Seneca Falls backpack program helps those in need

SENECA FALLS, N.Y. (WHEC) – City leaders in Seneca Falls partnered their services to assist homeless or displaced individuals in the community. Councilwoman Laskoski came up with the idea when she became aware of the lack of resources available to people in need.

Because of Laskoski’s efforts, Seneca Falls Police Department members will now have backpacks containing various hygiene, canned food, and nonperishable food items. The backpack will also have bus tickets to get people to the Department of Social Services. Informational packets with a list of services are also distributed.

"This collaborative effort was very much needed as we continue to meet the needs of our residents to best assist them in getting back on their feet and returning to some level of normalcy. By providing even the most essential needs and linking them to critical resources that many may not be familiar with that exist within our very own community," says Councilwoman Laskoski.

"We are thrilled to work with Council Woman Kaitlyn Laskoski and the Seneca County Department of Social Services on bridging the gap between services that are already being provided to those in need during the week but might otherwise need to wait for those same services in the middle of the night or on the weekend," says Chief Peenstra.

"Seneca County Division of Human Services is grateful to our law enforcement and town council partners for reaching out to Principal Social Welfare Examiner Samantha Lotz, offering assistance with our homeless population in the times that our offices may not be staffed or fully open. With Ms. Lotz’s understanding of this population’s needs, she assisted our partners in developing a plan for local law enforcement officers to have readily available resources to give to individuals they may encounter in these situations. It truly takes a community effort to help our residents in need get the services and resources that are available to them. We continue to be grateful to the efforts of our partners and their willingness to go above their normal duties to help in assisting us with our community members." says Human Services Commissioner Tracy VanVleck.