Kashmira Madhuwala’s immigrant experience brought her from her home in Gujarat, India to a series of stops in Chicago and Northern Berkshire.
Finally, in2012 she took a job in Great Barrington, at a motel owned by her uncle. Soon, she met and married Krunal, and they now have two young daughters.
Their new home and work, both at the Great Barrington Travelodge, are down the street from CHP Family Services and Community Health Center. There, Kashmira found medical care for herself and family, and she met the Family Services team that opens doors for so many parents, through WIC nutrition benefits, parent-child playgroups, a clothing exchange, and more. The family signed up for the ParentChild+ program, a school-readiness mentoring program for children heading to preschool or kindergarten.
“They are like my family at CHP,” said Kashmira.
Now, Kashmira and Krunal have something to offer in return. When the Family Services team encounters a family or individual who has been displaced from housing, they call the nearby Travelodge to arrange a short-term motel stay. While the motel provides a safe place to stay, a telephone and temporary address, CHP helps the client with next steps: a housing search, healthy food, gas cards and parent support.
Krunal is impressed with the Family Services team’s efficient help for displaced people facing real emergencies. “Other agencies may say, ‘let me get back to you in a couple of days,’ but not CHP. They take care of things right now,” says Krunal.
“It is good for keeping busy,” Kashmira says of her CHP connection. “But mostly it touches my heart to be helpful to people.”
Kashmira and Krunal are such lovely and generous people,” said Mary Feuer, director of WIC and Family Services at CHP. “They provide motel rooms for us at a discount, and once, when they were very busy, Krunal got on the phone and found help from another motel. We are grateful for this partnership!”