Funding cuts may leave Monroe County homeless out in the cold

Regional News
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – (WROC) – Budget cuts could impact thousands of homeless people here in Monroe Count. Four homeless service providers in Rochester will no longer get funding from the Solutions to End Homelessness program.

“Right now we have a father placed here with a 2-month-old baby,” said Shaylynn McGee, YWCA emergency housing supervisor. “The mother is not present. He needs that STEHP funding in order to secure a security deposit so that he can move and be able to provide a safe place for him and the baby.”

Homelessness is a growing in Monroe County. Last year 11,000 placements of individuals and families were made. According to McGee without funding providing those services will be come more difficult.

“If we are short staffed they are not able to get the attention and the services that they need which can be very detrimental to that individual at the time,” said McGee.

McGee says she is concerned how the organization will continue to serve the homeless population.

“We lost five staff,” said McGee. “That’s crucial in a shelter. Imagine having women who are experiencing trauma. Children who are experiencing trauma. They need people tp meet them at the door and say it’s going to be okay, and make them feel secure.

McGee says with the winter months coming soon the concern of not being able to provide emergency shelter is even greater.

“Imagine not having a place to go at night, said McGee. “Imagine not have a place to call home. Imagine not having just four walls around you where you feel safe. Where you feel secure. Imagine that. We are going to have people going to the emergency department because it is so cold outside and they don’t have anywhere else to go.”

Patrick Braswell, an advocate for the homeless, says with fewer resources shelters like Mercy House will have to handle the overflow. He says no matter who comes through their doors they will be there to lend a helping hand.

Along with the YWCA, the Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, and Spiritus Christi will also be affected by the cuts. To continue to provide services to the homeless they will have to look for other sources of funding.

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