Sutton led an itinerant childhood under the thumb of his alcoholic, abusive biological father. After shuttling between Massachusetts and the state of Florida, he was barely able to make it to the 11th grade before quitting in the first week.
Called Keenan House North, the recovery home will provide 16 individuals at a time with the housing and intensive services needed to overcome their behavioral health issues and resume lives as productive members of the community.
The local organization applied for the funds through a competitive grant process offered for the first time by the state Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, Office of Youth and Young Adult Services. The bureau awarded 18 grants statewide, with the Brien Center winning two of them.
Smith comes to the Brien Center from the Hancock Shaker Village, where he was director of advancement. Smith will have primary responsibility for the agency's fundraising and development efforts, as well as enhancing the Brien Center's external relations in the community.
Most of the community leaders in the central Berkshires knows Manny Slaughter now.
They know him now from hours upon hours of volunteer time he puts in every summer, with a smile on his face, running a basketball program for the area's youth. They know him now from thousands of Pittsfield children he's taken under his wing. They know him now as a mentor and a role model. They know Slaughter now as a shining star in the Pittsfield community.
The Brien Center celebrated the opening of a recovery shelter specifically for women.
The center, in partnership with Berkshire Health Systems, opened the 17-bed center knows as the Keenan House for Women in October on Seymour Street. It will serve women recovering from addiction during the early stages of rehabilitation.