Jewish Women's Foundation of the Berkshires Awards New Grants

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Jewish Women's Foundation of the Berkshires announced grant awards totaling $38,700 for 12 local organizations. 
 
Recipients needed to demonstrate the ability to maintain their programming during the pandemic and/or respond to newly-identified needs. The grants range from $2,000 to $3,500 and run for one year.
 
Funded programs fall into three of JWF's priority areas:
 
Increasing access to food, housing, and other essentials for Berkshire residents Berkshire Baby Box, Berkshire Community Diaper Project, Berkshire Hills Regional School District Project Connection, Berkshire Grown, Construct, Roots Rising (Formerly The Alchemy Project)
 
Promoting self-sufficiency Berkshire Center for Justice, Berkshire Immigrant Center, Literacy Volunteers
 
Empowering Youth and Young Adults Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center/Girls Inc. of the Berkshires, Railroad Street Youth Project, Community Health Programs
 
In its 11th year, JWF, under the auspices of the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, has granted more than $400,000 to community organizations. JWF is committed to the Jewish mandate of Tikkun Olam – helping to repair the world and making it a better place. JWF carries out its mission by providing funding, volunteers, mentoring, and support services to local agencies.  JWF has nearly 150 members who are passionate about giving back to the Berkshires community.

Tags: nonprofits,   

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Regional Planning Commission Tackling County Housing Issue

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is taking steps to address the ever-growing problem of housing that Berkshire County faces.

"What we have been hearing and learning is that housing is becoming increasingly a problem in Berkshire County," Executive Director Tom Matuszko said at Thursday's commission meeting. "And a problem for a number of different ways and a number of different venues."

BRPC has partnered with countywide economic development organization 1Berkshire to develop a regional housing strategy, a policy that will set the stage for solutions and legislative support. The commission's former director, Nathaniel Karns has agreed to take this project on and help shepherd it through the process.

Matuszko explained that a group of planners and other housing-related entities has been formed to develop the regional strategy. This group will dive into the issue of housing in Berkshire County and brainstorm solutions whether it be a legislative fix, additional funding, or another programmatic element from the state government.

This initiative is not just about affordable or subsidized housing, Matuszko said, because you have to have higher-end housing for those in the applicable income bracket to move into, which then frees up more affordable housing for another group.

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