By Caroline Gordon
FRAMINGHAM – When people think of the Framingham HUB program, they assume only homeless
people qualify for assistance – that is not the case.
The Framingham HUB, run by the Behavioral Health Partners of MetroWest, connects those in need of, housing, food, and mental health help, to services that get them on their feet.
Framingham Deputy Police Chief Sean D. Riley, a member of the HUB Steering Committee, said clients are either homeless or struggling with substance abuse and mental health and “have gotten to the end of the rope and need serious intervention.”
The Framingham HUB is relatively new as the committee began “setting up the framework” for the program last July, said the deputy police chief.
Deputy Chief Riley Riley added there are weekly HUB meetings with “a cross section of Framingham professionals” who collect “around the same table” to help those in need.
The program began months ago, there have been “two or three cases presented to the team.”
Deputy Chief Riley said not everyone who hangs out at downtown Framingham is homeless, but they could be, so business owners have collected fliers from Nicholas Jennings of Behavioral Health Partners of MetroWest, to distribute to those who appear to be in need.
“Without being confrontational, business owners can help by giving them a flier and by talking about the program, so they get the necessary services they need – if they want,” said the deputy police chief.
Susan Nicholl, chief of staff for Mayor Sisitsky, said, “The issues that HUB is working on impacts the quality of life for all residents, whether they live downtown, pass through downtown on their way between other neighborhoods, or visit the area for food, drink, entertainment, or transportation. Moreover, it impacts our downtown businesses who are working hard to serve customers.”
She said that HUB and the City of Framingham are fortunate to have Riley as he possesses “a deep understanding of the issues downtown.”
Nicholl added, “Problem-solving happens when people work together – HUB exemplifies
Caroline Gordon, a spring 2021 SOURCE intern is a senior English major with a concentration in journalism at Framingham State University. Gordon is the Arts and Features editor for Framingham State’s student newspaper, The Gatepost. Connect with Caroline on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/caroline-gordon98