Mindy Domb, a veteran human services worker, took over a gem of an operation at the Amherst Survival Center last summer and means for it to remain a model for helping people in need in an efficient, dignified way.
People in Amherst gave generously to build the center’s beautiful $2.5 million building, which opened a year ago, and to keep it going. And they freely share opinions, which Domb appAreciates. But as she said in an interview last week, she wants to hear from those who use the services first. We think that is a wise approach. She told a reporter the center works and she doesn’t want to break it.
The center offers a slew of services for free, with few questions asked — a freshly cooked meal four days a week, a daily giveaway of fruits, vegetables and baked goods, groceries distributed from a well-stocked pantry, computers and a washer and dryer to use, a “free store” with clothing and other items, exercise classes, assistance from social service workers and a monthly dinner concert.
It is impressive.
Two full-time staffers, including Domb, eight part-timers and 200 weekly volunteers make this happen. They deserve praise, including program director Tracey Levy, pantry coordinator Shelly Beck, kitchen chief Linda Brooks and free store manager Tim Kennedy.