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Congressman John Olver announces $2 million grant to help support DIAL/SELF youth programs over next five years

The Greenfield-based DIAL/SELF agency that assists homeless and at-risk youth, was awarded a five-year, $2 million grant to support its programs.

U.S. Rep. John Olver, D-Amherst, announced the award, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, Monday.

“DIAL/SELF has a 35-year successful history in our community for running effective and innovative programs,” Olver said in a prepared statement. “This funding will allow them to continue their extraordinary work on behalf of vulnerable youth here in western Massachusetts.”

The grant will award the non-profit DIAL/SELF about $560,000 each of the first three years, and about $200,000 for each of the last two years, according to Olver’s office.

The money will be used to support referral services, warming centers, street and school-based outreach and education, and the Safe Places program.

That program works with local businesses and institutions to establish safe places where youth can go to ask for help. A staff person at one of those locations contacts DIAL/SAFE which sends a representative to assist the youth.

“We are thrilled these contracts have been awarded and appreciate the support from Congressman Olver,” said David Voegele, DIAL/SELF Executive Director in a statement. “Our agency is very pleased that we will be able to continue providing these essential services to youth and young adults.”

DIAL/SELF was also awarded a recent grant of about $1.3 million from the state Department of Housing and Community Development to provide nine units of affordable housing for homeless youth between 18 and 25-years-old, according to a statement.

DIAL/SELF formed in 1977 and, to date, has served about 35,000 youth from the Franklin and Hampshire county areas, and the North Quabbin region.

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