Community Partners: Working Together for Change
Good health is a natural outcome of a community that works well. Good health happens when people feel connected to their neighbors, feel inspired and empowered to shape their environments, and share a common purpose and vision.
This section includes information and links to organizations and coalitions in Western Massachusetts that are working to improve the health of their communities.
The Strategic Planning Initiative for Families and Youth (SPIFFY) is a Hampshire County based prevention coalition. Their focus is on healthy youth development, substance abuse prevention, and health eating/active living. Their website has interesting data and tips and information for parents, teachers, and anyone who wants to learn more about prevention and healthy youth.
The Northampton Prevention Coalition identifies preventing teen substance use as our collective responsibility. See their website for information about keeping Northampton teens substance free.
The Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition supports a healthy community with a focus on prevention teen substance use.
The Hampshire HOPE Coalition works to prevent addiction, support recovery, and save lives. Their focus is providing information, resources, and advocacy to prevent opioid addiction. The Opioid Task Force in Franklin County seeks to tackle the serious problem of heroin and prescription drug addiction in the Franklin County and North Quabbin Region.
Franklin County Communities That Care is a community-wide strategic planning and prevention system using an integrated approach to promote positive youth development and reduce teen substance use.
The Healthy Hampshire/Mass in Motion project is one of several Mass in Motion sites in the Commonwealth. This project has a focus on improving access to healthy food and places to be active. The initial focus for their work is on Amherst, Belchertown, Northampton, and Williamsburg. Healthy Hampshire Mass in Motion is a project of the Hampshire Regional Council of Governments.
School Sprouts Educational Gardens are innovative, custom-designed, curriculum-based programs for all schools, community centers, and afterschool programs that serve preschool through twelfth grade. They design and implement dynamic gardens that act as hands-on learning laboratories for scientific inquiry, writing and reflection, cultural studies, application of mathematical concepts, and health and wellness activities.
Agencies and Programs:
The Pioneer Valley is home to a wide range of health and social service non-profits. Whether you are looking for a program that serves elders, youth, or families, chances are good that you can find what you’re looking for close to home. We’ve listed brief descriptions and links to several local health related non-profit services, below.
18 Degrees, formerly Berkshire Children and Families provides early education and care, adoption and foster care, parenting programs, and the Kids 4 Harmony program.
413cares.org provides online access for residents of Western MA to available resources from housing, to healthcare, early education and more.
A Positive Place is operated by Cooley Dickinson Health Care and serves people living with AIDS or who are HIV positive. Services include: Case management for medical and social services, medical care coordination, benefits coordination, housing support & advocacy, weekly support group, peer support & monthly peer gatherings, medical transportation, adherence support & positive prevention, emergency assistance, information and referrals.
The Amherst Survival Center is a drop-in center and community space that serves the community by providing fresh food distribution, lunch, dinner, an emergency food pantry, a free store, a free health clinic, and information and referral.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County provides one-to-one mentoring relationships by connecting volunteers with local children who need an adult mentor.
The Center for New Americans helps the underserved immigrant, refugee and migrant communities of the Pioneer Valley with education and resources to learn English, become involved community members, and obtain tools necessary to maintain economic independence and stability.
Clinical & Support Options provides mental health services, including: Emergency and acute services, community based family support services, outpatient mental health and substance abuse services, and clubhouses.
Community Action Pioneer Valley serves Franklin and Hampshire Counties. They have many programs including those that serve low income residents: Resources for basic needs, home energy assistance, child care and head start, family support, adult education and job skills, food and nutrition, WIC, money management, youth program, and conflict resolution.
Community Legal Aid is the free civil legal aid provider for residents of the five counties of Central and Western MA (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester).
The Hampshire County Council of Social Agencies (COSA) supports coordinated and effective human services in our communities by sharing information on resources, funding opportunities, best practices, job openings and the needs in our area.
