The People's Fund


About The People’s Fund:

The People's Fund is a community-wide emergency fund connected to Amherst Community Connections' supportive services. The Fund provides financial assistance to low-income and/or homeless individuals and families facing crises. Amherst Community Connections' supportive services help people maximize the emergency funds and avert future crises of a similar nature. The People's Fund owes its existence to the generous individuals, families and institutions in the Pioneer Valley area.

The Fund was created to meet the basic and critical needs of people in a timely manner; once application requirements are met, ACC aims to dispense funds the same day to meet urgent needs. The Fund complements, but does not replace other charitable funds and services in the area. We will refer and help applicants to other appropriate funds if necessary. Local residents or visitors with MassHealth or SNAP benefits and/or have exhausted their personal financial resources are eligible for the Fund. Applicants are only eligible ONCE in their lifetime to ensure that many people may access the Fund. Follow-up assistance from ACC or other human service agencies is required. We want to ensure that applicants' basic and critical needs are met. We welcome referrals from other social service agencies. Funds are to be made out and sent to a third party only. No cash will be given.


Applicants

Who is eligible?

Applicants need to qualify for MassHealth and SNAP benefits. Special consideration will be made for extreme circumstances. Applicants will complete a simple form, provide required documentation, and meet with ACC staff. After they have completed these steps, ACC will provide financial assistance to applicants in the form of vouchers, gift cards or checks directly sent to third parties.

 

Eligible Requests:

1. Basic critical needs: Food, diapers, personal hygiene items, etc.

2. Housing: with 14-day Notice to Quit.

3. Utility shut-off: with a shut-off notice

4. Medication: for MassHealth co-payment

5. Transportation: for bus passes to medical or social service appointment

6. Employment: for job-related clothing/uniform

7. ID/Birth certificate: for job/housing/public benefit application purpose

 

Application Process:

1. Complete The People’s Fund application form (print it online or pick up paper copy).

2. Bring all necessary documents (14-day notice to quit, utility shut-off notice, etc.).

3. Complete intake with ACC staff or bring a referral note from a social service agency.

4. Schedule a follow-up appointment with ACC or other social service agencies.

5. For emergency, call 413-345-0737 during off hours.

 

Forms:

The People's Fund Application Form

The People's Fund Guidelines and Application Process

List of Emergency Funds in Amherst/Northampton Area

donors

How do I donate?

Online: Please donate HERE

Mail: You may also donate by mail. Please address the check to Amherst Community Connections, with "People's Fund" in the memo line.

 

Where will my donation go? What will it do?

Your donation will go directly into the fund. ACC's supportive services will amplify the effectiveness of the funds you provide. By contributing to the People’s Fund, you help people overcome critical obstacles they could not accomplish on their own.  

 

What are the goals of the fund?

1. To offer same-day financial assistance with timely supportive services.

2. To offer personalized services to help people avert future crises. 

 

How can I refer someone to the fund?

You may direct them to ACC, which is open Monday - Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. For off-hours emergencies, call 413-345-0737. 

 

How is this different from other funds in the area?

The People's Fund is a great source for individuals and families who need immediate financial assistance. When other funds are more appropriate for a situation, ACC will collaborate with other entities to provide the resources to the applicant.