More than 50 recently relocated from Civic Center Garage, county officials say
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County officials say they’re "exhilarated" over the efforts to get people living inside the Civic Center Garage out, and on to better living situations. County officials say over the last few months they’ve helped more than 50 people find housing.
Ten of those people were provided services just last week. The goal for this initiative was not to arrest anyone living inside the garage, it was to have meaningful conversations. The deputy director for the county’s social services department, Corinda Crossdale said they’ve had great success.
"A number of them have gone to the warming shelters, and a number of them have gone to some homeless shelters,” Crossdale said.
Crossdale said they’re using a holistic approach, providing support that looks at the whole person not just their mental health needs has led to success.
"We have trained clinician’s and they know, the first time I come by and you don’t accept the assistance, maybe the third or fourth time I come by you’ll accept the assistance,” Crossdale said.
And many of those people who were in the garage have, including one man who now has his own apartment after living in the Civic Center Garage for almost 30 years.
"Twenty-five years, he’s in his own apartment now, I was so happy I was almost in tears, our staff about a week ago, he had a birthday and they went and celebrated with him,” Crossdale said.
Keep in mind, the social services team and others have been in and out of the civic garage for months, laying the groundwork for trust.
This new deployment of multiple groups just amplified their efforts, one person at a time.
"The thought that he’s like staying on the inside right now, when it took us that many years to even convince him to even go to a hotel, and now he’s in an apartment,” Crossdale said.
News10NBC Reporter Stephanie Duprey asked what it would take to keep people from having to live in the garage indefinitely. Crossdale said, while this might be a long-term challenge, her office is brainstorming different ideas, like more "Walk-in" facilities so people know they have somewhere to go.