380 for Sunderland, $134,000 for Conway and $91,822 for Rowe. In total, the county will receive approximately $3.77 million.


The funding model distributes settlement dollars to counties using federal data on the prevalence of opioid use disorder in a county from 2007 to 2016, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data on overdose deaths in the same period, and Drug Enforcement Agency data on opioid shipments from 2006 to 2014. U.S. census data, with some boundaries decided

by ZIP code, showing how municipalities have split funding for government functions related to opioid abatement is also used, according to the AG’s office.


Uses of the settlement money are limited to a specific set of parameters laid out by the national agreement. Municipalities are able to use the funding to support people with opioid-use disorder or those in recovery; support community- or school-based services; implement harm-reduction methods, such as providing naloxone; and address the needs of people with opioid use disorder in the criminal justice system.


With amounts of money being distributed to individual towns ranging from just a couple hundred to more than a million dollars, Walker said the goal is to bring people into direct contact with local health officials to share feedback and ideas on how this funding should be spent.


The state, Walker added, is encouraging partnerships among public health collaboratives, such as the Valley Health Regional Collaborative comprised of Greenfield, Deerfield, Montague, Sunderland, Leverett and Shutesbur y.

Additional information on the opioid settlement, as well as a full list of which Franklin County communities are receiving money, is available on FRCOG’s website at frcog.org/opioid-settlement-updates/


“We would really welcome people coming,” Walker said. “The local boards of health are really interested in hearing from people who know this problem most intimately. ”



UPCOMING OTF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

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.


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

January 10 - February 14 Wednesdays - Active Parenting of Teens

January 11 - February 15 Thursdays Positive Discipline

February 1 - March 28 Thursdays Bilingual Music & Movement


February 2 - 4 Greenfield's 102nd Winter Carnival

February 2 Parade of Lights!!

REGISTRATION CLOSES February 2

February 5 - May 6 Mondays Young Business People

February 3 Winter Carnival Cribbage Tournament

February 3 Valentine Card Making

February 3 Jigsaw Puzzle Contest

February 3 Glow Party

February 3 Mad Science Fire & Ice Show

February 3 Family Activities at 20 Sanderson Street

February 3 Stone Soup Cafe Menu

February 4 Cardboard Sled Race

February 5 Board of Health Opioid Listening Session

February 6 - March 12 Tuesdays Astrology with Mara Bright

February 7 Hands-Only CPR Course

February 7 Stories & Songs with Local Author Terry McConnell

February 8 Together We Can Be The Dream

February 8 (Every Thursday) Free! Children's Closet

February 8 PJ Storytime

February 9 6th Annual Sober Housing Summit

You can register for this event via Eventbrite here. 

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 9 & 10 HYRT Presents: Dragon Feathers

February 10 Make a Victorian Puzzle Purse Valentine!

February 11 Genealogy Drop-In

February 12 Champions for Children's Emotional Health

February 13 Prevention Starts With All:

The Chris Herren Story

February 13 Supper For Six

February 15 Random Acts of Kindness Project

February 15 West African Drumming Class

February 16 Exploring Visual Identity Inspired by Street Art

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 24 School Vacation Programs

February 21 Free Food

February 22 Graphic Novel Book Club!

February 23 Snow Tubing Community Day

February 24 Make Your Own Creative Bookmark

February 26 & 27 Make-A-Stuffie

February 29 Virtual Overdose Prevention & Narcan Training

Register Here

March 18 Financial Literacy Workshop

(8 Week Course on Mondays)

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 Programs - Great Falls Discovery Center

February Brick House Programs

February Montague Public Libraries Programs

February at the RECOVER Project

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 - 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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