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Vacant downtown church picked as site for Northampton 'resilience hub'

Northampton Mayor's office
The former First Baptist Church at Main and West streets in Northampton, MA has been vacant since 1993. The city has signed an option to buy it and plans to use it as a place to assist people who do not have housing.

City signs option to purchase former First Baptist Church

A long-vacant church in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts has been selected as the future home of a community resilience hub.

Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra announced the city is executing an option to purchase the former First Baptist Church on Main Street and use it as a space to assist residents who are in distress due to homelessness or other issues.

There would be amenities such as lockers and internet access, and also referrals to social services.

The former church building would also be used for community meetings and as an emergency shelter.

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Mayor Sciarra.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.