AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Shelter Sunday has been observed for nearly 35 years in Amherst. It’s an annual tradition, hosted by Craig’s Doors, with the goal of welcoming in a population that’s often alienated.

“We take a particularly progressive approach to providing our services with a focus on compassion, trauma-informed care, and just meeting these folks where they’re at,” expressed the Executive Director of Craig’s Doors, Tim McCarthy.

“I think everybody knows we’re kind of in a housing crisis right now and we operate on a housing-first model,” said Jei Staples, Director of Operations at Craig’s Doors. He told 22News, “So what we try to embody here is a sense of home at our facility.”

While the fundraising effort has been a longtime tradition, this is the first year they’ve had a celebration like this. It featured festive activities like pumpkin carving, painting, music, and raffles.

Event attendee, Juliana told 22News, “I really like it, I like being with my family and like being with other people around me. It’s really fun.”

This event emphasizes the value that Craig’s Doors place on the community.

“The idea is that we are all here to support each other. As long as folks are comfortable witnessing the suffering of their neighbors; we’re all going to feel a sense of division,” added McCarthy.

All proceeds will be used to provide those in need with shelter and food during the winter season. Craig’s Doors was hoping to raise more than $50,000 for the organization through Sunday’s event.

Local News

Kaelee Collins is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Kaelee on X @kaelee_collins and view her bio to see more of her work.