NORTH ADAMS -- The Berkshire Community Action Council's North County Outreach Center is leaving its Ashland Street office, but it isn't moving far.
The office is relocating to the second floor of 85 Main St., in suite 201, as of May 1.
"We're going home," Aleta Moncecchi, director of community partnership, said Tuesday, referring to the office's previous location at 85 Main St. "We see this as a very positive move. We'll be able to expand our program offerings and be able help our clients in a much quicker fashion."
The North County satellite office, commonly referred to as Northern Berkshire Community Action, moved to its Ashland Street location in 2011. The office originally rented two adjacent office spaces, later downsizing to a single office because of the need to staff the spaces separately in order to keep both open.
"One of the major issues we've had while being in this space is parking," she said. "We have some older clients who won't come in if they can't find parking nearby. There's also an issue with confidentiality in this small space."
Moncecchi added, "We had to find a space to host the annual Elf Program out of because we didn't have enough room for all the gifts here. In our new office space, we'll be able to host all of our programs without having to worry if we have enough room or worry about temporary tables and chairs."
Currently the outreach center hosts monthly budget planning classes and host the annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which provides free tax filing services to low-income individuals and families.
"On a daily basis we see individuals who need emergency assistance -- we help prevent individuals and families from having their gas or electric shut off," she said. "We also help individuals and families apply for fuel assistance.
BCAC board member Annie Rodgers said the new space also will allow for the expansion of programs offered by the Pittsfield office, such as Project Reconnect.
"It's a fantastic program run by Bryan House," she said. "He works with youth, typically 18- to 24-years old, whom have dropped out of school or are on the verge of dropping out. He provides them with training and skills needed to apply for jobs and interview and also support securing housing. He's been coming up here to do the program, but now we'll be able to provide him with an office space."
Rodgers added, "Ultimately, it's a move, but we see it as a wonderful opportunity to expand all the good work that this office does."
While the new location is expected to open May 1, Moncecchi said her office will be closed during the move, which is expected to take place during the third week of April.
"We want to reassure people ahead of time that we're just relocating to another space in North Adams," she said. "The ‘for rent' sign went in the window before we put up a sign with our new location on it and people were worried we were moving to Pittsfield. We're not leaving the city."
In addition to preparing to move their offices, Moncecchi said the staff is preparing for its second annual "Grown in the Berkshires" fundraiser, which will be held at The Orchards Hotel on May 21, at 6 p.m.
"This fundraiser supports our emergency funding to prevent gas and electric from being shut off," she said. "Our goal is $25,000. It's our only fundraiser, but it's very successful."
The fundraiser, which is spearheaded by Chef Chris Bonnivier, will feature dishes made from locally grown and raised foods prepared by area chefs. The evening will also feature a raffle. Tickets, which can be purchased at the BCAC North County Outreach office, are $40 in advance.
To reach Jennifer Huberdeau, email