Brockton orgs get $410,000 grant to address food insecurity, housing

BROCKTON — A project to convert motel rooms into permanent housing. A freight container remade into

BROCKTON — A project to convert motel rooms into permanent housing. A freight container remade into a self-contained farm. A system for area food pantries to better serve the community.

These are the projects three Brockton organizations will bring to life with the help of a $410,000 grant from Beth Israel Lahey Health to address food insecurity and housing stability.

The recipients are Father Bill’s and MainSpring, a homeless shelter that received $205,000; the Boys and Girls Club of Metro South, which received $115,000; and the Charity Guild, a food pantry that got $90,000.

“The best and most important solutions and the most sustainable solutions come from the community,” said Nancy Kasen, vice president of community benefits at Beth Israel Lahey Health.

The hospital system, which has a clinical affiliation with Signature Healthcare in Brockton, worked with City Hall and the mayor’s office to reach out to organizations about what ideas they had for programs or efforts that could have an impact.

Father Bill’s and MainSpring will use its portion of the grant to convert the former Rodeway Inn in Brockton into 69 one-bedroom apartments for the formerly homeless. Kitchenettes will be added into each unit.

During the pandemic, the organization rented the motel to reduce the number of people at its shelter and allow for social distancing, which helped bring down the rate of infection among its homeless guests, said John Yazwinski, president and CEO of Father Bill’s and MainSpring.