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Homeless In Hotels

Meeting Wednesday to coordinate efforts to help homeless families

GREENFIELD — A couple of local activists will join the director of the agency heading up the local efforts to help homeless families living in Greenfield hotels on Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. to discuss how to coordinate those efforts.

The meeting will be held in Greenfield Community Television’s first-floor office in 393 Main St.

Penny Ricketts, a member of the town’s Human Rights Commission, said she and Mike Phillips, a trustee of the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School board, have been discussing what residents of Greenfield might do to help. She said they are not doing so as board members.

“I was looking at Facebook and saw that there were lots of requests by people to help with clothing or food or whatever,” said Ricketts. “There just didn’t seem to be any way at all to organize them all and know exactly what we had to do, so we thought getting together with social service agencies to organize might be the way to go.”

Ricketts said Charity Day, director of the Housing Consumer Education Center of Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, will lead the meeting.

FCRHRA told The Recorder that it hopes to have a plan in place by the end of this coming week. That plan would most likely include a list of items the families need, where to bring those items and who will distribute them and where.

“Mike asked me, for instance, what happens if a child celebrates a birthday while living in a Greenfield hotel,” said Ricketts. “Those are things we should all be thinking about every day right now.”

Ricketts said she hopes people will attend the meeting and give their input and share their ideas.

There are currently a total of 79 homeless families living in two Greenfield hotels (Days Inn on Colrain Road and Quality Inn on the Mohawk Trail). There were 93 homeless families living there earlier this week, but the state said more than a dozen were relocated to the eastern part of the state.

Those destitute families were moved to Greenfield when the state found there was no room in hotels to the east.

Ricketts said if anyone has any questions about Wednesday night’s meeting, they may contact her at 413-636-4915 or Phillips at 413-218-3914.

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