Hilltown CDC has acted as the Collaborative Applicant for the Three County Continuum of Care HUD funded program for the past 6 years. This program provides regional funding across Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire counties to agencies who are providing services to the homeless. After six years Hilltown CDC determined this program was not aligned enough with the mission of the agency and began the process to find another agency interested in administering this important federal program. Through a public bidding process, Community Action of Pioneer Valley was selected to administer the program going forward. Hilltown CDC has begun the transfer of the program and the process should be complete by June 30, 2019. Community Action of Pioneer Valley is well suited to operate this program. They have a presence in all three counties and a number of programs and services that address poverty and it’s symptoms. The program provides close to $2 million in funds for the region and provide rental assistance and case management services to reduce homelessness.
In a statement about the transition, Hilltown CDC Director Dave Christopolis writes, “We believe that housing is a right not a privilege. We know that many of our friends in western MA struggle with homelessness and have difficulty finding affordable housing. We know wages have not kept up with costs of living and that there is a desperate need for new jobs and housing production. We know the cost of homelessness is putting a burden on the tax payer and on our social fabric. We know that homeless people are often treated like criminals. We know that this can be generational and that children who grow up in homeless shelters are at a disadvantage later in life. We know that people’s lives are robbed because they don’t have the economic opportunity to maintain stable housing where they can find work, raise a family and contribute to society. We know that the millions of homeless in the United States on any given day is a reflection of the current state of our spiritual bankruptcy.
“We support Community Action of Pioneer Valley in its willingness to administer this program regionally and ensure that these resources are preserved for our friends and neighbors who need some help.”