Adams, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen voted to allocate $2,000 in community development funds to the Louison House emergency shelter program.
The city will use money from the revenue line item of the community development budget program to pay for the credits. This funding comes after Louison House received $135,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding from the state, North Adams and Williamstown last month.
Kathy Keeser, executive director of Louison House, said the money would help the program break even on its budget.
“A smaller amount would put us there, right on the ceiling,” she said.
Louison House is currently housing 21 people in Adams at the Mount Royal Inn, according to Keeser. She said she knew four people staying at the hostel through Louison House from Adams, with 10 Adams residents in total attending the program over the winter.
“We had filled those beds on December 25. We officially started on December 1. And we continued to keep them filled,” she said.
When asked why Louison House did not apply for funding from Adams at the same time as North Adams and Williamstown, Keeser said she contacted Selectwoman Christine Hoyt in November. The process, according to Hoyt, has been slowed down due to delays with Mount Royal Inn License Documents.
“We had, at that time, license applications. And the property that was going to be used was the one that was late with its license renewal in 2020, in 2021, and we were there again,” said said Hoyt.
Keeser said she appreciates the help Adams provides to Lousion House beyond the monetary donation. The council noted that as the host community of Mount Royal Inn, Adams has provided services to residents of Louison House in the past.
“There are other ways to contribute,” she said. “It’s not all about dollars.”
Housing, according to Keeser, is becoming an increasingly problematic issue in Berkshire County for several reasons. Among those reasons, she said, are a lack of rental housing, a lack of housing options, an increase in young people with no rental history, and winter-related issues such as frozen pipes. and exploded.
“It’s not just local. It’s a very regional and statewide conversation that’s going on continuously, as I called today,” Keeser said. “Affordable housing and where we’re going to get it, how we’re going to get more permanent housing for people at a level they can afford. Where, how.”
Keeser said another significant issue is the wave of evictions that has followed the pandemic in recent months.
“It’s a tough world out there,” she said. “And that’s what made it worse in recent years, and the evictions were delayed for a long time, which was good. But it also meant that when it started happening, it started happening quite quickly. .”
In addition, the council approved the appointment of Justin Côté as technical clerk and operator at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
Key words: Louison house,