The Western Mass RLC's Bowen Resource Center opened in Springfield in May of 2009. Located on the South end of Main Street, it was situated directly between McDonalds and the Housing Advocacy Program (HAP). The center was developed in collaboration with the RLC's sister community, Leadership, Employment, Advocacy and Development (LEAD) and was named after Shelly Bowen, a founding member of the Guiding Council of Western Mass (GCOW) who spoke frequently of having an RLC center based in Springfield before she passed away in 2008. The center offered a variety of supports, including peer support by phone and in person, a computer lab with four computers, a lending library and a variety of workshops, community meetings and other activities. Above all else, it was intended to create a safe space within which our community can come together, heal, share, support, learn from and strengthen one another.
It is important to remember, however, that the RLC is NOT all about spaces and that our community (including events, classes and more) exists wherever people from our community may go. So, be sure to check our calendar for events and opportunities occurring in the the Springfield area outside of the center!
The Western Mass RLC's Bowen Wellness Center was a more recent addition. A former dance studio, this space located at the same address and on the same floor as the Bowen Resource Center, offered cardio and weight training equipment, teacher and video-lead wellness classes and resource information.