WXXI Local Stories
Thu March 7, 2013
Community Homeless Strategy Developed
The City of Rochester has announced the completion of the Homeless Resolution Strategy. The study was organized in 2010 to help guide the community's efforts to address homelessness. Together with Monroe County, a number of local service providers worked to identify the needs of the area homeless population.
Carrie Michel Wynne, Housing Director of the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County and Chair of the Homeless Services Network of New York said the demographics of homelessness have shifted in recent years. "Most people when they think of homelessness, they think of a man standing on an overpass with a jar saying 'will work for food'. That is not the case. We are finding that more and more families are coming into the homeless system, particularly female headed households, where they have small children."
Wynne said the goal of the strategy is to solve, not manage the problem of homelessness in the community. "So rather than using some of the local hotels for overflow or even just to provide housing to individuals who are homeless, we want to shift those individuals to organizations that really have the resources to properly house these individuals, offer the case management or even offer short term financial assistance to alleviate the situation."
The report also recommends the development of a Coordinated Access System to help better identify and meet the needs of those who are at risk of homelessness. Permanent housing options are recommended for difficult-to-serve populations who often suffer from chemical dependency and mental illness.