Pittsfield Parks Seeing An Influx Of Homeless
According to a story reported on by iBerkshires.com, the Parks and Recreation Department is seeing an influx of homeless encampments popping up in parks throughout Pittsfield.
Parks and Open Space Manager James McGrath had this to say. "This is an ongoing conversation, it is a very delicate one, and it is one that requires a team approach. We stand ready to assist, evaluate, and continue to have conversations around this unprecedented situation."
Earlier this month, a temporary shelter at the former St. Joseph's High School set up by the city in conjunction with ServiceNet, had to shut down after running out of funds.
Commissioner Joe Durwin said although encampments can be found in many city parks at this time, the largest gathering seems to be at Springside.
Durwin said he spoke to some of the homeless and they feared that their belongings would be thrown away if left unattended. Durwin added that the city has asked police to not evict the homeless or remove their belongings and asked McGrath about the Parks Department's position.
McGrath said the plan is to follow the city's lead and the Public Services Department's parks division is taking a "hands-off approach."