Housing first program
ACC is pleased to announce that it will begin its Housing First Program this fall. Thanks to the recommendation of Amherst Community Preservation Act Committee, Amherst Town Meeting approved a $150,000 three-year grant to ACC to begin a housing first program.
Three housing vouchers will be made available to Amherst residents who have been chronically homeless. ACC will provide wrap-around support service to the tenants with the goal of assisting them to get into long term stable housing and become valuable members in local communities.
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Supplemental meals assistance program (smap)
ACC recently began its Supplemental Meals Assistance Program (SMAP) to meet the community meals gap in Amherst. For the past several years, various non-profits in Amherst have provided at least one free meal each day of the week. However, on certain holidays and days with severe weather, no free meals are available for homeless individuals and families; ACC has decided to complete this meals gap. The Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst has generously donated its kitchen and dining facilities for SMAP.
jones library project
ACC provides walk-in hours for information and referral services at the Amherst Jones Library on Tuesday and Thursday, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.
Library patrons may also access ACC's case management and advocacy services during this time. Walk-ins are welcome. ACC and Jones Library's collaboration has enhanced many people's lives, especially those who struggle to make ends meet.
Hampshire County Jail Outreach and Support
To prevent homelessness, ACC conducts outreach with inmates at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction in Northampton. An ACC caseworker meets with inmates who have family or employment connections to the Amherst area and helps them find housing, employment and other resources once they enter the community again.
Shelter to work initiative
ACC provides shelter guests with intern opportunities at various sites. Interns gained and refined skills, collaborated with colleagues, and earned references for future work. Many participants have graduated from the Initiative and found employment and/or housing. Upon the completion of each internship, ACC networks with businesses such as the Amherst Business Improvement District to hire graduates from the Initiative. ACC believes that employment is part of the solution to help people out of homelessness and into stable lives.