From The Republican
By Fred Contrada
Friday, August 06, 2010
The Shaw’s we know was a place where lone men and women with mental-health problems could find some semblance of a home. People down on their luck could get a decent bed and some privacy at Shaw’s. There have been drifters and imbibers, sometimes on the run, looking to step back into the shadows for a while.
A long time ago, maybe 20 years, I interviewed a resident of Shaw’s. I couldn’t find the story in our data base, but I recall that he was among those set adrift by the closing of Northampton State Hospital.
We sat in his little box of a room with a fan humming, and he told me his story. I don’t remember the story, only that he was eccentric and shy and maybe a little blinded by the bright light of life. Inside that box he had everything he needed.