Former St. Joseph’s School to Open as Homeless Shelter
Mayor Tyer has announced that the former St. Joseph's High School will open it's doors to the homeless of Pittsfield this week.
Originally, Tyer had said that shuttered school would be solely for homeless people in isolation or quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, according to The Berkshire Eagle, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) later decided to use a city hotel for medical isolation purposes.
Earlier this month the Catholic Diocese of Springfield granted use of the building by the city. This week already established local shelters will begin to prepare the school to deal with the overflow of people they have seen since COVID-19 hit The Berkshires. ServiceNet, a non-profit human services agency, believes there will initially be 55-65 people moved there 'very quickly'.
ServiceNet, which owns and operates Barton's Crossing, will use funds from the Berkshire United Way, including a $25,000 grant, to staff the St. Joe location, which will be open 24-hours. The company and Mayor Tyer are also hopeful that there will be additional support from MEMA as well.
State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier told the paper that she has been concerned about overcrowding at local shelters since the coronavirus crisis began and credits city leaders for working with MEMA on it.