Massachusetts residents continue to feel the effects of the pandemic. Even in December 2022, there are many folks throughout Massachusetts including the Berkshires that are having trouble making ends meet. Price inflation in grocery items doesn't help matters nor does the rising cost of heat along with the constant struggle of trying to find affordable housing especially close to work. In the Berkshires, organizations like Construct Inc. and the Community Development of South Berkshire (CDCSB) are continuing to secure local dwellings that they can turn into affordable, workforce and apartment housing. These efforts certainly do not go unnoticed.

Speaking of Construct, I recently spoke with Jane Ralph, Executive Director of Construct, and learned that even now, people are sleeping in their cars, living in tents, and spending their entire paychecks on hotel rooms. Progress is being made but these housing issues are still very prevalent not only in Berkshire County but throughout the State of Massachusetts. You can help both Construct and CDCSB continue their missions by making a donation here and here.

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Another serious issue that Massachusetts folks are facing that was alluded to earlier is food insecurity. With the cost of food continuing to rise it's difficult for Massachusetts families to have enough to eat. As a matter of fact, the Watson Fund reports that in 2021, the fund served a total of 901 people by providing 282 families with food certificates and 411 children with clothing certificates. We certainly don't want to see food and clothing insecurities around the holidays. We want the little ones to experience joy and excitement.

Once again this year the Watson Fund is continuing its mission by helping local families as the fund will be providing food and clothing certificates to families in need across the southern Berkshires. The Watson Fund's goal this year is $40,000 and this is due to the increased need that local folks are experiencing. This Monday, Dec. 5, WSBS will team up with the Watson Fund and host a radiothon from 7 am - 10 am where people can call (413) 528-0860 and make a donation to the Watson Fund. In addition, you can donate to the Watson Fund anytime via the fund's PayPal option by going here.

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