HCN News & Notes

ServiceNet Named On-site Provider for Emergency Family Shelter in Greenfield

GREENFIELD — ServiceNet was recently named the on-site provider for 41 families from across the Commonwealth who are receiving emergency shelter at the Days Inn in Greenfield.

These families are housed at the hotel due to a “critical shortage of affordable housing in the state,” according to Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities. Many of the families are Haitian immigrants from the Boston area, while others are international refugees from other countries and families escaping domestic violence.

ServiceNet’s role as on-site provider is to assure the safety and privacy of these families and provide case-management services, with a primary focus on getting people rehoused. Case-management services can also include working with immigration lawyers to help people get their green cards or work permits, identifying education and training needs, connecting to landlords and housing authorities in the communities where people wish to settle, connecting people to healthcare services, providing transportation to medical appointments, and coordinating meals delivered to the hotel from area vendors.

ServiceNet and city officials have already been working with Greenfield Public Schools, WIC, the Community Action Family Resource Center, and the Center for New Americans to help with the families’ education and healthcare needs. Ascentria Care Alliance has sent two translators to assist ServiceNet full-time, city officials and the Opioid Task Force are helping to connect ServiceNet with a variety of community and faith-based groups, and ServiceNet is working with the nonprofit Stone Soup Café and other food vendors to coordinate scheduling ethnically appropriate and diverse meals for the families.

“The outpouring of support for our new neighbors and community members has been inspiring, and we are truly grateful to Greenfield,” said Erin Forbush, director of ServiceNet’s Shelter and Housing Services. “We have heard from so many area residents who are eager to assist us in welcoming the families. And as we determine how best to utilize this positive energy, we’re asking that people please be patient with our team while we work around the clock to ramp up our staffing over the coming weeks and assess each family’s specific needs.”

Financial donations can be made via servicenet.org/donate.