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For Immediate Release – April 15, 2021
Mayor secures $200,000 gift from Smith College
for Community Resilience Hub project
NORTHAMPTON - Mayor David J. Narkewicz announced today that Smith College has generously pledged a $200,000 gift towards his administration’s efforts to create a Community Resilience Hub serving Northampton’s most vulnerable residents. The Community Resilience Hub project - which the Mayor had identified as a top priority in his remaining nine months in office - has been in development for several years and would support residents who face chronic and acute stress due to natural and human-caused disasters, climate change, and social and economic challenges.
“I am incredibly grateful to Smith College for its generosity and leadership in supporting this important city initiative,” shared Mayor David J. Narkewicz, “President McCartney and I have been discussing the Community Resilience Hub concept over many months and she understands the critical need it would address both downtown and for our entire community. She joins me in the recognition that the pandemic has exposed severe weaknesses in our social service delivery systems, and that the Resilience Hub is a crucial step toward closing these gaps.”
The Community Resilience Hub’s primary role will be to coordinate resource distribution and services as a consolidated entry point for frontline communities but will also serve all residents and coordinate distribution and services in preparation for, during, and in recovery from major disasters or disruptions.
“Smith College is pleased to support the city’s efforts to create a Community Resilience Hub with this gift of $200,000,” said Kathleen McCartney, President of Smith College. “Mayor Narkewicz has been a visionary leader for Northampton over the last ten years and a strong community partner with Smith College. We are proud to support Mayor Narkewicz’s efforts to advance this project serving those community members most at-risk, which is in alignment with Smith College’s mission and values as an institution.”
The Mayor continued, “We are currently developing our entire financing package for the hub. Smith College’s gift is a key part of our commitment to fund the purchase of the hub from external grants, gifts, and cannabis mitigation payments, not from general revenue funds. At the same time, we are engaging many of our social service partners and other stakeholders so we can develop an approach that best serves the community’s needs”
The city is currently exploring downtown real estate for a Community Resilience Hub and has examined a number of properties. A state grant and previous private gifts are funding the city’s due diligence. Mayor Narkewicz recently filed a financial order appropriating $1.6 million in cannabis community impact funds to leverage state grants and community donations like today’s generous gift from Smith College.
For more information, please visit the city’s Community Resilience Hub page, or contact the Mayor’s Office at 413-587-1249 or email@example.com.