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Greene Co. officials looking to develop site near the jail for people without homes

Jan 28, 2021 6:23 am

Sarah Trafton is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Greene County officials are looking at the possibility of developing a shelter to accommodate people without housing at a site in Coxsackie, near the new county jail. The county is considering building out four sites on the 32-acre parcel. Lawmakers met January 25, in a workshop session to discuss the idea. The discussion was "conceptual in nature and no decisions were made on the plans," according to Trafton. Referred to as the “south campus,” the property is situated to the south of the new Greene County Jail on Route 9W. “The reason why we bought the south campus is just that — to create a campus with a single entry point from 9W,” Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said. “We own the property, we bought it to expand, we know the hotel version of homelessness does not work. We can’t control the residents. We get many violations because they’re alone, they’re unsupervised and they break the law a lot — it’s just a lot of headache.” The shelter would consist of barrack-style housing, not individual rooms, Groden said. “They would seek alternative housing if this was their only option,” he said. “Our homeless rate would come down.” The county paid $725,000 in 2020 to provide space for individuals in local motels, averaging anywhere from 32 to 65 people each day, Groden said. The proposed facility would be funded by grants and operated by Catholic Charities, Groden said. The intention is to house men and women with designated areas for families and for sex offenders, Groden said. The building would be designed by Catholic Charities at its expense, and the county would bring utilities to the site, he said. Catholic Charities of Columbia-Greene Counties Executive Director Theresa Lux was unavailable for comment. County officials are also thinking about relocating the Mental Health Office, currently located in Cairo, and the Records Management building in Catskill, to the expanding jail campus. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.

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