NELCWIT moves offices, hopes to return to in-person services this summer

  • The New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT) plans to reopen its doors to in-person services this summer, when it is safe to do so. The agency has been providing remote services throughout the pandemic, and recently moved to its newly renovated building on Long Avenue. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 4/26/2021 3:30:24 PM

GREENFIELD — The New England Learning Center for Women in Transition has moved to 17 Long Ave. after 16 years on Main Street.

NELCWIT’s co-directors say the new location offers more space, both indoors and outdoors, for individual and group meetings, as well as a “healing presence.”

Co-Executive Director Juan Carlos Aguilar said the building was renovated extensively to ensure accessibility for everyone. He and Co-Director Pam Brown said the purchase and renovation were made possible in part by amendments to the fiscal year 2019 and 2020 state budgets, separately sponsored by state Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru, and state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton. The budget amendments provided $75,000 in funding for the new space.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our clients and our community into such a bright, inviting, positive space,” Aguilar said. “The environment and feel of a building or room affects us, and can be a support for people going through difficult times. I believe this new space is going to extend a positive effect throughout NELCWIT’s services in the community.”

“NELCWIT does such important work in our community and has regained a steady footing to do that work over the past couple of years,” Mark said. “It has been an honor to work alongside NELCWIT and fight to secure state resources to support its move and work.”

Comerford echoed Mark’s sentiments.

“I’m really grateful for NELCWIT’s service in the community,” she said. “It has done exceedingly good and important work. What I did was small compared to the massive work it has been doing. I’m delighted the organization continues to be strong.”

While all of NELCWIT’s services are offered remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency plans to reopen for in-person visits as soon as it is safe to do so, most likely by summer.

The 45-year-old agency offers free services for individuals whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence or sexual abuse, including a 24-hour crisis hotline, individual and group counseling, advocacy and resources. Prevention and education programs provide information to teenagers and others in an effort to decrease violence within the community.

Additionally, NELCWIT’s Franklin County Children’s Visitation Program provides supervised visits when needed for children and their non-custodial parents.

Brown said the community will be invited to visit NELCWIT’s new Long Avenue location, just north of Federal and Silver streets, at an open house this summer. The date and time will be announced on NELCWIT’s Facebook page and website, nelcwit.org.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.


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