Local Councils on Aging serve elders by offering a wide variety of services. Examples include: employment assistance, supportive day and adult day health, wellness, fitness, recreational activities, support groups, tax assistance, nutrition, and many more. Councils on Aging also offer SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders), which assists elders to learn more about their rights and options when choosing health insurance coverage. To find contact information for your local Council on Aging, visit the Massachusetts Council on Aging.
The Collaborative for Educational Services works with school districts to assess and improve education by providing a variety of training and support to educators and school districts. They also offer programs that support early childhood education, after-school, special education, and partnerships.
The Cutchins Program for Children and Families offers residential and clinical programs for children and families experiencing emotional and behavioral difficulties.
The Easthampton Community Center provides services and assistance to residents of the greater Easthampton area. The Center provides a Food Pantry, Community Care Kitchen, a Clothing Closet, along with meeting space for community groups and events.
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts distributes a variety of food to our member agencies throughout western MA, which consist of food pantries, meal sites, shelters, childcare centers, and other food assistance programs. Use the agency locator to find help in your community.
Grow Food Northampton’s mission is to promote food security by advancing sustainable agriculture in the Northampton, MA area.
The Hampshire Regional YMCA provides facilities for recreation and physical activity. They offer a variety of classes, child care, youth programming, and camps.
Highland Valley Elder Services helps elders stay in their homes by providing supportive services and collaboration, education, advocacy on behalf of elders and their families.
The Hilltown CDC seeks to improve the quality of life for Hilltown residents by addressing economic, housing, educational, social and community needs while preserving the rural character of the area.
Hilltown Community Health Center is a federally qualified health center, serving the Hilltown communities with offices in Worthington and Huntington. HCHC provides primary care, dental, eye care, and behavioral health services.
Manna Community Kitchen is a Northampton nonprofit serving over 1,500 meals per week between St. John’s kitchen and Edwards Church.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (Western Mass) supports families and communities with information, resources, support, and advocacy.
The Northampton Survival Center is an emergency food pantry that provides low-income individuals and families in 18 communities in Hampshire County with free food, clothing, personal care items, and referrals for emergency assistance. It has two locations: Northampton and Goshen.
Safe Passage provides survivors with the support and information to keep themselves and their children safe and to rebuild their lives in the wake of domestic violence. All services are free, confidential, accessible to people with disabilities, and available in English, Spanish, and other languages.
ServiceNet provides outpatient behavioral health services; adolescent support programs; early intervention for young children; home health care; rehabilitation and residential programs for those with mental health issues, developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, or addictions; and shelter and housing services for the homeless
The SHINE Program assists elders and individuals with disabilities in understanding their Medicare and MassHealth benefits and other health insurance options. The SHINE program ensures that Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers have access to accurate, unbiased and up-to-date information about their health care options
Stavros is an independent living center. They provide services and resources for people with disabilities. Their programs include: Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Fiscal Intermediary, Independent Living Services, Personal Care Attendant Services, Home Sweet Home, and Transition to Adulthood.
Tapestry Health provides family planning services, reproductive health exams, STI screenings, HIV counseling and testing, needle exchange, insurance enrollment, outreach efforts, a WIC nutrition program, and much more.
The Tobacco Free Community Partnership is working to “Make Smoking History” in Hampshire and Franklin Counties. They serve as a free resource for educators, municipal leaders, property owners, youth, families, legislators, local business and organizations that need assistance with tobacco intervention efforts.
The United Way of Hampshire County invests in opportunities that create a better life for all by focusing on the basic building blocks for a good life — a good start for children and youth, health and safety for all and resources that promote economic security.
VNA and Hospice of Cooley Dickinson provides visiting nurse services, home health, and in-home hospice care.
The Women of Color Health Equity Collective promotes the resilience and empowerment of Women of Color to advance health and wellness by building community-capacity and advocating for just policies through evidence-based research and grassroots organizations.
These are just some of the local non-profit community agencies and programs that serve Pioneer Valley residents every day.