EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Easthampton has partnered with an organization in Amherst to offer emergency shelter and support to residents in need.

According to the City of Easthampton, a plan has been established to implement emergency cold weather assistance plans for Easthampton residents with Craig’s Doors through 2023 to reduce homelessness in western Massachusetts. Craig’s Doors is a non-profit organization located on 424 N Pleasant St. in Amherst.

“We work with local hoteliers to get them in there and continue, and to be able to do outreach and case management services,” said Executive Director Tim McCarthy of Craig’s Door.

A grant was awarded from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for shelter placement and case management services for the homeless or people in need of shelter.

Craig’s Doors currently houses up to 63 people in their shelters and because of this new partnership, that number will increase in the winter months, when it is harsher outside and harder for those who are unhoused in western Massachusetts to keep warm. The homeless population in western Massachusetts is nearly 3,000 and that number was only exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Being unhoused is not an unalienable trait it happens to everyone and it’s happening more and more frequently and these are our neighbors and I think we all have an obligation to assist the most vulnerable members of our community and that truly what we’re trying to do here,” said McCarthy.

If you are an Easthampton resident, contact Community Social Worker Liz Plouffe at 413-529-1400 extension 106 or Public Health Nurse Bridget Diggins at extension 153.