AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – This cold weather can put people’s lives at risk and local organizations are doing what they can to make sure everyone can stay warm.
“We’ve been visiting encampments or spots where we know people are sleeping rough and really just performing those outreach efforts to let them know that we’re here, that we want to help,” said Tim McCarthy, Executive Director of Craig’s Doors in Amherst.
Through the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development, Craig’s Doors is working to put unhoused people in hotels. One of the shelters locally is Immanuel Lutheran Church (ILSC) in Amherst and when the weather gets bad, they see an increase in demand.
“We’re always making sure we’re answering the phones, giving people other resources if we don’t have any space. We have extra meals when it’s really cold and we don’t have beds, we let them come in warm up, get something to eat, warm up,” said Aleyha Johnson, Assistant Manager at ILCS.
ServiceNet said additional cots are also being up at the Interfaith Shelter on Center Street in Northampton and there’s space to warm up at the Manna Community Kitchen.
“We also have great support from the city of Northampton for example, they’re helping us open up Friday and Sunday our community center for anyone who needs to get out of the cold,” said Kaitlyn Ferrari at Manna Community Kitchen.
When it comes to helping out, local organizations said the best you can do is donate.
“We have relationships we have with nice apparel companies that we can buy at a discount. So money goes further when you donate to us, but we accept anything,” said Anderson.
Click here to donate to Craig’s Doors.
Click here to donate to ServiceNet.
Click here to donate to Manna Community Kitchen.