Nestled in the shadow of Mt. Tom in Easthampton, the Treehouse Community was founded to support families that take in foster children in the hopes of stopping the bounce through the system. Among the townhomes that house families who are fostering children, live senior residents. The result is a multi-generational community where one generation helps another. The seniors are vital to the support system that enables parents to succeed and the children to thrive. Now approaching its tenth year, the numbers reflect a success story and defy statistics on foster children. This series of photographs gives us a glimpse into the lives of some of the residents over the past year.
-- By Globe Staff photographer Joanne Rathe
Treehouse resident Liz Poudrier hugs Sarah D’Amato,19, who had just delivered her a hot Thanksgiving meal. D’Amato wanted to give back to the community that raised her and has for the past few years prepared a Thanksgiving meal, which she distributes to all the elders at Treehouse. D’Amato was placed in 25 foster families by the time she was 8 years old and was then adopted by Mary and Jack D’Amato . The family spent the last 10 years living in the Treehouse community, where Sarah has flourished. She is a recent high school graduate and has just begun taking courses at Holyoke Community College “I have like six grandmas here,” says D’Amato.
(Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff)