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County officials consider how to shelter the homeless this winter

Sep 01, 2016 7:00 am

Jeanette Wolfberg is reporting in The Columbia Paper Columbia County officials are raising concern about the county's ability to house the homeless during the coming winter. Speaking at the county Board of Supervisors Human Services Committee last month, Robert Gibson, attorney for the Department of Social Services, said the county is already over capacity for sheltering the homeless, and the number of people seeking help during the winter typically increases. Gibson said a harsh winter is expected this year, "coming early and lasting long." Social services commissioner Kary Jablonka said, “We don’t have the capacity to absorb much increase in the number of homeless.” The county lodges those who need emergency shelter in hotels and motels. But over the years the number of available hotel rooms has declined, Jablonka said. In July, DSS had 55 clients without a home, including nine families. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.