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Homeless shelter moving to Greenfield

  • Former Del Padre Music building on Wells Street in Greenfield, slated to become the new home for the regional emergency homeless shelter now located in Montague City.

    Former Del Padre Music building on Wells Street in Greenfield, slated to become the new home for the regional emergency homeless shelter now located in Montague City.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Franklin County Emergency Shelter at 15 Farren Ave in Montague

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Franklin County Emergency Shelter at 15 Farren Ave in Montague

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Franklin County Emergency Shelter at 15 Farren Ave in Montague reflected in a puddle

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Franklin County Emergency Shelter at 15 Farren Ave in Montague reflected in a puddle

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Franklin County Emergency Shelter at 15 Farren Ave in Montague

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Franklin County Emergency Shelter at 15 Farren Ave in Montague

  • Former Del Padre Music building on Wells Street in Greenfield, slated to become the new home for the regional emergency homeless shelter now located in Montague City.
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Franklin County Emergency Shelter at 15 Farren Ave in Montague
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Franklin County Emergency Shelter at 15 Farren Ave in Montague reflected in a puddle
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Franklin County Emergency Shelter at 15 Farren Ave in Montague

GREENFIELD — A 20-bed emergency homeless shelter run by ServiceNet is moving from Farren Avenue in Montague City to 60 Wells St. sometime between Aug. 15 and Sept. 1, and Greenfield’s mayor says he wonders how much more it will cost the town to provide services like police, fire and public works once the shelter and its occupants have arrived.

Jay Sacchetti, ServiceNet’s vice president of shelter and housing, said Friday the social services agency has been looking for a new home for Franklin County Emergency Shelter since at least 2009, because the two-story, weathered building it currently occupies is in need of major repairs and renovation.

Sacchetti said most, if not all, of the shelter’s residents currently spend their days in Greenfield looking for jobs and housing, getting treatment for addiction or other issues, and visiting ServiceNet’s resource center on Main Street. He said that won’t change except that it will be easier for the shelter’s residents to get around.

He said the co-ed, year-round, overnight shelter will house 20 men and women, who will be expected to be there from 4:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. each day. He said some may be given special permission at times to be out of the shelter during early evening hours to attend treatment programs or for other important reasons.

During the day, residents of the emergency shelter, which is always full, according to Sacchetti, will be able to leave for whatever reason.

Sacchetti said the majority of the shelter’s residents are in their 30s and 40s, but ages range from 18 to 70. He said a resident typically stays for 60 days, but some are given extensions if ServiceNet sees that they are “working really hard” to get a job or housing.

He said ServiceNet will lease the space, which will be located on the first floor of the building that formerly housed Del Padre Music and later Incline Training. The building is located across the street from Mill House Apartments for the elderly.

Sacchetti said ServiceNet has been working with the town’s building inspector and its new landlord to bring the building up to code and make necessary improvements to the space.

“We also plan to move our resource center from Main Street to Wells Street,” he said. “We’ll have our case management right there on site. That will be good for everyone.”

Mayor William Martin said ServiceNet is in the town’s PILOT program, making cash payments in lieu of taxes, and has always worked to serve the community well. He said he has known the agency was looking at sites in Greenfield for about six months to a year.

“ServiceNet can move to Wells Street because the nonprofit is exempt from zoning laws,” said Martin. “I am glad ServiceNet has decided to consolidate by moving its resource, or drop-in, center from Main Street.”

Martin said what frustrates him, and it’s not ServiceNet’s fault, is that the state gave the agency money to make the move and increase its services, but has not given the town more money to pay for increased services that will most likely be required, like police, fire and public works, once the agency moves to Wells Street.

“There is most likely going to be an increase in the workload on those town departments,” said the mayor. “This is a clash in priorities on the state’s part, as far as I am concerned.”

“This is out of the city’s control, though, so there’s no use worrying about it,” said Martin. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

The emergency shelter first opened in 1994 as a winter-only shelter.

ServiceNet also operates the Greenfield Family Inn on Federal Street, which houses six families.

It also operates Silver Street Inn, a transitional housing program that provides long-term supported housing for individuals while they regain economic and housing stability.

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