phiA Program of MIRA Coalition
(Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy)
88 South Street, Pittsfield, MASS 01201
(For directions to the Center and parking information click here.)
Tel: (413) 445-4881
Fax: (413) 445-4802
Hilary Greene, Executive Director (fluent in English and Russian)
Brooke Mead, Program Coordinator (fluent in English and Spanish)
Becky Meier, Administrative Assistant
Jennifer Smith, Education Director, 781-899-0535
Hours: Monday-Thurday, 9am -3 pm, by appointment only
A $15 fee per half hour consultation is requested
Walk-in Clinic: Wednesdays, 10 am – 12 noon
Our two counselors each see 4 clients on Wednesdays. No appointment necessary. They see clients on a first come first served basis.
The mission of the Berkshire Immigrant Center is to assist individuals and families in making the economic, psychological and cultural adjustment to a new land, not only by meeting basic needs, but also by helping them to become active participants in our community. The Center also aims to build bridges of understanding and cooperation across cultures, to fight racism and discrimination in all forms, and to advocate for the rights of immigrants from all backgrounds.
The Center offers comprehensive services for individuals from more than 80 countries to promote civic engagement, facilitate cultural integration, and assist in navigating the complex U.S. immigration system.
- ·Citizenship assistance including application support, disability and fee waivers, English as a Second Language/Civics classes, follow-up and advocacy with the US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
- ·Settlement Services: orientation, information, referrals and general counseling for recently arrived immigrants
- ·Advocacy and public education including consultation, group information sessions and workshops, and outreach to communities and other not-for-profit organizations
- ·Referrals to and enrollment in English classes or with private tutors
- ·Work with state and federal legislators in support of immigrants’ initiatives
- ·Monthly walk-in clinics
- ·Referrals to other community services to facilitate access of daycare, health care, continuing education, career counseling, housing, and other social service needs
- ·Voter education and promotion of civic participation
- ·Interpretation and translation services
- ·Information and distribution of forms for a variety of immigration issues including adjustment of status, green cards, visas, political asylum, work authorization and family sponsorship
- ·Distribution of Federal Emergency Food and Shelter funds and furniture and clothing donations
Nuestro program puede proporcionarle los siguientes servicios:
- Orientación para los aplicantes de la ciudadanía incluyendo asistencia con la solicitud, y clases de inglés o de la cívica de los EEUU (historia y gobierno)
- Información sobre inmigración y evaluación de casos
- Referidos a clases de inglés o tutores privados
- Referidos a abogados de inmigración y otras agencias de servicios sociales
- Sesiones de información legal mensualmente, y talleres de inmigración cada tres meses
**Hay que sacar una cita para que te veamos en la oficina**
Por favor llama a 413-445-4881 extension 4 para hacer una cita
Horas de oficina: Lunes-Jueves 9-3
The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires founded the Berkshire Immigrant Center (formerly known as the New American Citizenship Coalition) in 1997 to assist Berkshire County immigrants, regardless of race and religious affiliation, to become American citizens. Over the past thirteen years the Center has evolved into an office of immigrant services in order to address the wider needs of the local immigrant and refugee population. In 2006, the Berkshire Immigrant Center (BIC) was moved under the auspices of Berkshire Community Action Council. In 2012, MIRA Coalition (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy) became our fiscal sponsor. The Center remains the only program in Berkshire County which offers comprehensive services to meet the unique challenges faced by our rapidly growing immigrant community.
In addition to working to meet the individual needs of our clients, we also aim to address the problems confronted by the greater immigrant and refugee community by performing community outreach and offering educational seminars on such topics as immigrant workers’ rights, access to health care, and the basics of immigration and naturalization. We work closely with immigration attorneys, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), and with local and state legislators to advocate on behalf of our immigrant population.
The Berkshire Immigrant Center employs bilingual staff members (Spanish, Russian) who are culturally sensitive and thoroughly understand the needs and challenges faced by the immigrant and refugee community. The Director, Hilary Greene, holds a Bachelors degree in Soviet and Russian Studies and is a fluent Russian speaker. Hilary spent several years working in public relations in St. Petersburg, Russia and then worked as Program Manager of The National Young Composers Competition at Williams College prior to joining the staff of the Jewish Federation in 1999.
Education Coordinator, Jennifer Smith, holds a BA in English from the University of New Hampshire. She worked for many years as the Program Coordinator, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher, and Student Advocate for Jackson Mann Community Center and Veronica Smith Senior Center in Brighton, MA prior to joining the BIC staff.
The Program Director, Brooke Mead, was formerly a high school Spanish teacher and holds her Masters degree in Spanish from Middlebury College. She has lived in Venezuela and Mexico and, having been an immigrant herself, brings with her the cultural understanding and sensitivity necessary to work with the immigrant and refugee population. Administrative Assistant
Becky Meier holds a BA in Recreation from George Williams College and Masters in Education from Lesley College. Prior to joining the Center, Becky was an elementary school teacher for 21. She is a fluent Spanish speaker having lived in both Ecuador and Mexico.
Michele Sisselman and Joseph Best, both licensed immigration attorneys with extensive experience, provide pro-bono consultations and advice on behalf of the Center’s clients and staff.
Since its inception in 1997, the Berkshire Immigrant Center has served over 9,800 clients from 86 different countries – a sign that the Berkshires is becoming an increasingly diverse community with a vast need for services for the immigrant and refugee population. In 2011, we served a total of 759 non-duplicated clients from 65 different countries and provided 1,400 units of service. The following list shows the numbers and countries of origin of our 2010 clients:
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The Berkshire Immigrant Center is supported primarily by grants from the Berkshire United Way, the New World Fund, the City of Pittsfield, the state Citizenship for New Americans Program, the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, Berkshire Bank, and the Fund for Williamstown.