ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — After nearly 20 years of service, the Second Place East Homeless shelter closed in May of 2022. After the closure, the City of Elmira and Catholic Charities are looking forward to find ways to help people in need.

Second Place closed primarily due to the Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler County looking to find new ways to approach the issue of Homeless and at-risk individuals throughout the county. Executive Director Nancy Koons said that an approach to treating criminal behavior, substance abuse, and mental health issues at their root cause would be the main focus.

After the closure, the Charities started to search for a new method to assist the local population. This past winter, they were able to utilize the Trinity Episcopal Church in Elmira to host a warming station. Koons says that this approach was successful and is a method that they’re looking to replicate with a new facility in the future. According to Koons, the hope is to find a new location to start a warming station and then transition into a dorm-style living facility.

Koons encourages anybody that wants to get involved with services offered to contact the Charities office at 607 734-9784 Monday – Friday: from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

In April of 2021, The City of Elmira received $1.1 million in funding in homeless assistance funding from the American Rescue Plan. This month, the City unveiled a new survey asking local residents for advice on how the funds should be allocated. The Survey received over 100 responses in three days, with many locals weighing in on the issues that they find most important in relation to the local homeless and at-risk population.

Among the responses, some of the most common involved mental health treatment and affordable housing. Emma Miran, City Director of Community Development, is looking to the responses to help guide a roadmap for the city on assisting the homeless.

Miran says that ensuring awareness about Homelessness services is key to keeping people in a permanent address. “What I’ve seen from the responses are comments about those supportive services, how do we create more supportive services to help people stay out of homelessness, and also be able to access quality permanent housing?”.

An in-person meeting regarding the topic is currently scheduled for July 27th from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the Steele Memorial Library.

A Link to the survey is available by clicking/tapping here. A full list of services offered by the Catholic Charities of Chemung and Schuyler is available on their website.