Founded in 1965 as part of the Federal “War on Poverty,” The South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) is an umbrella organization that works in the community to provide opportunities to enhance self-sufficiency and to create a safety net when short term and/or continuing support are needed. SMOC is the designated community-based anti-poverty agency for one city and nine towns in the Metrowest area and is headquartered in downtown Framingham, convenient to transportation and additional services.
As a multi-service agency, SMOC is in a unique position to provide integrated community-based services recognizing that the lives of individuals and families are complex and that needs are inter-related. As a community action agency, we also seek to create new opportunities for self-sufficiency through community advocacy on both a local and statewide level.
Over the past 45 years, the agency has evolved to meet a wider range of challenges that people living in the community face. Our five major areas of programming include: Behavioral Health Services; Economic Development, Education, Employment & Workforce Development Services; Energy & Financial Assistance Services; Family & Nutrition Services; and Comprehensive Housing Services.
Starting in 1998 the agency expanded its mission to address the housing and supportive service needs of homeless and at risk single adults in Middlesex, Worcester and Hampden Counties. In 2004 we affiliated with the People in Peril Social Service Agency (now the Greater Worcester Housing Connection). In 2009 we affiliated with the Open Pantry Community Services organization in Springfield.
In 2011 we began providing administrative and management services to the Lowell Transitional Living Center, and in 2012 we affiliated with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Business Empowerment Center, an economic development organization located in Worcester.
Essential to the effectiveness of SMOC is the involvement of various segments of the community in the policy and decision making process of the organization.
SMOC is governed by a 30-member Board of Directors that is drawn from the various sectors of the communities we serve. The agency also utilizes the expertise and counsel of several advisory boards and groups specific to our affiliated organizations.
SMOC guarantees high quality, accessible, individualized, culturally appropriate services to any individual regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or ability to pay for services.
SMOC programs apply known best practices in environments that are client-centered, strength-based and trauma-informed.