A Message from Interim Executive Director Stephanie Steed
Each spring brings with it the promise of more light and warmer days. My optimism for healthy communities grows as businesses reopen and opportunities to visit with friends and family increase. While the cold winter days are often seen as a time of bundling up and slowing down, at 18 Degrees, we continued to address our community’s emergency needs exacerbated by the pandemic and grow and strengthen the depth of our services.
Thanks to the funding we received from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Gun Violence Prevention Program, we are expanding our work with youth through our Pittsfield and West Main Community Connection programs. The Coalition program engages youth and community members to develop solutions to address the causes of youth violence. Through a racial equity and trauma-informed lens, funded program host agencies, like 18 Degrees, will provide critical supports, such as close connections with trustworthy adults, opportunities to learn new skills, and access to the job market. With the official launch of Coalition and our Career Readiness Program, we’re better poised to address the needs of young people between the ages of 17-24.
The expansion of our reach and the depth of services we provide has brought another new beginning for our agency. We now have a new location at 708 West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield that will bring all of our youth development work in Pittsfield into a safe and welcoming space for young people and the community.