Athol YMCA completes Men’s Residence renovations

  • Employees, board members, supporters and residents of the Athol Area YMCA participated in a ribbon cutting Wednesday to celebrate and tour the newly added laundry/kitchen facility and bathroom upgrades to the third floor Men's Residence. From left to right, front row: Jean Shaughnessy (board member), Amie Shei (Vice President of Programs, Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, Inc.), Bill Harris, contractor, Jeanette Robichaud, retiring YMCA Executive Director, and Bruce Grant, Facilities Director. Second row: Amanda Mankowsky, Rebecca Bialecki, Board of Selectmen, Mark Wright, Executive Director of the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce, Shaun Suhoski, Town Manager, and Ted Ledgard. Third row: Joann Deacon, Alex Richards, and standing in the back, incoming YMCA Executive Director Jennifer Gordon. Athol Daily News/Kathy Chaisson

  • New shower stalls were added as part of the Athol Area YMCA Men's Residence renovations paid for through a grant from the Health Foundation of Central MA. —Athol Daily News/Kathy Chaisson

  • An overfilled storage room has been replaced by new laundry and kitchen equipment in the Men’s Residence at the YMCA. —Athol Daily News/Kathy Chaisson

Staff Writer
Published: 4/26/2019 9:50:23 PM
Modified: 4/26/2019 9:50:15 PM

ATHOL — A ribbon cutting was held Wednesday to celebrate the recently renovated third floor Men’s Residence of the Athol Area YMCA. The changes will provide housing to 19 men, an increase from 16. “We had the extra room but no bathroom facilities,” said outgoing YMCA Executive Director Jeanette Robichaud, “Now we do.”

A walk-through tour led to a freshly painted front corner room with new laundry and kitchen facilities. A window that had previously been boarded up now draws in light and allows a view of Main Street. Robichaud said they cleaned out “probably upwards of 50 years of accumulated stuff, floor to ceiling” of furniture, bed frames, mattresses and belongings.

Robichaud said the Men’s Residence is available on a short term or long term basis, or if someone is new to the area and waiting to find a home. There are six shelter rooms that the YMCA contracts with the Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance to help occupants with the transition from homeless to permanent housing. At the present time, one room is available.

Worcester-based Health Foundation of Central MA paid for the renovations through a grant. Robichaud said the project wouldn’t have been possible without the funding.

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