Snow a reminder of shelter season for the homeless

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – As the air gets colder, the need gets greater for the area’s hungry and homeless. However, there are resources available for those who need them most.

Thursday’s snow is already melting away. It was a preview of winter’s bitter cold. Most people turn up the heat and stay home, but others don’t have that luxury.

“That two dollars means so much more to someone on the streets than it does to me,” said Jake Burke of Northampton.

Northampton’s panhandler population knows life on the streets. LeeAnn Masloski says she’s living off social security and used to be homeless.

“Little things like you can’t get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom. You can’t make a hot cup of coffee. It’s not all fun and games out on the street. It’s a hard life out here. Any help people can give really goes a long way. Not even the money but just the kindness,” said Masloski.

If you’d like to do your part to help the hungry and homeless of Hampshire County there’s two ways to do it. Through time or money. At the corner of Center and Main Street you can feed the hungry frog and give people in need a hot meal.

ServiceNet’s Interfaith Shelter opens on Center Street, November 1st. Sober people can stay up to 30 days, but their 20 beds fill up fast. Overflow are given a bus pass and sent to shelters in Easthampton and Amherst. It’s a shelter by night and a resource center by day. The goal is to help people get back of the feet.

Katie Miernecki is the Director of ServiceNet’s Hampshire County Shelter and Housing Division.

“We do have caseworkers here. We have healthcare for the homeless. Different agencies come in and help out individuals working on housing goals and job searches.”

The shelter says they are always looking for volunteers and items like coats, hats and toiletries.