Pittsfield disperses ARPA money to community organizations


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PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Pittsfield has announced the recipients of their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Community Awards.

At a news conference on Thursday, Mayor Linda Tyer presented the $5.9-million in funds to 18 community organizations that will address both pandemic and pandemic-recovery needs in the following areas: childhood development (including daycares) and youth intervention; mental health and substance use disorders; disabled elderly and veterans; community-based initiatives; and cultural organizations.

“We’re excited to finally announce the recipients for Pittsfield’s ARPA Community Awards.
Each of the proposals reflect a diverse array of strategic and meaningful initiatives and projects
that align with our guiding principle, serve a wide spectrum of our community and meet many of
the needs that were voiced during our robust community engagement process,” said Mayor Linda
Tyer. “We’re looking forward to getting this money into our community partners’ hands so they
can get started on this important work.”

Several organizations that applied but did not meet the ARPA funding criteria are being helped by the city to seek other funding options.

The recipients of the ARPA Community Awards are:

  • Arts in Recovery for Youth (AIRY): $50,000 – for an arts and skills-based suicide prevention program targeted toward Pittsfield youth ages 13-24.
  • Barrington Stage Company: $125,000 – for the replacement and upgrades of the HVAC system at the St. Germain Stage and Boyd-Quinson orchestra pit to provide healthy spaces for one of Pittsfield’s most visited performing arts theater.
  • Berkshire Black Economic Council (BBEC): $700,000 – to establish organizational operations and capacity for BBEC to offer technical assistance, educational workshops, and networking sessions for Pittsfield’s black entrepreneurs and black-owned businesses.
  • Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC): $500,000 – to increase capacity of BCAC’s Weatherization Remediation Assistance Program (WRAP) by assisting under-resourced Pittsfield residents with home weatherization and heating system needs.
  • Berkshire County Head Start: $700,000 – to provide free transportation and full-day childcare and early education for Pittsfield families deemed ineligible for state-subsidized daycare.
  • Berkshire Family YMCA: $250,000 – for the renovation and expansion of childcare facilities.
  • Berkshire Immigrant Center: $80,000 – for the expansion of legal and educational services for immigrants living in Pittsfield.
  • Berkshire Museum: $250,000 – to create mobile museum units to offer classroom-based portable programming in the Pittsfield Public Schools.
  • Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires: $500,000 – for the installation of a new HVAC system for youth and families to enjoy healthy recreational spaces.
  • Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity: $800,000 – for the expansion of the navigator network and to provide resources to support Pittsfield residents, households and small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
  • George B. Crane Memorial Center: $90,000 – to offer recovery programs, support, and life skills for people struggling with substance use disorders.
  • Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires: $200,000 – for the roof replacement at the Tyler Street headquarters where workforce training and support services are offered to Pittsfield residents.
  • IS183 Art School: $80,000 – for a multi-pronged approach to bolster and sustain artists in after school, summer and in-school art classes at the Pittsfield Public Schools.
  • MassMoCA/Assets for Artists: $100,000 – to establish and deploy a Pittsfield-based Asset for Artists program.
  • Rites of Passage & Empowerment Program: $550,000 – to increase organizational capacity and expand programs for young women of color ages 12 to 18 to access college tours, travel opportunities, scholar stipends, and advancement of skills and professional development.
  • Second Street Second Chances: $700,000 – a collaborative one-stop facility to support successful re-entry of formerly incarcerated Pittsfield residents into the community and the workforce.
  • South Community Food Pantry: $50,000 – to address a systemic gap in food insecurity by renovating the food distribution space and expand the home delivery program.
  • Volunteers in Medicine: $200,000 – to respond and support the medical needs of under resourced Pittsfield residents.

Mayor Tyer says the deadline for applying for ARPA funding is May 1, 2022. For more information, go to the ARPA page on the city’s website.

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