Community Action launches online directory

  • Mary McClintock, community collaboration coordinator for Community Action Pioneer Valley, explained to about two dozen people Monday how the new Look4Help online resource directory works. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 7/11/2019 11:29:25 PM
Modified: 7/11/2019 11:29:15 PM

If you’ve ever wondered where to go if you needed help with transportation, housing, addiction, employment or food, wonder no more.

Community Action Pioneer Valley, the area’s largest anti-poverty agency, has launched Look4Help, a free online public resource directory.

The agency announced Monday at Baystate Franklin Medical Center on High Street — the project is funded by the hospital’s Community Benefits Advisory Council and Community Action — that Franklin and Hampshire county residents, as well as those living in the North Quabbin region, will now be able to search for local services using the new director at: www.look4help.org.

“And we mean all residents, not just low income,” Mary McClintock, community collaboration coordinator for Community Action Pioneer Valley, said.

The website lists almost 1,000 agencies, programs and services at more than 450 locations throughout the area. It is mobile-friendly and includes both an easy-to-use guided search for popular categories of resources, as well as a word search.

“You can use your phone, tablet or computer,” McClintock said.

Community Action Pioneer Valley Executive Director Clare Higgins said it will cost about $52,000 a year to keep up the Look4Help website.

“We’ll have to figure out how that is going to happen,” Higgins said. “Those are talks we’ll continue having. That’s why it’s going to be important to find partners who will help.”

Sara Cummings, director of Community Services at Community Action Pioneer Valley, said, Look4Help is the culmination of more than 10 years of work and investment by Community Action and other social services providers that wanted a local, easy-to-use tool to help connect everyone in the area with services.

“Services that help keep a family housed or provide access to mental health or substance use providers or provide employment or job training,” Cummings said. “Look4Help fulfills that long-term dream.”

She said the agency plans to keep the website up to date.

“We are over the moon with excitement about what Look4Help will do for our community,” McClintock, said. “When a family shows up at a food pantry because they’ve run out of grocery money for the month, they often need more than a bag of groceries. They may tell the pantry workers about their struggle to pay an overdue electric bill or find equipment to help ease life for their disabled child or negotiate a dispute with their landlord.”

McClintock said now pantry workers, doctors or any provider will have a way to help their clients find what they need.

“Last week, a neighbor said to me, ‘I’m almost old enough to apply for Medicare, but it’s confusing. Isn’t there a place in Greenfield where I can go talk to someone about the choices.’”

McClintock said she went to Look4Help on her tablet, typed in ‘Medicare’ and found information about LifePath’s SHINE program.

“The grinning look of relief on my neighbor’s face made my day,” McClintock said. “I know that many of our neighbors will find what they need there.”

McClintock said currently the website is set up for English, Russian and Spanish speakers. She said there is also an accessibility menu for people who can’t see well or have other disabilities that prevent them from navigating the site.

According to Community Action, the directory was created in response to a need for a centralized online tool to facilitate communication of available resources, service information, referrals and a coordination of services between the nonprofit, government, health and human services, medical and mental health sectors.

The categories that can be searched as of now are: food, housing, mental health, addiction and recovery, health care, disability services, money, transportation, clothing and diapers, legal help, employment and job training, family and children, seniors, adult education and state agencies, where people will find links to all kinds of state help. If someone doesn’t find what they want within one of those categories, they can do a word search.

“This is where we’re starting, but we’re going to keep improving and enhancing the site,” McClintock said. “There’s also a place at the top of the page where providers can update or provide new information.”

McClintock said a “frequently asked questions” category will eventually be added.

For more information, visit: www.look4help.org.

Reach Anita Fritz at
413-772-0261, ext. 269 or afritz@recorder.com.


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