Thanks to Joanne Glier of the Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority for this report on the Franklin County Shelter Summit:
On December 2, 2009 more than 50 people attended the Franklin County Shelter Summit at Greenfield High School. Father Stan Aksamit of Our Lady of Peace Church began the meeting with a summary of the current Franklin County Shelters, the rise in homelessness, the impact of the Governors 9C cuts, the need to keep the shelters open and to create an overflow shelter for the coldest winter months, January through March. He also shared the Network’s prevention and rehousing efforts in Franklin County and across the region.
Andrea Miller of ServiceNet provided a Franklin County Homelessness Fact Sheet which included homelessness statistics and the impact in dollars 9c cuts to the Franklin County Shelters as of January 2010. After several testimonies from formerly homeless individuals, Amy Swisher of Baystate Franklin Medical Center facilitated a fundraising discussion which was followed by small group discussion to further explore fundraising ideas. With the vast experiences, knowledge and talents of those in the room, fundraising ideas began flowing. The suggestions were broad, attainable and included participation from all members of the community– students, businesses and the residents of Franklin County.
The Planning Committee will meet on December 7 to prioritize the results of the brainstorming session and begin the fundraising activities.