MassDevelopment

Viability Inc. gets $2 million state bond to relocate Holyoke location

November 29, 2019 : Daily Hampshire Gazette, by Michael Connors


NORTHAMPTON — City-based human services provider Viability Inc. plans to relocate a Holyoke location to West Springfield by using proceeds from a $2.14 million bond issued by the state to buy and renovate an already existing building.

The new location, a 19,982 square-foot building at 123 Interstate Drive in West Springfield, will serve approximately 165 clients through an expansion of its day habilitation and employment programs, according to a statement released by MassDevelopment. MassDevelopment has issued the tax-exempt bond, which was bought by Florence Security Corporation, a subsidiary of Florence Bank, on behalf of Viability.

Pamela Zagorski, Viability, Inc.’s chief financial officer said the organization will replicate an existing day habilitation program located in Springfield at the new site, as well as move employment programs from 287 High St. in Holyoke.

These day habilitation programs, which Viability’s website said helps people with disabilities increase self-sufficiency through social and vocational programs, requires the use of a facility run by the organization, Zagorski said.

“The purchase of the property was necessary to provide these services,” Zagorski said.

Viability was formed in 2017 from the merger of Community Enterprises, Inc. and Human Resources Unlimited, Inc., two organizations founded in the 1970s at Northampton State Hospital and Belchertown State School whose emphasis was on the development of vocational skills to those with disabilities, the statement said.

The human service provider now has 500 staff members and 37 service locations, according to the statement, with services such as employment training and placement, community living and recreation programs, day habilitation and residential treatment programs, and pre-employment and transitional services.

Renovations of the new West Springfield building will expand building entrances, adding and removing interior walls, renovating bathrooms, replacing roofs and flooring, upgrading lighting, repaving the parking lot, landscaping and construction of a patio, sidewalks and a pavilion, the statement said.

“Viability, Inc. is committed to helping individuals of all abilities become valuable contributors to our community and workforce,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss in the statement. “As the state’s finance and development agency, MassDevelopment is proud to support Viability’s mission and equally excited to help the organization finance a new home for its important programs.”