Dedicated Offerings provide a way for our Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst community to recognize and financially support worthy organizations engaged in projects that reflect our guiding Unitarian-Universalist principles.

On Sunday, January 21, the UUSA will receive a dedicated offering for Amherst Community Connections (ACC). The following is a statement from Hwei-Ling Greeney, Founder and Executive Director of ACC, who will be joining us to share more with us about the mission and work of this great organization. More information can also be found at http://www.amherstcommunityconnections.net/.

“Amherst Community Connections (ACC) is a local resource center that provides case management, referrals, outreach, and advocacy to vulnerable individuals and families in the Pioneer Valley. We primarily serve those who are low-income, disabled, incarcerated, experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity, and facing personal challenges related to mental health or substance use – all of whom want to create positive, lasting change in their lives. While establishing a plan to help participants achieve long term goals of stability, safety and independence, we also function as a One-Stop Resource Center to support the immediate needs of our participants. These include services like referrals to soup kitchens, crisis centers, detox services, as well as advocacy through food stamp/fuel assistance applications and help with housing move-in costs.

ACC recognizes that it can be incredibly difficult to escape homelessness, poverty, and substance use the longer one is immersed in it, so we also organize the community to engage in long-term, coordinated solutions that emphasize homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing, affordable housing and appropriate supportive services. One example of preventive organizing is our successful Housing First Program, approved for a $150,000 three-year grant thanks to the Amherst Community Preservation Act Committee and Amherst Town Meeting. Through this program, three chronically homeless Amherst residents were awarded housing vouchers as a temporary housing solution while ACC worked with them to provide wrap-around support service with the goal of assisting them to get into long term stable housing and become valuable members in local communities. All three have graduated from the program to secure permanent housing and jobs. We hope that you can support our ongoing efforts to advocate for and serve members of our community that need it the most!”

Please make checks payable to “UUSA” and write “ACC” in the comment section.  Thank you for your generosity!